Here we see a vintage Selmer archtop guitar with a very strange-looking pickup unit attached. At first I thought it might be an aftermarket pickup for electrifying acoustic guitars, but the unit and the guitar itself both bear the Selmer name and as the pickup seems to be firmly bolted into place perhaps the guitar actually came like this new.
It's certainly the ugliest looking thing I've seen clamped to the front of a guitar since Godley & Creme's Gizmo sustaining device (and never mind that came later).
Selmer were a musical instrument manufacturer established in the early 1900s and based in Paris, although by 1928 they had aquired a semi-independent UK branch. From the 1950s and through to the 1970s they imported German-made Höfner guitars. Some of Selmer UK's own-brand guitars were actually produced by Höfner especially for the UK market, and that is most likely what we are seeing in the example pictured here.
Thanks to David Brown for bringing this guitar to my attention.
G L Wilson
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