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C. F. Martin 000-18 Flat Top Acoustic Guitar (1926)
C. F. Martin 000-18 Model Flat Top Acoustic Guitar (1926), made in Nazareth, PA, French polish finish, spruce top, mahogany back & sides, ebony fingerboard and bridge, black tolex hard shell case.
In 1926 the 000-18 was Martin's largest steel-string guitar and most expensive mahogany-bodied instrument. In this period, the company was gradually transitioning its line to steel away from the traditional gut strings, and the more expensive Brazilian rosewood guitars were still built in the older gut-strung pattern unless specifically ordered for steel. The 000-18 had a list price of $45-50.00 (going up in the middle of the year) and while that represented a considerable investment for most guitarists, it was a real bargain in a professional quality instrument (A good grade tenor banjo would run at least $100.00, and a Gibson L-4 was $150!). The 15" wide 000-18 is a big sounding guitar, then and now and was a popular choice for period vaudeville and early "hillbilly" entertainers...1926 was actually the peak production year for the 12-fret version of this model with 224 being built.
This particular 000-18 has survived the years very well; a very original guitar despite having seen some serious play it has been very well cared for. The top is bordered with wooden binding-no plastic trim on the Style 18's yet!-and wood soundhole rings. The ebony fingerboard has three plain graduated-size dot inlays and original bar frets. The bridge and nut are ebony and the Waverly tuners are unplated brass with grained ivoroid buttons. The top, back and sides are remarkably crack-free. The featherweight body with light early steel-string bracing this guitar just sings, and the neck with a soft "V" contour and wide ebony fingerboard is eminently playable. This is a very versatile guitar, responding well to gentle fingerpicking as well as vigorous flatpicking. This would be one of the ultimate instruments for a truly authentic 1920's style fiddle band! A wonderful find in a large-body early steel-string Martin.
Overall length is 39 5/8 in. (100.6 cm.), 15 in. (38.1 cm.) wide at lower bout, and 4 in. (10.2 cm.) in depth at side, taken at the end block. Scale length is 25 1/4 in. (641 mm.). Width of nut is 1 7/8 in. (48 mm.). Very nice original condition overall; there is general play wear including some finish loss to back of neck, pickwear to top and typical light dings and scratches. Two small filled holes in top where a pickguard was mounted in the distant past. One small closed crack between bridgepins. This guitar has had an excellent neckset, plenty of saddle and plays and sounds truly spectacular, one of the best early steel string Martins we have heard. Excellent Condition.
Item # 3920
This item has been sold.
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