//1976 Mossman Flint Hills Guitar

1976 Mossman Flint Hills Guitar

Stuart Mossman was one the country’s top luthiers in the 1970s and 80s– working in the tradition of the great American Dreadnought. According to an article in Vintage Guitar magazine: Stuart Mossman “…. began making guitars in 1965 and through his early efforts concentrated on experimenting with bracing of the tops. He spent four years building 40 or 50 prototypes in his garage at home. By the end of the decade, sensing a niche in the market for high quality handmade acoustics, he had incorporated S. L. Mossman Guitars in Winfield, Kansas and moved into facilities at Strother’s Field outside of town. Mossman had noticed what was happening with major acoustic guitar manufacturers at the time. The folk music boom had pushed demand for acoustic instruments to an all-time high and while Gibson, Martin and Guild were increasing production, imports from the Pacific rim countries were beginning to exploit the lower end of the market. Mossman was concerned with what he saw as an erosion in materials, design, and craftsmanship in the construction of the traditional flattop acoustic guitar, particularly among the larger manufacturers as they rushed to meet the strong demand. Using only top-quality woods, a proprietary bracing structure, and old-world building techniques, Mossman guitars entered series production in 1970. ‘We were the first of the small manufacturers to make it as a larger company’, Stuart Mossman recalls…”

The original 70’s Mossman dreadnoughts are very well built, with attention to detail, and craftsmanship unsurpassed in this period. One of the hallmarks of the Mossman guitar is that each instruments has a paper label inside, with the serial number (that included the year date) and model. And the label was always signed or initialed by the craftsmen building that guitar (this one includes Stu Mossman’s initials: SLM).

The Flint Hills model featured East Indian Rosewood back and sides, spruce top, ebony fretboard and bridge, and a unique inlay around the soundhole. This example is all original, and is in fine condition, with no cracks. Original West German Schaler tuners. It has an under-saddle pickup installed, and an input jack in the end pin. Tone is fine, and loud, reminiscent of a 60’s Martin– but with a little more punch in the mids and trebles– a perfect bluegrass instrument.