Martin 2-21 Guitar, made in 1886

Martin 2-21 Guitar, made in 1886

In this period, the Martin factory foreman often wrote the date of manufacture, before the guitar left the factory, hand-written in pencil on the underside of the top. This one has hand-written inside “5 / 1886”. It’s a nice touch to a great Martin – and the size 2 is a great size, it’s a larger guitar than the more common size 2 ½ from this era.

Exquisite tone from this guitar. See and hear this guitar being played:


All careful work has been done on this guitar, including a perfect ebony bridge by T.J. Thompson, and it won’t need anything else. It’s an ideal guitar for the player who wants the best Martin tone and playability – a tonal gem from the 19th century Martin factory in Nazareth.

 • Slot head, with original geared tuners

• Spruce top over Brazilian Rosewood back and sides.

• All original finish, with the exception of some minor touch up in the bridge area.

• Perfect reproduction ebony, pyramid bridge by T.J. Thompson.

Some touch-up in the bridge area of the spruce when the bridge was fitted.

• Fan braced – as are most of the best sounding Martins from this era.

• Original thin maple bridge plate, that has had some minor pin hole attention, by us, to ensure stability and protection from ball ends.

• Original ebony fretboard; Original bar frets. Frets have some wear, but we left them, for originality, and they play fast and low and smooth.

• Spanish heel (not the ice cream cone heel of the less expensive Martins of the era).

• Soft V neck

• End pin is original, tab end of the pin has come off but the shaft remains

• One inch area in the rosette, repaired (see photos)

• Three tiny holes near end pin are remnant of a tailpiece used at some point in the previous century

• One crack on top, just below the low E string (see photos). About 4 1/2 inches long. This crack has been glued, and is tight (no cleat due to proximity to a brace).

• Scale length: 24.5 inches

• Width at lower bout: 12 inches

• Nut width: 1 13/16 inch

The guitar has had a recent neck set (by us), so the action is great, and lower than what a lot of folks try to get away with on a 19th century Martin. This guitar does not have “classical guitar action.” The great Martins from this era were not then and they should not today be considered “classical guitars”. They are parlor guitars, and the best examples have the Martin sound we know and love, with a “classical” sound if we consider that sound from the 19th century not today.

No excuses on the action, tone, and playability on this guitar. Strung with Savarez Alliance strings. It plays so easily, with perfect intonation all the way up the fretboard, and the sound is stellar.

It ships in a modern hard shell case.

Price: $6,750. – plus shipping