Pre WWII Italian Makers

A. Galiano
G bianchi Soprano Ukulele
G. Bianchi
Giovanni de Meglio Soprano Ukulele
Giovanni de Meglio
Gaetano Sapienza Soprano Ukulele
Carlo Ricordo
Gaetano Sapienza Soprano Ukulele
G. Puglisi i Figli
Leonardo Bellini Acoustic Soprano circa 1933
Leonardo Bellini
e Silvertri Soprano Ukulele
Ermelinda Silvestri
Gaetano Sapienza Soprano Ukulele
Gaetano Sapienza

I have seen a quote that in the 1920's "Mandolin Makers were more common than Pizzerias in Italy". That may or may not be true but there were a lot of them and some of them turned their hand to making Ukuleles and Banjoleles as well. Unfortunately there is not a lot of information on most of them beyond the paper label in the sound hole.
Here is the ones I have seen so far, with any other information I have found on them and I would be grateful if anyone else knows anything further about them?
Brand Name Further Information
A. Galiano 'm not sure if this is Italian or made in New York by some luthiers who worked closely with Oscar Schmidt? All I do know is the sound hole label is in Italian?
Carlo Ricordo From Naples, (and imported by J T C, the same company that distributed Down Souths and Handels). This could be a G.Puglisi Rebrand name?
Ermelinda Silvestri Founded in Catania in 1891. Like most Italian makers Silvestri is more famous for the Mandolins it made, but in the worldwide musical instrument makers directory from 1925/6 they are listed as making Ukuleles as well, (they also made Guitars). Though I haven't seen many Ukuleles made by them I have seen quite a few other instruments so it must have been quite a large operation. Sometime in the 50's or 60's the name changed to S.Sgroi Silvestri and they also seem to have stopped production in the 1960's. Again like a lot of Italian makers, they put the makers mark on the soundboard of most of their instrument not the headstock
Francesco Perretta From Naples - Dallas was the UK distributor
Gaetano Sapienza From Catania, Sicily according to the label
G. Bianchi The label reads, " G. Bianchi premiata fabbrica di strumenti musicali a corda" which translates to "award-winning factory stringed musical instruments"
Giovanni de Meglio i Figli Founded in Napoli (Naples) in 1895 this was a very famous and good Mandolin maker. Good enough be the official maker for the Italian royal family at the time, (and including the coat of arms for the House of Savoy), and good enough as a Mandolin maker to be widely copied so having to include a lot of early copyright type notices on the label. Giovanni was the founder and some later family members were Gherado and Vincenzo but I don't know the relationships. It is the case though with the number of instruments made that this was bigger than just a family workshop. One of the distinguishing traits of their instrument was the ornate sound hole embellishments. I don't know when production ceased but they don't appear to have survived much past 1930?
Girolamo Trucco From Savona - Founded in 1840 and more famous for Violins
G Puglisi Reale i Figli From Catania, Sicily - The Puglisi family started building musical instruments around 1820. Giuseppe Puglisi Reale founded one of the largest Italian factories for manufacturing bowed and plucked string instruments in 1880 and in 1906 the firm became G. Puglisi Reale i Figlio (i Figlio means and Sons in Italian). He had 2 sons, Concetto and Michelangelo. Michelangelo Puglisi ran the workshop successfully after 1909 and his son Salvatore Puglisi took it over after that. The factory was destroyed during bombing in WWII (1943). It was rebuilt after the war and after Salvatore`s death, his son (in law?) Buccheri Puglisi took over. In 1962 prior to his death Buccheri gave all the factory's tools to Alfredo Privitera, who established the Privitera Company which is still going today but no longer makes musical instruments All of the examples I have seen have had date on manufacture on the soundhole label. It is possible that this factory rebranded their instruments with different names for different distributors?
Leonardo Bellini From Naples, made all sorts of instruments and appears to be quite prolific? However I have found no written evidence of the maker and having brande Ukuleles that are identical to ones made by G Puglisi Reale i Figli I suspect the name is some kind of rebranding?
Monzino & Garlandini From Milan - Founded in 1750 by Antonio Monzino making Violins and Guitars. The firm continued as A Monzino until 1905 when Antonio Monzino V was joined by his brother in law Charles Garlandini and the company change name. Ukuleles were added to the catalogue by 1933. After WWII the company name changed again to Mogar and specialised in making Guitars but there were Mogar branded Ukuleles too. Guitar production finished in the late 1960's and Ukulele production probably finished then too, if not earlier, but the company is still in business as a musical instrument distributor today.

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