Favilla Classical Guitar. Model C5 Overture

 162201604737485800 Favilla Classical Guitar.  Model C5 Overture


This is a beautiful CLASSICAL guitar that Karo had, according to him, taken in on trade for a new Gibson.

It is a beautiful guitar and seems to be in excellent condition.  Karo did not do anything to it he says.  Below is some information about the history of the FAVILLA GUITAR Family.  These are really impressive instruments.  This classical guitar has a wide neck and great resonance.  It is light and balances extremely well standing and sitting.  The finish does show the usual scraps and marks from being played.  Karo believes it to be a 1963 model.  He took it in on trade in the 80's he thinks on a Gibson Dove.  The serial number is missing from the label inside.  It does not have a case but Karo thinks he can find one.  Thanks for having a look.  And be sure to check my other auctions over the next few weeks for more of Karo's specials.

It is sold in "as is" condition simply because we are trying to clear the place out and the door only swings one way-out.  Flat shipping charge of $45,00 by USPS to any US location.  I can ship outside the USA but buyer needs to email me for a quote before bidding.

 Brief History of The Company by Thomas Favilla:

The Favilla Brothers started building string instruments in the United States in 1890. Four years later my Grandfather John (Giovanni) and his brother Joseph, a violin builder, formed a company in 1894. (A generation earlier the family was building string instruments in Italy under my Great-grandfather Francesco). 

In the United States, in 1890, they started in a combination music store and instrument shop located at 161 Bowery, and at one point 200 & 201 Grand Street in New York City. In the early 1920's they employed 55 people, building thousands of ukuleles as well as mandolins, banjos, guitars and some violins (built by Joseph). If it had strings on it the Favilla brothers built it. 

About 1930 they moved the shop briefly to 552 Myrtle Avenue in Brooklyn, NY, then to 4 W. 16th Streeet in New York City where the shop remained until 1959 when it was taken over by my father Hercules (known as Herk) after a tumultuous ten year internal struggle with his brother Frank (a brilliant builder but not a businessman). 

In 1959, Herk received full control from the family and changed the name to Favilla Guitars, Inc. He quickly moved the shop to larger quarters at 57 Front Street, Brooklyn, where he remained until 1962.  I joined the firm full time in 1962 (I had been working after school and in the summers for my Grandfather since 1957). In late 1963 Herk made a major move to 60 Smith Street in E. Farmingdale, Long Island, quadrupling the size of the shop. 

Production hit a peak of about 3,500 guitars a year. Then by 1967 the rapid rise in popularity of the electric guitar financially strapped the company and it had to retrench. Not having the financial backing to produce an electric guitar line in volume, the company began to down- size. By 1973 commercial production ceased. 

In 1975, I opened a guitar store in Huntington, NY. My father and I built a few custom guitars a year until 1980 when Herk retired. I continued building a few guitars a year until 1985 when other business matters took up more of my time. In January 1986 I sold the retail operation and ceased all building.

In later years (after 1945) our instruments followed a rather basic model number pattern. Classic guitars started with the letter "C" and steel string guitars with "F". Then came the model number, generally 5, 6, or 8. Custom models were numbered 9 and 10 (never more than 12 built in any given year). A special model was the 12 string guitar, model F12H, about 60 per year were built from 1962 to 1973. The "H" designation after the model number was for the dreadnaught body size, actually a little fuller than that represented by the Martin D series. Its six string companion was the popular model F-8H which was rated equal to the Martin D-18.

Over the years there was a close relationship between the Favilla family and John D'Angelico and James (Jimmy) D'Aquisto. John and Jimmy (who was John's apprentice in the 1950's) were truly the Stradivari of guitar builders. They are gone and I have seen no one who comes near them in artistic talent in eliciting such shear tonal quality. As Jimmy D'Aquisto once said, "A lot of good cabinetmakers out there but no artists". A lot of people making nice looking instruments but not the superior, great sounding ones.


Every day I find beautiful guitars in the background of the small music store that I bought after the owner decided to retire.  This guy, Mr. Karo Smith (named after the syrup)  is between 85-200 years old.  If I believe even 10% of his "recollections" about guitars, guitar players, thieves, and other rogues, then he is closer to 200 than 85.  His start in the guitar business, according to him, came after he bought a "load of coffins" back in the summer of 1940 down in southern Georgia.  He was 15 and ready to do anything to get out of the tobacco field.  A man came through the town next to him with a wagon loaded with pine coffins that he had just built.  He was planning to go up north to sell them but his mule had hobbled and he had decided to shoot him so he wanted to sell the wagon and the coffins on it for $2.00.  Karo make a quick decision to go into the coffin business and went straight back to his granddaddy's house and stole $1.50 from him and enough chickens to sell to get the rest.  Once the deal was done, Karo made a second deal to buy the hobbled mule for another 25 cents with payment due in two months when he got home.  Karo headed north with the mule, Pres. Roosevelt-named so because his owner considered the new President and the mule both to be real asses.  As Karo then tells the story, he went all the way through Georgia, S.C., and part of N.C. without sell a single coffin.  He says "it was hot that summer, won't nobody dying".  Finally in a small N.C. town, he gave up and offered the mule, trailer, and coffins for trade for the first thing somebody brought to him.  That first thing was a guitar that a widow woman brought to him.  Her husband had just died and she needed a coffin so she got a load of them for a guitar.  Karo doesn't remember the name of that first guitar but he swears it was a Martin.  He sat right down in the street and started playing that guitar.  Soon a fellow came along who was passing through with a carnival who took him to be a real musician and hired him on the spot to play music for his "hootchie coo" show.  Karo took right to that job and to the star of the show, Miss Camellia.  After a few years on the road travelling through the south, Karo and Miss Camellia settled down in a small town in the western Virginia.  He converted to Primitive Baptist and started preaching and playing guitar in a small wood church there.  After a while, he started selling guitars, mandolins, banjos etc. that were made by local folks.  Then he went on from there and ended up with a store that soon had people coming from "up north" to buy his stuff.  Enough of the story.  Just to let you know that Karo has retired and I've bought all of his stuff that I will be selling on ebay.  He has agreed to help me sort it out.  Some of it is old stock, some are repairs not picked up by owners, and a whole lot more.  But his business was not a country boy store that his story would lead you to believe.  He was smart, very smart so do not be surprised when you see the quality of this stuff.  Buying, selling, and trading was his passion and his stock of over 200 guitars (and pieces of guitars) shows that.  For the past 20 or so years, his grandson, "Jetson" ran the shop (straight to hell according to Karo).  About two years ago, Jetson got a job as a "underwear sniffer" as Karo calls it.  He works for TSA at an airport in DC.  You'll see evidence of this "tragic period" in Karo's life in the guitars that Jetson got in on trade (he also took in a two legged dog, a "customized riding lawnmower with a portable beer fridge on the back, and several other useless and unidentifiable objects of disdain.  This is going to be fun for me and you.  Thanks.

 162201604737485801 Favilla Classical Guitar.  Model C5 Overture

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