Favilla Favilla History Website

Favilla Baritone Ukulele
1950's Baritone
A. Favilla & Sons were one of the major New York Ukulele makers. Brothers Giovanni and Joseph opened their first music shop in the US in 1890, (the family had been making instruments in Italy prior to that), and in 1884 they started the musical instrument making company, initially as Favilla Bros. The company made all sorts of chordophone including some violins, moved around New York, tinkered with the name, (in the end it was Favilla Guitars inc.) and finally ceased production in 1973. From 1890 to 1910 the Instruments including Ukuleles were labeled Marca Aquila, then they were labeled Favilla Brothers until 1919 when they became Favilla, (This is the official line but I know its not completely true and I have seen a Favilla made Winner with the Marca Aquila soundhole label in it; and the Winner name wasn't registered until 1924 by the Manhattan Band Instrument Co. a firm incorporated in 1921 so it can't just have been rebranding old stock! it is also the case I have seen quite a few Marca Aquila Ukuleles which pre 1910 would have been very early for Ukulele - though then never looked that early - but I have never seen a Favilla Brother branded Ukulele? so they made Ukuleles until 1910 then stopped until 1920?? Mind you Favilla's Official line is they didn't do OEM - apart from all the times they did!!) What is for sure is in the 1920 Favilla was recorded as employing 55 staff so it was no longer just the brothers. They did make some instruments to be re-branded by Buegeleisen & Jacobson but one of the currently living Favillas told me that this was the only OEM work and with everything else, if it doesn't say Favilla, (or Marca Aquila) on it then its not, (though he told someone else that Favilla made some Baritones for K and K, and this was the only OEM work? And the Marca Aquila Winner?) Though famous now as a Ukulele maker only about 10% of their output was Ukuleles. They mainly made Sopranos including the Teardrop, plus there was the Winbrola Tenor scale lili'u type instrument, and I have seen a Favilla Taropatch, but these very are rare. They did make quite a few Baritones in the 1950's and 60's though and they are one of the firms, (Vega being the other), who claim to have invented the Baritone, (another claim that doesn't bear close scrutiny). They also, certainly in the 20's made some Banjoleles, though they are not famous for their banjo manufacture.

Afson was a brand name distributed by the company A. Favilla & Sons. The people running it were blood related to the Favillas, but it was a separate company run for a short while by another part of the family. I have only seen Afson Banjoleles.

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