Friday, November 24, 2017
New York String Service Musurgia.com
233 Butler Street
Brooklyn, NY 11217
- Fri 12noon - 7pm
Sat 12noon - 6pm
online securely with
Maurer Style 551 Flat Top Acoustic Guitar, made by Larson Brothers , c. 1920A very clean and fine example!
Maurer Style 551 Model Flat Top Acoustic Guitar, made by Larson Brothers, c. 1920, made in Chicago, natural varnish finish, Brazilian rosewood back and sides, spruce top; mahogany neck with ebony fingerboard, original black hard shell case.
This guitar is a beautiful and fantastic sounding example of the Larson Brothers' 1920's work, and from a period when they were in the leading edge of building some of the finest steel-string flat-tops ever made. This guitar is similar to a Martin 000 in size (15" at the lower bout) with a long 25 1/2" scale neck. It carries the Maurer stamp (the brother's own house brand) and features their patented laminated X-bracing, a feature unique to Larson instruments. This is a large guitar for its era and was absolutely designed as a steel-string instrument. This would be a "middle-of-the-line" grade of build for the Larsons; fully professional quality but not as fancy as their most deluxe pearl-trimmed products.
The top, back, and sound hole edge are neatly bound in grained ivoroid and there is colored wood marquetry around the top edge and sound hole. The single-bound ebony fingerboard has engraved shaped pearl inlay, as do the headstock and bridge. Most of the Brazilian rosewood back is fairly straight-grained, but there is a dramatic figure to lower bout as it approaches the sides. The tuners are the original Waverly strips with celluloid buttons, mounted in the original "upside down" gear-up position. The Maurer logo stamp and 1904 patent number are cleanly stamped on the backstrip, along with some original owner's initials marked in ink. This is an absolutely lovely guitar that has survived in finer and far more original condition than many.
Overall length is 39 1/4 in. (99.7 cm.), 15 in. (38.1 cm.) wide at lower bout, and 3 11/16 in. (9.4 cm.) in depth at side, taken at the end block. Scale length is 25 1/2 in. (648 mm.). Width of nut is 1 15/16 in. (49 mm.).
This beautiful Larson guitar has survived 90+ years in very fine condition -- there are no cracks or breaks, just the typical fine varnish checking over much of the finish and some small nicks, scrapes, and dings from play. The only really notable wear is typical pick/finger marks through the finish just below the sound hole and fingerboard, none penetrating much into the wood. There are a couple deeper dings into the back finish, but the neck, back, and sides are very clean overall.
There is only very light wear to the frets and virtually none to the fingerboard; the instrument does not appear heavily played at all. The bridge retains its original profile (never cut down) and does not even appear to have been re-glued. With a recent clean neckset this one comes ready-to-play, with a truly spectacular ringing sound typical of the best Larson instruments. It comes housed in a period light hardshell case, of appropriate styling but possibly a few years younger than the guitar. Excellent - Condition.
Item # 7120
This item has been sold.
Click on a thumbnail above for a detailed view.
All text and photographs © 2003 New York String Service
and may not be reproduced without permission.