Pre-War Gibson L-5 Owners' Club

 

 

 

contact us at info@prewargibsonl-5.com

David B. Porrazzo

According to vintage guitar dealer Matt Umanov, David B. Porrazzo was born in Tufo, Italy (near Naples). After coming to America, he worked at a mandolin shop in the Bronx, New York. He later opened his own shop in the Bronx, then went to work for the Majestic Banjo Co. in New York where he eventually became 50 per cent owner. The company was later dissolved and Porrazzo moved to East Boston, Massachusetts. He bought a home in Medford and opened a high-end mandolin and string instrument shop on Main Street there.

Porrazzo L-5 style archtop

FULL FRONT PORRAZZO L-5 FULL BACK PORRAZZO l-5 BRIDGE F BOARD PORRAZZO L-5 HEAD BACK PORRAZZO L-5 HEAD FRONT PORRAZZO L-5 PICKGUARD

The printed label inside this guitar reads: “David B. Porrazzo, manufacturer of high-grade mandolins, mandolas & guitars.  Repairing a specialty, New York.”

 

Hand-written on the upper left corner of the label is “May 1935”. On the lower left is written “No. 10” and on the lower right “Medford Mass”. It is signed in script and has “No. 10” written by hand, directly on the wood on the inside back.

 

Images courtesy of Matt Umanov Guitars.

 

 

 

Porrazzo L-5 Style Archtop

 

Headstock: Engraved pearl motif and inlay displaying the name ‘Porrazzo’

 

Neck/fingerboard: 19 fret rosewood fingerboard with pointed end. The name ‘Tom Senna’ is engraved on pearl fingerboard inlay. 25 1/8-inch scale length

 

Body: 16.5-inch body with fully carved parallel braced spruce top and figured maple back and sides. Unbound, segmented

 

Epiphone style f-holes

 

Hardware: Nickel-plated hardware including simple trapeze tailpiece - much like the tailpiece fitted to early Epiphones – and  Kluson tuners

 

TUNER2 TAILPIECE

Porrazzo Super 400 style guitar

This Super 400 style 18-inch archtop was made in Medford, Massachusetts. It has an X-braced, carved spruce top, carved solid figured maple back and sides, an ebony fingerboard with Super 400 style inlays and seven-ply body binding.

Photos courtesy of Lark Street Music

FULL FRONT PORRAZZO SUPER 400 FULL BACK PORRAZZO SUPER 400 FBOARD PORRAZZO SUPER 400 2 HEAD PORRAZZO SUPER 400 HEAD BACK PORRAZZO SUPER 400 TAIL PORRAZZO SUPER 400 INTERIOR

This Porrazzo L-5 Style Archtop is currently undergoing restoration. The picture below shows the interior of the guitar with the back removed.

Below is the guitar once restoration has been finished

Porazzo full front Porazzo front close Porazzo back Porazzo head back Porazzo board

Images of this restoration

courtesy of

Tony Marcus.