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Thread: A little info on this prewar Martin guitar.

  1. #1
    Registered User fscotte's Avatar
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    Default A little info on this prewar Martin guitar.

    I don't know too much about these older Martins.
    It does appear to have had a different bridge on it. I'm told it's from 1928. 12 frets to body. Pickguard missing?

    Serial 25648.

    And what woods were used?




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  2. #2
    Moderator MikeEdgerton's Avatar
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    Default Re: A little info on this prewar Martin guitar.

    Brazilian back and sides. Be thankful the pickguard came lose without cracking the top. That serial number is in 1926 if you use Mike Holmes' list.

    http://www.mugwumps.com/cfm_date.html

    It looks like an 0-28.
    Last edited by MikeEdgerton; Aug-08-2019 at 2:57pm.
    "Bargain instruments are no bargains if you can't play them". These are the words of J. Garber.

  3. #3
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    Default Re: A little info on this prewar Martin guitar.

    That is a model 28 made in 1926. I can't tell for sure from the pictures, but my guess is that it's a 00.

    Measure across the lower bout [the widest part of the body]. If it is 13 1/2", it is an 0; if it is 14 1/2", it is a 00; if it's 15", it's a 000.

    The top is spruce, probably red spruce; the back and sides are Brazilian rosewood; the neck should be mahogany.

    Pickguards were not standard equipment on Martins when this guitar was made. If you believe that it ever had a pickguard, it was added and removed post-production.

    The bridge has definitely been changed, and was made on a Larson pattern. This guitar would originally have had what is known as a pyramid bridge.

    Take good care of that instrument. Model 28's from 1926 were made in small numbers and are usually very good instruments. They are also rather valuable.
    Last edited by rcc56; Aug-08-2019 at 3:17pm.

  4. #4
    Registered User fscotte's Avatar
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    Default Re: A little info on this prewar Martin guitar.

    Thanks.

    I have opportunity to purchase this but value seems to be within a wide margin. It has no cracks anywhere and seems structurally stable.

    A pm would be appreciated if anyone has an idea. No idea where the original bridge is. It measures 13 1/2" lower bout. So seems to be an 0 size.

  5. #5
    Moderator MikeEdgerton's Avatar
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    Default Re: A little info on this prewar Martin guitar.

    There are a few sold listings on the web for 1926 Martin 0-28's but I have no real idea what they are really worth. If I recall, the 28 trim level was originally based on how much the instrument cost (at some point $28.00). By the time this one was built the price probably doubled. It's a nice looking guitar and if it fell in my lap I'd be ecstatic.

    The guitar buyers guides usually aren't real helpful on things like this.
    "Bargain instruments are no bargains if you can't play them". These are the words of J. Garber.

  6. #6
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    Default Re: A little info on this prewar Martin guitar.

    A lot of variables come into play with the prices on these guitars. Condition and originality are big factors. So is the build-- during this period, some guitars were built for gut strings and some for light steel strings. A 1926 0-28 could have been built either way. Those built for steel command more than guitars in similar condition that were built for gut.

    The dates in the Martin history books for the transition from gut to steel are not necessarily accurate. Any Martin rosewood guitar built from 1924 to at least 1928 should be individually inspected to determine whether it was built for gut or steel.

    The absence of cracks has a positive effect on the value of this guitar, but it looks like this guitar once had a very large rectangular bridge on it, and that the damaged finish was touched up after it was removed. This will have a negative effect on the guitar's value, more than the playing wear in the area where guitars now have a pickguard. The current bridge is not as much of a worry. The majority of Martins of this age no longer have their original bridges. Some might even find the Larson style replacement bridge to be interesting. Or a correct style bridge could be made.

    I will venture to say that a realistic price for this particular instrument would be considerably lower than it would be for one in excellent original condition. The finish damage around the bridge devalues this guitar quite a bit.

    Any attempt by most of us mortal repairmen to make the finish around the bridge look more original would be unsuccessful. Fixing that finish would be a near miracle.

  7. #7
    Registered User fscotte's Avatar
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    Default Re: A little info on this prewar Martin guitar.

    You have very good eyes about the finish around the bridge. At first I thought it was just glue, but closer inspection appears to be lacquer applied with a small brush, obviously in attempt to cover the exposed wood where the original bridge had been.

  8. #8
    Kelley Mandolins Skip Kelley's Avatar
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    Default Re: A little info on this prewar Martin guitar.

    That's what I was thinking about the bridge area. It looks like scraping, sanding and then an attempt to blend the finish in.
    It's always easier to make a finish look worse than better.

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  10. #9
    Moderator MikeEdgerton's Avatar
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    Default Re: A little info on this prewar Martin guitar.

    Quote Originally Posted by Skip Kelley View Post
    ...It's always easier to make a finish look worse than better.
    There's a truth if there ever was one.
    "Bargain instruments are no bargains if you can't play them". These are the words of J. Garber.

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  12. #10
    Registered User slimt's Avatar
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    Default Re: A little info on this prewar Martin guitar.

    Cool Martin..

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