Tuesday, January 23, 2018
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C. F. Martin 000-21 Flat Top Acoustic Guitar (1947)
C. F. Martin 000-21 Model Flat Top Acoustic Guitar (1947), made in Nazareth, PA, natural lacquer finish, Brazilian rosewood back and sides, spruce top; mahogany neck with rosewood fingerboard, black hard shell case.
Overall length is 40 in. (101.6 cm.), 15 1/4 in. (38.7 cm.) wide at lower bout, and 4 1/8 in. (10.5 cm.) in depth at side, taken at the end block. Scale length is 24 3/4 in. (629 mm.). Width of nut is 1 11/16 in. (43 mm.). This just-post WWII 000-21 is a standout even among old Martins, as one look will tell you. "Well-played" does not even begin to describe this guitar…"played for a lifetime" is more like it, and indeed that's exactly what this guitar was. Amazingly enough this is actually a one-owner instrument-we received it directly from the son of the man who bought it just after WWII. His father played local gigs with it for many years-clubs, restaurants and the like; often strolling with an accordion player, serenading the diners, providing what used to be termed "social music" in the days when actual musicians were employed for these sorts of gigs instead of a speaker on the wall.
It's almost pointless to detail every wear spot on this guitar, but here are some specifics. Despite the extensive wear the guitar remains very original, although as one might expect there have been some repairs over the years. The thin lacquer finish remains original with just some light hand touch-up over some of the pick scrapes and shows wear virtually everywhere from picking, rubbing, banging into things, etc., etc. The top finish has ambered to a dark smoky hue. Contact with the player for countless hours has worn away the lacquer down to the wood on the top, sides and back, with the top wood in particular darkened and swelled a bit. There are three old repaired cracks behind the bridge extending down to the rim-these are solid but look like they were sealed up a long time ago, not as neatly as they might have been but completely solid. There is one other top grain cracks on each upper bout, and one to the rosewood back, all well sealed with no added touch-up. The finish is mostly worn away from the neck, with some old dings eroded into smoothness again. Despite all this use four of the tuners are still the original wartime Klusons; the other two are 1950's replacements and all still work fine.
The guitar has been gone over completely to bring it to modern standards of playability, carefully done so as to not alter its veteran status and character. All cracks and seams and braces were inspected and resealed/reglued if required, the neck was reset, the fingerboard leveled with many divots filled, refretted with the proper spec wire and the top fitted with a perfect repro bridge. This instrument that has emerged has a truly wonderful sound, bright and rich with plenty of volume; you can almost hear the echoes of years of gigs in loud restaurants this guitar had to fight to be heard in. While we love an old Martin that's in clean original condition as much as anyone, our hearts really went out to this one the minute we saw it. This guitar was a faithful companion for one player over an entire career and truly "Took a lickin' and kept on tickin'" as the old Timex ad went. Martin claimed to build their guitars for "a lifetime of use" and that's exactly what this 000-21 got.
Obviously this is not a "clean freak's" guitar, but we don't think we've ever had a more perfect gigging 1940's rosewood 000 in stock. Like the bedraggled hound dog rescued from the rain, this guitar amply rewards a little love with a fantastic volley of sound. We hope it will become someone else's loyal partner in musical endeavor for many years to come…with or without an accordion player! Very Good Condition.
Item # 7703
This item has been sold.
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