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National Model 1155 Flat Top Acoustic Guitar (1954)
National Model 1155 Model Flat Top Acoustic Guitar (1954), made in Chicago, sunburst top, natural back and sides finish, mahogany back and sides, spruce top; mahogany neck with rosewood fingerboard, original brown alligator chipboard case.
This guitar is a result of the intertwining of Gibson and National/Valco with the CMI (Chicago Musical Instrument) empire in the 1940s and '50s. As National had no high-quality wood shop, a deal was struck for them to purchase Gibson-made bodies "in the white" (unfinished) for their better grade instruments, to be fitted out with National necks and hardware.
This flat-top Model 1155 is built on a Gibson J-45 body with the neck block bearing a Gibson FON (factory order number) dating to 1954. The bolted-on National "Stylist" heelless neck has a deep "C" profile; the headstock is covered in deep maroon plastic. The neck joint sports a screwed-on cream plastic plate covering the empty dovetail joint.
The pickguard is a translucent "tiger-striped" celluloid peculiar to National, which gives the guitar a typically 1950s "Populuxe" tinge. The triple-bound sunburst top is a bit less artful if more dramatic than the period Gibson style with a lot of deeper red tint. The heavy rosewood bridge has a point on the bottom end and three securing screws covered with pearl dots. The Kluson Deluxe tuners have "butterfly" plastic buttons particular to National.
This is a good-sounding guitar with a distinct "retro-cool" look beyond the typical Gibson aesthetic. As early J-45s have become rather more costly, these "half Gibson" Nationals look better and better!
Overall length is 41 1/4 in. (104.8 cm.), 16 1/4 in. (41.3 cm.) wide at lower bout, and 4 7/8 in. (12.4 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 is a very clean, original example of this cool hybrid creation, one of the nicest we have had. It is all original and complete except for the headstock logo, which is a modern repro. (The original is included, but it had fallen off and now reads "ational", as the "N" is missing). Other than this, the guitar shows only a slight repaired seam separation to the top behind the bridge. There is some light finish wear overall with a few larger dings and a large worn spot on the lower side where it rubbed against the case hinge. This is a very good-sounding 1155, with a deeper resonance than many and plenty of power when pushed. Excellent Condition.
Item # 8469
This item has been sold.
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