This is great example of Martin’s post war, 1950’s style 0 Ukulele. It has a few nicks and dings, but it’s 100% crack free. And it’s in its original case. It was made between 1957 and 1960 (as indicated by the tuners, and the lack of the “Made in U.S.A.”). Price: $995.
Alessi, Hauser style machine head tuners. More rare, deep silver plating. Hand made in Italy. Engraved with high detail. These are new, old stock. Made circa 2009, they have never been used or mounted on a guitar, and they come with the original mounting screws, and in their original wood presentation case. Synthetic ivory kidney shaped buttons (rare style). 35mm on center. Perfect, unused condition. Price: $895.
This is a great original set, of the famed Handel tuners from the early 20th century. Silver wire and pearl inset. In good condition. One button has a slight chip. Good working order. Price: $495.
Rare set of Seidel Tuners. Seidel tuners, made in Germany in the 19th century, were CF Martin’s tuner of choice for his high-end guitars. You can see these tuners on some rare 1860 – 1880’s Martins– but they are very rare to encounter not married to a guitar. German silver backplates; floral pattern decorations, hand-engraved, The original buttons are of genuine bone. Good working order. Price: $1295.
This is a superb sounding 5 string banjo. Original nickel plating. • Bacon & Day Super, 5-string Banjo (Style A) Serial number: 25892 (early 1928) • Resonator, stamped on inside (in nickel-laminated maple): Bacon Banjo Co., Inc. Groton, CT. U.S.A. Dec. 20th, 1927 • Conversion, 5 string neck (original neck was probably a tenor or plectrum); Presumably, this neck is newer than the banjo– yet the advanced MOP fret markers are as found on the earliest versions of B&D Super banjos. We assume this neck was built by one of the best U.S. “conversion” builders – with a re-use of the original MOP inlay at the peghead plus the dowel stick. Maple neck, with steel reinforcing rod. Fretboard is beautiful jet-black ebony; multi-layer neck bindings. Fretboard is a very comfortable 1 3/8 inches wide at the nut, 1 7/8 wide where fretboard meets body. • Nickel plated • 22 frets • Scale length: 27 inches • Extended Maple resonator– nickel laminated on inside • Original flat Tulip-hole flange (not the “add-on” round-hole resonator of earlier years). • Original, top of the line Type III Silver Bell tone ring (No Hole tone ring) original to the instrument (this is the most sought-after, advanced Silver Bell tone ring, introduced early 1927). • Original 2 band Grover geared tuning pegs • Fults tailpiece, and included a variety of Fults tone pins. Bob Fults made the best tailpieces available. And his tone pins let you tweak the tone of your banjo. There are several interchangeable Fults pins included here– ivory, ebony, lead, sterling silver, brass, and copper. Plus a “tone lock”. (Bob Fults recently retired, and these highly sought after Fults tailpieces and pins are no longer available.) In its original hard shell Lifton case. $3750.
This rare 1926 example of Bacon & Day’s Super, Plectrum banjo is in wonderful condition– collectors quality, but it plays wonderfully. And this is the rare “Super” model A, gold plated. (All original, and with matching serial number on rim and dowel stick.) Original soft pedal stamped "Pat. Pend. B.&D. Soft Pedal." The original gold plating is in great condition, showing extremely little tarnishing, and no thin spots. In fact the banjo shows very little playwear at all. Original plectrum neck, original armrest– in fact all parts are original. Produced in the golden age of Bacon & Day (B&D) production, this banjo was made in Groton, CT. Although the earliest Bacon banjos were produced by various makers for Bacon from 1906-1920, the company’s best era began in 1922 when David Day left the Vega company to partner with Fred Bacon who had begun crafting his instruments in-house in 1920. The B&D banjos produced in this era are of considerably higher quality and are the sought after models by both players and collectors. The photos tell the story. 26 inch scale length. 22 fret plectrum 11″ rim In a recent hard shell case. ... no longer available ...
19th century Martin parlor guitar. This lovely sounding Martin 2 1/2-17 features solid Brazilian Rosewood back and sides, Adirondack spruce top, and original Jerome tuners. This particular instrument has a beautiful, lyrical voice. It was made probably circa 1867-1870. There are several clues to establish that: the original coffin case with the guitar has attributes of an earlier case: the small brass handle, and the label inside the case has font and other attributes of late a 1860s case. Also, the particular style of the original Jerome Tuners. Kerfing inside is also indicative of an 1860’s Martin. And, the best clue of all: the 1 ¾ inch nut width. Of course, it’s post-1867, because of the “CF Martin & Co” stamps inside. The top is fan braced, typical of this style. Measurements are: body length 17 7/8", lower bout width 11 5/8", overall length 36 1/2"; scale length 24 ½ inches. 4 inch body depth at end pin; 3 3/8 inch boy depth at neck joint. 1 ¾ inch nut width– may have been a custom order, or just a slightly narrower nut width (from the 1 7/8 more common later) from the factory. 12 fret cedar neck/ebonized, with ice cream cone heel. All original finish, everywhere. A fair-to-low amount of playwear (see photos). Original bar frets in fine condition. Several small hairline cracks in back, repaired. Top and sides also have a couple or repaired cracks. Reproduction ebony bridge– just made by Dick Dubois.. Original bar frets. Original bracing. "C.F. MARTIN &CO/ NEW YORK" hot stamped on back strip inside, and heel block. CF Martin New York stamped on back, by heel joint. Original Jerome tuners, with original buttons– note, one of the sun gears (on the G string tuner) has been replaced, with a different 19th century Martin sun gear (see photo). Historical interest aside (these just-post-civil war Martin guitars are more rare than the 1870’s/1880’s/1890’s examples), this guitar plays wonderfully. It projects glassy brazilian trebles, and clear mids and bass notes. It’s just a joy to play, and it just floats in your hands (due to its very light weight). Action is good, and it plays in tune even on the higher frets. (Note: 19th century Martins can be fitted with: gut strings, classical guitar strings, or sometimes silk and steel/tuned down–depending on the guitar. It’s really a case-by-case basis. One size does not fit all. And different 19th century Martins sound better with different strings. In this case, with this particular guitar, our favorite strings if you want a “classical” style string but more brightness and volume than nylon classical strings: Savarez Alliance composite High Tension strings (note, “high tension” by classical standards– fine for this instrument). This instruments sounds wonderful with those strings. In is original coffin case (and case has all the original hardware, as well as its original cloth interior lining).
This is a superb sounding 5 string banjo. Quoting George Gruhn in “The Vintage Catalogue”– “During the banjo boom of the 1920s, many musicians considered Bacon & Day to be the finest banjo maker of the time. Their instruments were prized for their exceptional volume and cutting power, as well as for their beautiful craftsmanship… we can only speculate what might have happened if Earl Scruggs, Don Reno, or some other well-known bluegrass player had used a Bacon & Day model.” • Bacon & Day Super, 5-string Banjo (Style A) Serial number: 25892 (early 1928) • Resonator, stamped on inside (in nickel-laminated maple): Bacon Banjo Co., Inc. Groton, CT. U.S.A. Dec. 20th, 1927 • Conversion, 5 string neck (original neck was probably a tenor or plectrum); Presumably, this neck is newer than the banjo– yet the advanced MOP fret markers are as found on the earliest versions of B&D Super banjos. We assume this neck was built by one of the very best U.S. “conversion” builders – with a re-use of the original MOP inlay at the peghead plus the dowel stick. Maple neck, with steel reinforcing rod. Fretboard is beautiful jet-black ebony; multi-layer neck bindings. • 22 frets • Scale length: 27 inches • Extended Maple resonator– nickel laminated on inside • Original flat Tulip-hole flange (not the “add-on” round-hole resonator of earlier years). • Original, top of the line Type III Silver Bell tone ring (No Hole tone ring) original to the instrument (this is the most sought-after, advanced tone ring, introduced early 1927). • Original 2 band Grover geared tuning pegs • Fults tailpiece, and included a variety of Fults tone pins. Bob Fults made the best tailpieces available. And his tone pins let you tweak the tone of your banjo. There are several interchangeable Fults pins included here– ivory, ebony, lead, sterling silver, brass, and copper. Plus a "tone lock". (Bob Fults recently retired, and these highly sought after Fults tailpieces and pins are no longer available.) In its original hard shell case. Price: $3950.
Out of stockThis could be the best blackguard telecaster tribute ever. An homage to the great early 50’s telecaster. But it only gets accolades if it’s a great player. This one is a great player–its light weight (same weight range as on original early 50s telecaster), pickups, setup, and attention to detail make for a great sounding tele. A joy to play. There appear to be a few original 1952/1953 parts on this guitar– but this guitar is being offered strictly as a reproduction/tribute. And it’s a tribute, in its way, to the art of the (great) copy– and on that note, it comes with Nacho Baños’ great book, The Blackguard book (out of print and a $300-400 value in itself), with matching serial number on the cover of the book. (Click here for a story on Baños.) So the purchaser can follow along the narrative of some of the great original early Blackguards in the book–and how to identify original early 50’s Telecaster, Nocaster, and Esquire elements and parts– while having fun with this intriguing tribute guitar. • The bridge, a good reproduction of unknown origin. The photos tell the story. (Original early 50’s brass saddles?). Reproduction tuners. • The pickguard looks convincing, but we're calling it a reproduction. • Seymour Duncan Antiquity pickups. • The pots, and the pickup switch, appear to be original 1952 or 1953 Fender parts (but not with original solder joints etc). • The control plate appears to be an original 1952/1953 Fender plate. Tone, volume knobs are (good) reproductions. • Neck is from Mark Jenny, stamped on heel as official Fender “Licensed” neck. Medium C profile. Great feel– not baseball bat, and not too thin. • Weight, with strings: 6.625 lbs. This is in the same weight range as original early 50s telecasters. Compare to the weight of mediocre telecaster “reissues” on the market today, all of which weigh much more. • The body is by Mark Jenny. We waited patiently for over a year until the right Jenny body became available, to complete this instrument in the best way possible and to remove from the market the (nice light weight) reproduction body that was in place when we acquired the guitar that had a non-authentic 1952 date and signature in the neck pocket. The right thing to do– and the Mark Jenny body in place now has crazing and other elements characteristic to the early blackguard look, weight, wear, and feel. • Set up perfectly, and ready to play. Sold as a reproduction/tribute guitar only, together with the Nacho Baños The Blackguard book (book in as-new condition in original box) that will school the new owner on how to evaluate the fine, fully pedigreed, great Blackguards of the early 50’s. Price: $5950.
Many players consider the best Martin D-28’s from the 70’s great guitars– and the best value around if you want a vintage D-28 on a budget. The best ones deliver great tone– a darker, richer voice than 50's or 60’s D-28’s. The non-adjustable truss rod, and great Indian rosewood Martin used in those years, and the nice bear claw sitka on top on this example, all make for a lovely instrument. A few nicks and dings, but in remarkable original condition. This instrument delivers. It’s all original, and it’s 100% crack-free (not even the common “pickguard crack”). The original pickguard is not lifting as you often see on these Martins. Original bridge that's never been off the guitar, pins, everything. It has the typical slight finish crazing on top, visible from an angle– it’s common on this vintage. The neck has never been set. Frets in fine shape. Original Grovers. With a low-ish saddle, it plays fine. And in tune everywhere. At some point in the future the new owner may want to do a neck set, but we prefer to keep it all original (and the action is fine as is). ... no longer available – see the newly listed 1970 Martin D-28 in the Featured Instruments section.
Out of stockIt’s beyond rare to find a guitar from the early Martin – Coupa - Schmidt – Maul – Schatz era in this state of preservation. And one this large. This rare model Schmidt & Maul guitar – by the original C.F. Martin's most famous colleagues and contemporaries– is signed and dated, October 18th, 1852, and is in its original coffin case. And best of all– it plays wonderfully, with low action. A unique piece of American guitar history– not for hanging on the wall but to play. The instrument is signed on the underside of the top: Louis Schmidt Tompkinsville Staten Island New York 388 Broadway October 18th 1852 U.S. This higher end, Spanish neck/heel (not ice-cream cone) Schmidt & Maul is bigger than all the Schmidt & Maul, Schmidt, or George Maul guitars that have come up for sale in the past decades (and not many of any kind have come up for sale). It’s a bit larger than a size 2 Martin, with a width at lower bout of 12 3/16 inches.(Every other Schmidt & Maul that has come to market has been a smaller guitar.) The guitar is braced inside (all original) with an early X-bracing variation similar to the 1953 Schmidt & Maul featured on p. 213 of the book “Inventing the American Guitar– The Pre-Civil War Innovations of C.F. Martin and His Contemporaries” edited by Robert Shaw and Peter Szego. (Hal Leonard Books, 2013). Like the 1853 guitar illustrated in that book, this guitar has bracing on top and back that is very close to the guitar that CF Martin and Schatz made for Madame de Goni. With all original finish, original ebony bridge, and original Jerome tuners– it’s in remarkable condition. To get the best of both worlds– historically authenticity and playability– the guitar has just had a recent neck set, original bridge reglue, and other minor work including new saddle, by one of the country’s top luthiers and authorities for early Martin and early American guitars– Steve Kovacik. All work was done by Steve to historically correct preservation standards after extensive examination and consultation. (Note, in the photo: the picture of the signature inside the guitar: the two cleats are not later repairs– rather they are two center seam-stabilizing cleats put in by the original luthiers in 1852.) Amazingly, this guitar plays in tune up and down the fretboard. Thank the original luthiers at 388 Broadway for that– they had the foresight to add slight compensation (not angled saddle compensation but cheating the saddle back a bit) to the bridge/saddle. Not even CF Martin did that in those years). And thanks to Steve Kovacik for setting this instrument up with low action not ballpark “19th century” action. The Adirondack top is crack-free. Crack-free sides. There are two almost imperceptible cracks on the back– you have to look hard to see them, both addressed by Steve Kovacik.
- “Schmidt & Maul New York” stamps on neck block, and center strip inside guitar
- X-braced, all original braces inside
- Spanish foot construction
- Radiused Ebony fretboard
- All historically correct bar fret replacement by Steve Kovacik (not too high, and not too thick– correct size bar frets were used, properly finished)
- Original bridge plate, in fine condition
- Original Jerome tuners and buttons
- Original nut, and saddle, in case. New nut and saddle by Steve Kovacik
- Rosette: shares a feature with early Martins– a variant of the "tooth" rosette– a three ring rosette with green "tooth" inner ring, and small "rope" outer rings
- Marquetry Purfling around top, + Maple binding
- Back purfling (backstrip): see Martin Guitars: A Technical Reference, p. 13: this is a “Pre-1867 style 34” Martin style purfling
- Maple binding, back
- Solid Adirondack top
- Solid brazilian rosewood back and sides
- Cedar, Spanish style neck and heel
- Width at lower bout: 12 3/16 inches
- Body length: 18 ¼ inches
- Nut width: 1 15/16 inches
- String spacing at bridge: 2 5/16
- Scale length: 24 ½ inches (But there is a slight compensation: 12th fret to the saddle– Schmidt and Maul added a touch of compensation !
- Original scooped-back ebony bridge
- 100% original finish. No overspray, touch-up, etc. anywhere…wonderful finish
A beautiful example of one of the rarest prewar Martin ukuleles. This is a prewar Martin C-1. (All Concert Model ukuleles from Martin– with the exception of few special orders– were style 1). Officially called the Concert model ukulele, it’s larger than the many soprano size ukes. It’s very rare to find a prewar C-1 on the market– and much rarer still to find a pre-1933. This instrument was made between 1925 and 1933– because of the Martin stamp on the back of the headstock and the lack of the (post-1933) Martin decal on the front of the headstock. This is currently the only Martin C-1 from the late 1920’s on the market. And the tone and playability are perfect. Louder, and more bell like tone than a Martin Style 1 soprano uke. Martin concert ukuleles are the same body size as taropatch (1918-1932) but with four strings only. While the taropatch had been offered with four strings since its introduction, the new concert model was different in that it had a narrower neck and a standard soprano-size bridge. It was added to the standard catalog that year and by 1927 it was outselling all taropatch models combined. Concerts ukuleles are tuned the same as the sopranos but because of the larger body have a deeper and richer sound, and a slightly longer, easier to play scale length of 14 3/4". The Concert Ukulele from Martin–while rare to find a prewar example– is considered the ideal size for players– larger than the tiny soprano but not too big like the Martin Tenor uke. This one has a rich, beautiful tone, and it’s almost unplayed condition. The action is perfect. There is one small crack on top–but it’s essentially “cleated” by the orignal bridde plate and does not need addressing, and a smaller finish crack that does not go through to the inside). The braces and all else inside: pristine. And it even comes in its original canvas case. Like most Martin ukes, the mahogany bridge had some wear on the string slots. So we created a new, replacement, 100% historically correct replacement bridge. Original patent tuners Original ebony nut Brazilian rosewood fretboard Style 1: all mahogany, with brazilian binding on top Total length: 23 ¼ inches Body length: 11 inches Body width upper bout: 5 ¾ inches Body width lower bout: 7 5/8 inches Scale length: 14 ¾ inches Price: with original case. $2150.