1996 Maurice Dupont Mandolin
French luthier Maurice Dupont got his start as an instrument builder when he crafted a dulcimer when he was 17-years-old. He found that he really enjoyed the process and knew that was what he wanted to do with his life. He quickly found out he was too old to be accepted into a traditional luthier apprenticeship in Mirecourt, the center of French instrument building, so he set out to learn the craft on his own. He went to Paris where he spent most of his time hanging out at the workshop of Jacques Favino, the luthier who continued building guitars in the Selmer tradition after the company shut down. Favino saw that Dupont had a passion for guitar making, so he suggested Dupont hone his woodworking skills by learning cabinet making. After graduating, he started making classical guitars, and the occasional hurdy-gurdy, and in 1985 he built his first Selmer replica.
Over the years he spent much of his time repairing original Selmers and using that knowledge to make even more accurate replicas. He also began to experiment with building instruments that Selmer didn’t actually make, but could have. Which brings us to this mandolin. I have seen a couple of these in person and I really think Dupont really captured the look, feel and panache of the Selmer guitar. They have a bright, yet mellow tone that is perhaps not the best for bluegrass, but they are well suited for jazz, Celtic or even classical music. The top is made of European spruce and the sides and back are made of maple that Dupont sources locally. Dupont mandolins are very scarce in the US, but this one is could be yours for $1500 from Gypsy Guitars.