About Mervyn Davis

Mervyn’s fascination with instrument building started at a very early age and like many other South African boys he made use of petrol cans in his first attempts. Mervyn, part of a musical family, was inspired by his father who started his career by building a mandolin in a prisoner of war camp in Italy during the Second World War.

While studying architecture at the University of Port Elizabeth (1974 - 1978), Mervyn started receiving commissions from local musicians to build guitars and other instruments. During this period, he was also commissioned by the university to do all required maintenance of the instruments belonging to the music conservatoire.

After graduating in 1978 he started a career in full time instrument making which was only interrupted by two years military service between 1980 and 1982. Working in relative isolation in South Africa resulted in his developing a unique style of instrument building which is characterized by a high content of experimentation.

Although Mervyn’s work has become very different from the classic designs, his passion is still soundly rooted in the beauty of the work of the early masters. His quest remains to build instruments that meet the demands of modern composers, express modern aesthetics and make use of modern technology while retaining the romance and lure of the classic instruments.

Centuries ago, the guitar's earliest ancestors where built by the Moors of North Africa. Now, once again, here in the Cradle of Humankind, these guitars reflect the spirit and aesthetic of the Motherland where the wood grows that they are built from.