Tuesday, November 13, 2018
New York String Service Musurgia.com
87 Luquer Street
Brooklyn, NY 11231
- Fri 12noon - 7pm
Sat 12noon - 6pm
online securely with
C. F. Martin 0-42 Flat Top Acoustic Guitar (1928)
C. F. Martin 0-42 Model Flat Top Acoustic Guitar (1928), 0 size, made in Nazareth, PA, natural lacquer finish, spruce top, Brazillian rosewood back and sides, mahogany neck, ebony fingerboard, black hard shell case.
In the pantheon of the world's greatest guitars the pearl-trimmed, 12 fret steel strung Martins of the late 1920's are well represented, to say the least. In the late 1920's just before Martin altered their basic designs to the 14-fret neck "Orchestra Model' pattern, the company crafted a fairly small number of their highest grade Style 42 and 45 instruments braced for steel strings instead of the gut strings used before then. This 1928 0-42 is one of 34 made that year, when this lovely pearl of a guitar sold for $105.00…which seems like a bargain even on period money!
This guitar was built of the finest materials Martin had available; superb straight-grained Brazilian rosewood, Appalachian spruce top, and extravagant green-and pinkish hued abalone for the top inlay. The size 0 was by this point the smallest of the three models offered at the top quality level, and even though produced in the largest quantity of the three, it is still a very rare guitar. The pearl-trimmed Martins were never made in large batches, and it would be rare for any but the largest dealer to order more than one at a time, or even hold one in stock. Mostly they were built to order, and even in the opulent times of the late 1920's there were not a lot of guitar players that could even afford one!
This 0-42 includes a copy of a personal letter from longtime Martin historian Mike Longworth detailing his ownership of the guitar from 1961 through 1996, and his comments on the instrument. He notes it was purchased in New Hampshire, brought back to the Martin factory and carefully set up for him. "This is the guitar I have owned the longest, and I shall miss it" he noted in 1996. Mike passed away in 2003, leaving a legacy of scholarship about Martin's history and instruments that had been previously ignored. This 0-42 is a special guitar not only on its own merits, but has
Overall length is 37 9/16 in. (95.4 cm.), 13 9/16 in. (34.4 cm.) wide at lower bout, and 4 1/4 in. (10.8 cm.) in depth, measured at side of rim. Scale length is 24 3/4 in. (629 mm.). Width of nut is 1 13/16 in. (46 mm.). This beautiful old Martin has some typical repairs through its life but remains in very fine playing condition. The ebony bridge is a replacement, but only very slightly oversize; the bridge plate is still the maple original with a small additional maple patch added. The top has an added small-pattern pickguard in period style tortoise celluloid material that appears to have been installed very early in the guitar's existence. There is general finish wear overall, some scratches and pickwear but no large areas of loss. There are no cracks at all to the top, which is a delight to find on a Martin of this vintage. The back has several long grain cracks to the rosewood that were repaired long ago; they are fully sealed but can be seen and felt as no additional finish has been added. The finish on the entire instrument appears original, with no overspray or major patching anywhere. The neck has been cleanly and correctly reset; the bar frets appear to be mostly original, with some typical work done in the 1960's as detailed in the letter of provenance. This is simply a wonderful sounding and playing guitar, with a beautiful perfectly balanced sound…a perfect example of why Martins from this period are held in such high esteem. Excellent Condition.
Item # 6310
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.