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The Artistry of the Guitar - Day 2

Thursday, April 03, 2014  |  7:00 PM Eastern
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Nearly three hundred instruments historic Martin, Gibson, Epiphone, Gretsch, Washburn, Stromberg and Larson Brothers guitars. Bid on items created by such talented craftsmen as Torres, D'Angelico, etc

Guernsey's Auction


212-794-2280
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All Items| Closed Items Displaying 1 - 25 of 128
1959 José Ramírez Classical

1959 José Ramírez Classical

Lot # 138 (Sale Order: 1 of 128)      

NO RESERVE. After José Ramírez II died in 1957, José Ramírez III assumed control of the family workshop, but he was forced to work as more of a supervisor than the luthier’s role he previously enjoyed. However, he was highly involved in developing new designs and he directed his journeymen in constructing his visions.

The quality of Ramírez guitars built during the late 1950s is quite impressive, particularly from the perspective of tone and volume projection. Some performers prefer Ramírez guitars from this era, which were made with a lighter build than later examples with longer scale lengths, larger sound boxes, and asymmetrical bracing. This 1959 Ramírez has sweet, mellow tone and outstanding playability thanks to its slim, rounded neck profile.

Label: 1959
Top: Spruce
Back and sides: Rosewood
Neck: Mahogany
Fretboard: Ebony
Frets: 19
Bridge: Tie block
Tuners: Machine with white plastic buttons

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1928 Martin 00-40H

1928 Martin 00-40H

Lot # 139 (Sale Order: 2 of 128)      

Martin introduced this fancy style 40 instrument, which was designed for Hawaiian or steel playing, in 1928, the same year this example was made. The timing was unfortunate for introducing a new expensive model, as the United States was beginning to experience a long period financial uncertainty and pricey items like the 00-40H often sat unsold on manufacturers’ shelves. That appears to be the case with this guitar, which has a 1928 serial number but features the belly bridge that Martin introduced on this model in 1930. A common practice by Martin at this time was to update certain features like the bridge and pickguard before a guitar shipped so it more closely resembled the model’s current catalog depictions.

With its raised nut, fret markers instead of frets, and non-compensated saddle, the 00-40H is clearly designed for steel or slide playing even though it has a rounded, Spanish-style neck. The abalone purfling and rosette and snowflake fretboard inlays

Serial number: 37398
Top: Spruce
Back and sides: Brazilian rosewood
Neck: Mahogany
Fretboard: Ebony
Frets: 20
Bridge: Ebony belly pin
Tuners: Waverly machine with engraved nickel-plated baseplates and white ivoroid buttons

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1934 Gibson L-5

1934 Gibson L-5

Lot # 140 (Sale Order: 3 of 128)      

Here is an interesting, rare, and very early example of the first “Advanced” L-5 models that Gibson made featuring a larger 17-inch body. Gibson introduced this new, larger version of the L-5 at the same time they introduced the Super 400 model. Other notable transitional attributes of this example include: a larger, broader “open book” headstock shape (replacing the older, slimmer “snakehead” profile), a return to the pre-1929 pointed-end fretboard, the 19-fret neck, rosewood bridge (instead of the previous ebony), and older-style large block fretboard inlays with the new addition of inlays at the first and seventeenth frets. This example also has the short-lived flat plate, hinged “L-5”-engraved trapeze tailpiece.

Serial number: 92230
FON: 142-9
Top: Spruce, sunburst finish
Back and sides: Maple
Neck: Maple with mahogany center strip
Fretboard: Ebony
Frets: 19
Bridge/tailpiece: Rosewood, gold-plated flat plate trapeze
Tuners: Gold-plated open gear Grover G-98 with metal butter bean buttons

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1931 Martin OM-28

1931 Martin OM-28

Lot # 141 (Sale Order: 4 of 128)      

The Martin OM-28 is highly coveted by collectors and players alike for its outstanding tone and contemporary features. This is the model that plectrum banjo player Perry Bechtel helped Martin develop in the late 1920s when he custom ordered a 000-28 guitar with a neck that gave him better access to the upper frets. Martin decided to redesign the 000 body to accommodate the longer 14-fret neck with a 25.4-inch scale that met Bechtel’s requirements, making it shorter but also increasing its width to maintain the instrument’s output and balanced tone. To achieve this goal, Martin also moved the positions of the bridge and bracing.

Bechtel raved about this new design when he took delivery of the guitar in 1929, but more importantly Martin’s sales representatives and dealers were also impressed, and they implored Martin to offer this design as a new model. At first, Martin made only a handful of examples called the 000-28 Perry Bechtel Special in 1929, but as demand increased they renamed it the Orchestra Model, which was shortened to OM and broke Martin’s previous practice of using numbers to designate size. The first Martin guitars bearing the OM name were a pair of OM-18 guitars that they made in 1930, and shortly afterwards production of Martin’s first 14-fret neck guitars went full steam ahead as they introduced their OM-28, OM-42, OM-45, and the incredible OM-45 Deluxe models later that same year.

Initially, Martin produced more OM-28 guitars than any other OM model in 1930, but in 1931, the year that this guitar was built, the OM-18 surpassed the OM-28’s production numbers. Martin made 166 OM-28 guitars in 1931, and a good number featured the shaded brown finish as seen on this example. The OM-28 as seen here with its 14-fret neck, pickguard, solid “paddle” headstock, and belly bridge established the successful formula for the modern Martin flattop guitar.

This is an incredible-sounding instrument with full, balanced tone and a crisp, articulate voice thanks to its 25.4-inch scale and Brazilian Rosewood back and sides. Although the OM-28 was initially designed for rhythm playing in an orchestra, it is one of the best guitars for solo fingerstyle playing ever produced.

Serial number: 48807
Top: Spruce
Back and sides: Brazilian Rosewood
Neck: Mahogany
Fretboard: Ebony
Frets: 20
Bridge: Ebony belly pin
Tuners: Nickel-plated individual Grover G-98 open gear with metal butter bean buttons

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1939 Vega C-71

1939 Vega C-71

Lot # 142 (Sale Order: 5 of 128)      

NO RESERVE. The Vega C-71 is also a 17-inch guitar like the C-66 also in this auction, but it is a fancier instrument. This model came with a standard natural blond finish, and the top on this guitar is so light that it almost looks bleached. The materials on this guitar are of excellent quality, particularly the flame maple back and sides, diamond-shaped fretboard inlays, and gold-plated hardware, which includes a trapeze tailpiece engraved with the Vega name.

Serial number: 39070
Top: Spruce, natural finish
Back and sides: Maple
Neck: Mahogany
Fretboard: Ebony with pearl inlays
Frets: 20
Bridge/tailpiece: Ebony, gold-plated engraved trapeze
Tuners: Gold-plated Grover G-98 with metal butter bean buttons

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C. 1927 Supertone Artist

C. 1927 Supertone Artist

Lot # 143 (Sale Order: 6 of 128)      

NO RESERVE. Supertone was a brand name of stringed instruments sold by the Sears & Roebuck Company during the 1920s and 1930s. (Around 1940 the brand name was changed to Silvertone.) Most Supertone guitars were made by Harmony, but some models were also manufactured by Regal, Oscar Schmidt, and Stromberg-Voisinet (which later became Kay.

The unusual airplane-shaped Aero Bridge seen on this guitar was a patented Harmony design that promised to “put to flight the common fault of buckled and warped guitar tops”, but considering its introduction in 1927 it was likely also a tribute to Charles Lindbergh’s 1927 transatlantic flight in his plane, the Spirit of St. Louis. The bridge appears on several Harmony Roy Smeck models, including the teardrop-shaped Vita-Guitar. The 1929 Sears catalogue description for this Supertone model refers to Lindbergh, so it’s likely the previous design description was just typical creative marketing.

This guitar’s materials and craftsmanship are impressive. The back and sides are koa, the top purfling and rosette ring are thick inlaid abalone, and the decorative fretboard inlays include stylish stars at the third and seventh frets.

Serial number: None
Top: Spruce, natural finish
Back and sides: Koa
Neck: Mahogany
Fretboard: Ebony
Frets: 18
Bridge: Rosewood pin “Aero Bridge”
Tuners: Open gear machine with metal rollers and ivoroid buttons

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1893 Martin 0-42

1893 Martin 0-42

Lot # 144 (Sale Order: 7 of 128)      

During the 1880s and early 1890s, the only Style 42 guitar listed on Martin’s price list was the small size 2 model 2-42. However, during this period numerous customers ordered larger size 1 and size 0 guitars with Style 42 appointments and by 1899 and 1900 Martin produced the 0-42 in much larger numbers than their size 1 and 2 counterparts. Typically this model would have featured pearl inlays at the fifth, seventh, and ninth frets, but this example has no fretboard inlays at all. It does, however, have all of the other Style 42 appointments of the mid-1890s, including an ivory pyramid bridge, ivory friction tuners, and abalone purfling and rosette. The bridge pins and end graft inlay are also ivory.

This guitar measures 13 ½ inches at the widest section of the body and comes with its original coffin-style case made by Martin. The inside of the guitar is stamped “From Sherman Clay & Co., San Francisco” and the number 78 is handwritten inside the guitar as well.

Serial number: 78
Top: Spruce
Back and sides: Brazilian rosewood
Neck: Spanish cedar
Fretboard: Ebony
Frets: 18
Bridge: Ivory pyramid pin
Tuners: Ivory friction

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C. 1937 Washburn Style 5244 Inspiration Extra Super Auditorium

C. 1937 Washburn Style 5244 Inspiration Extra Super Auditorium

Lot # 145 (Sale Order: 8 of 128)      

NO RESERVE. With its 16-inch wide, 4 ½-inch deep body and 25 ½-inch scale, this Regal-made Washburn Style 5244 is an impressive jumbo guitar with huge sound to match. This 5224 Inspiration is as handsome as it is big, with a rich sunburst finish, subtle curves, and simple, understated style. The herringbone rosette and mottled celluloid pickguard are its only flourishes of fancy.

It’s an absolute shame that after World War II the Washburn brand ceased to exist and the Regal Company became a mere shadow of its former glory, as pre-war Regal-made Washburn flattop guitar designs showed tremendous potential as lower cost competitors to Gibson and Martin models. With its jumbo dimensions and mahogany back and sides, the 5244 could have been an affordable alternative to the Gibson SJ-200 with a mellower, less bass-heavy sound, but it was never produced in large enough numbers to truly compete.

Serial number: None
Top: Spruce, sunburst finish
Back and sides: Mahogany
Neck: Mahogany
Fretboard: Ebony
Frets: 20
Bridge: Rectangular ebony pin
Tuners: Three-on-a-plate open gear with white plastic buttons

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1956 Marcelino López Flamenco

1956 Marcelino López Flamenco

Lot # 146 (Sale Order: 9 of 128)      

NO RESERVE. Marcelino López Nieto is one of the most respected Spanish luthiers alive today, renowned for both his classical and flamenco instruments. Born in 1931, he opened his own guitar workshop in Madrid in 1947. Unlike most Madrid builders, he is not influenced by the popular Ramírez style and prefers the traditional building methods of Torres.

This 1956 Marcelino López Flamenco is an exceptional concert guitar with a crisp, assertive voice and brilliant percussive attack. Apparently this guitar was purchased in Spain in 1957 by an American customer who took it home, as the interior has a U.S. Customs stamp that reads “25 May, 1957, New Haven.”

Label: Serial number 93, 1956
Top: Spruce with clear plastic golpeador
Back and sides: Cypress
Neck: Mahogany
Fretboard: Ebony
Frets: 19
Bridge: Tie block
Tuners: Machine with engraved gold-plated baseplates and white pearloid buttons

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1954 Gibson L-5C

1954 Gibson L-5C

Lot # 147 (Sale Order: 10 of 128)      

The Gibson L-5 Premiere/L-5C certainly is one of the most visually elegant archtop guitars ever conceived. This 1954 example is particularly dazzling thanks to its beautiful sunburst finish and attractively figured curly maple neck, back, and sides.

It has everything an archtop aficionado could want—gorgeous looks, incredible playability, and stellar tone.

Serial number: A18062
FON: Y7123
Top: Spruce, sunburst finish
Back and sides: Maple
Neck: Maple with mahogany center strip
Fretboard: Ebony
Frets: 20
Bridge/tailpiece: Rosewood, gold-plated L-5 trapeze with silver-plated insert
Tuners: Gold-plated Kluson Sealfast with plastic tulip-shaped buttons

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1955 D’Angelico New Yorker

1955 D’Angelico New Yorker

Lot # 148 (Sale Order: 11 of 128)      

John D’Angelico made very few true electric guitars with the pickups mounted directly to the top instead of floating above the top. The single-coil pickups on this 1955 D’Angelico New Yorker were acquired from Franz of Astoria, New York, which also supplied pickups to the Guild guitar factory of Hoboken, New Jersey, only a short distance across the Hudson River from D’Angelico’s workshop on Manhattan’s Lower East Side. This guitar is similar to the New Yorker models D’Angelico was making at the time with the exception of the pickups, controls and f-hole placement. Completed on December 22, 1955, this guitar was made for a customer with the last name Weber.

Although the electric guitar quickly gained popularity during the 1950s, few guitarists ordered electric guitars from D’Angelico. The electronics of the time could not capture the detail and nuances of the acoustic tone that made D’Angelico guitars renowned, and most guitarists preferred to play acoustically instead of compromising and settling for a less stellar electric approximation. While this guitar may not deliver the signature D’Angelico acoustic sound when plugged in, it produces very warm, fat, and alluring electric tones that are perfect for jazz, blues, or even early rock and roll or rockabilly.

With the exception of the pickups and controls, this guitar is essentially the same as the New Yorker models D’Angelico was making at the time. It has a cutaway body, 22-fret neck, and the usual deluxe appointments like gold-plated Grover Imperial tuners, a gold-plated D’Angelico stairstep tailpiece, and segmented pearl fretboard inlays. The rear of the headstock features an ebony overlay with a diamond-shaped inlay. The bindings are original, but the heel cap was replaced after the original one decomposed—a typical occurrence with certain plastic materials used to make instruments during this era.

“Vincent Gallo helped me find that guitar,” says Hank Risan. “He got it from the original owner. D’Angelico made a lot of guitars for musicians in the New York region that stayed in the area, so it was good to have someone in New York to find guitars for me.”

Risan was also friends with James D’Aquisto, who became D’Angelico’s apprentice in 1953.

D’Aquisto told Risan that one of his earliest tasks was making truss rod covers like the one seen on this instrument. D’Aquisto learned every detail of D’Angelico’s craft from working side-by-side with him until D’Angelico passed away in 1964.

Serial number: 2211
Top: Spruce, natural finish
Back and sides: Maple
Neck: Maple
Fretboard: Ebony, segmented block inlays
Frets: 22
Bridge/tailpiece: Ebony with pearl block inlays, gold-plated D’Angelico stairstep trapeze
Tuners: Grover Imperial stairstep
Other: Two Gretsch single-coil pickups with white plastic covers, three-position pickup selector switch, master volume and master tone controls

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C. 1899 Maurer Presentation

C. 1899 Maurer Presentation

Lot # 149 (Sale Order: 12 of 128)      

Little is known about the years 1893 when August and Carl Larson established their stringed instrument building workshop and 1900 when August and some investors purchased Maurer and Company. It assumed that the Larsons either worked for Maurer or were contractors who built instruments for the company.

This Maurer presentation guitar, which appears to date from 1899, is a fine example of the high level of craftsmanship that the Larson brothers produced early in their careers. It is thought that they ordered their intricate tree-of-life fretboard inlays as seen on this guitar from Germany. The inlay work elsewhere is equally impressive, particularly the etched inlays on either side of the bridge and the elegant diamond and arrowhead design set in black mastic used for the purfling, rosette, and back strip.

The Brazilian rosewood back is particularly stunning, constructed of six bookmatched pieces arranged in an X pattern. Although this is a small parlor-style guitar, the ladder-braced top and reinforced bridge are strong enough to support steel strings.

This guitar appears on page I of the color photo section of Robert Carl Hartman’s book, The Larsons’ Creations.

Serial number: None
Top: Spruce, natural finish
Back and sides: Brazilian rosewood
Neck: Mahogany
Fretboard: Ebony
Frets: 18
Bridge: Ebony flattened pyramid pin
Tuners: Slotted machine with ivoroid buttons

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1929 Martin 00-40H

1929 Martin 00-40H

Lot # 150 (Sale Order: 13 of 128)      

Unlike the other 00-40H in this auction, this 00-40H features the catalog specification-correct ebony pyramid bridge. The main distinguishing feature between a Martin style 40 guitar like this one and a style 42 is the lack of abalone inlays surrounding the edges of the end of the fretboard that contact the body. This example has raised bar frets instead of the flush fret markers usually found on this model, so it could be played in traditional Spanish style with a few minor setup adjustments.

Serial number: 40202
Top: Spruce
Back and sides: Brazilian rosewood
Neck: Mahogany
Fretboard: Ebony
Frets: 20
Bridge: Ebony pyramid pin
Tuners: Waverly machine with engraved baseplates and white ivoroid buttons

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1918 Gibson Style O

1918 Gibson Style O

Lot # 151 (Sale Order: 14 of 128)      

This 1918 Style O guitar has several features that differ from the 1917 Style O in this auction. The headstock features a pearl inlaid diagonal “The Gibson” logo and smaller fleur-de-lis design. Also included is a floating pickguard with a single support bar and three-on-a-plate tuners instead of individual tuners.

Serial number: 47300
Top: Spruce, sunburst finish
Back and sides: Birch
Neck: Mahogany with walnut center strip
Fretboard: Ebony
Frets: 22
Bridge/tailpiece: Ebony, pin trapeze
Tuners: Three-on-a-plate open gear with white plastic buttons

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1953 Gretsch 6040 Synchromatic

1953 Gretsch 6040 Synchromatic

Lot # 152 (Sale Order: 15 of 128)      

Gretsch hadn’t yet adopted the Cadillac-inspired Eldorado name for the 6040 model shown in their 1952-53 catalogue. This 1953 6040 looks so close to the guitar shown in that catalogue that it possibly could have been the example that Gretsch depicted.

Noteworthy features include the crossed peghead inlay with “Synchromatic” inscribed on the jagged-design crosspiece, mother-of-pearl “slashed humptop” fretboard inlays, gold-plated Grover Imperial tuners with flat-surface stairstep buttons, and an abundance of multi-ply binding almost everywhere, including around the f-holes. This Gretsch 6040 is a fine full-body, 18-inch archtop guitar that any jazz guitarist would have been very proud to own and play during the 1950s (and still today).

Serial number: 6824
Top: Spruce, sunburst finish
Back and sides: Maple
Neck: Maple
Fretboard: Ebony
Frets: 20
Bridge/tailpiece: Rosewood stairstep, gold-plated G cutout trapeze tailpiece
Tuners: Gold-plated Grover Imperial with stairstep buttons

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1933 Epiphone De Luxe Masterbilt

1933 Epiphone De Luxe Masterbilt

Lot # 153 (Sale Order: 16 of 128)      

The De Luxe Masterbilt was Epiphone’s flagship guitar model from 1931 until late 1935, when the company introduced its Emperor model. Epiphone designed the De Luxe Masterbilt to compete with the Gibson L-5, selling it for the same $275 retail price and promoting it their catalog under the headline “For those who want the best”.

The De Luxe Masterbilt boasted a more elegant and upscale appearance than the L-5 thanks to its finely detailed mother-of-pearl diamond- and triangle-shaped fretboard inlays and inlaid flowers, vines, and model name banners on the asymmetrical headstock, which also features a beveled, multi-layer plastic overlay. Black and white trapezoidal purfling surrounds the top, and even the back of the headstock is bound. Only the unbound, three-segment f-holes seem like a cosmetic downgrade compared to the L-5. This example lacks the elevated, single-bound pickguard that originally shipped with the model.

Serial number: 6682
Top: Spruce, sunburst finish
Back and sides: Maple
Neck: Maple with two mahogany center strips
Fretboard: Rosewood
Frets: 20
Bridge/tailpiece: Rosewood, gold-plated trapeze
Tuners: Open gear gold-plated Grover G-98

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1963 José Ramírez Classical

1963 José Ramírez Classical

Lot # 154 (Sale Order: 17 of 128)      

Many of the world’s greatest classical guitarists, including Andrés Segovia, have played José Ramírez III guitars, but Ramírez guitars are also very popular with rock and pop players. Sometime during the early 1960s around the same time that this guitar was made, George Harrison of the Beatles purchased a José Ramírez III guitar, which he used to record the song “And I Love Her” in February of 1964.

Although this 1963 has the various innovations that José Ramírez developed for his discriminating concert performance clientele like Andrés Segovia and Julian Bream, it is equally well suited for Contemporary and Classical music alike.

Label: 1963
Top: Spruce
Back and sides: Rosewood
Neck: Mahogany
Fretboard: Ebony
Frets: 19
Bridge: Tie block
Tuners: Machine with gold-plated engraved baseplates and white pearloid buttons

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C. 1905-06 Washburn Style 340 Grand Concert

C. 1905-06 Washburn Style 340 Grand Concert

Lot # 155 (Sale Order: 18 of 128)      

NO RESERVE. This Style 340 Grand Concert provides further evidence that no other company was mass-producing guitars fancier than Washburn’s various models around the turn of the century. By 1905 Washburn’s catalogue claimed that the company had made a total of 300,000 guitars, although this number likely included instruments that Lyon & Healy had also made for other brands. The most notable feature of this guitar is its engraved inlays on the headstock, fretboard, and bridge. The shading in the fretboard’s star and the sunbursts on the bridge make those inlays look almost three-dimensional.

Washburn’s Grand Concert models from this era are similar in size to the dimensions of Martin’s 0-size guitars, featuring a 13 ¾-inch wide body and 25-inch scale.

Serial number: 288138
Top: Spruce
Back and sides: Brazilian Rosewood
Neck: Mahogany
Fretboard: Ebony
Frets: 18
Bridge: Ebony flattened pyramid pin with engraved pearl inlays
Tuners: Open gear machine with white ivoroid buttons

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1960 Gibson J-200N

1960 Gibson J-200N

Lot # 156 (Sale Order: 19 of 128)      

NO RESERVE. The 1960 J-200 is the last of the great ’50s-era J-200 guitars, as in late 1960 Gibson began to change the saddle design in ways that adversely affected the instrument’s tone. This example features the desirable traditional saddle, which Gibson briefly replaced on later 1960 J-200s with an adjustable-height saddle. By 1961 Gibson embedded a metal Tune-o-matic bridge with individually adjustable saddles into the rosewood moustache bridge, which reduced the guitar’s volume output somewhat.

This example features the gold-plated Grover Rotomatic tuners that started appearing on this model in 1959. Featuring the optional blonde finish, traditional saddle, and attractively figured maple, this 1960 J-200 is a fine example of Gibson’s most desirable jumbo maple flattop model.

Serial number: A34442
Top: Spruce, natural finish
Back and sides: Maple
Neck: Maple with rosewood center strip
Fretboard: Rosewood
Frets: 20
Bridge: Moustache-shaped rosewood pin with four pearl inserts
Tuners: Gold-plated Grover Rotomatic

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1941 Gibson ES-300

1941 Gibson ES-300

Lot # 157 (Sale Order: 20 of 128)      

NO RESERVE. When it comes to pre-war electrics, few guitars are more beautiful than this blonde ES-300. Its design is simple and elegant, and the natural finish highlights every detail of the grain of the high-quality tonewoods used for its construction. The enclosed Kluson Deluxe tuners may indicate that this guitar was possibly one of the 50 or so ES-300 guitars completed during 1942 through 1944, when the United States was actively involved in World War II.

Serial number: 97147
FON: 3369G
Top: Spruce, natural finish
Back and sides: Maple
Neck: Maple with mahogany center strip
Fretboard: Rosewood
Frets: 20
Bridge/tailpiece: Rosewood, nickel-plated trapeze with arrows and diamond motif
Tuners: Nickel-plated enclosed Kluson Deluxe with metal buttons
Other: Small diagonal single-coil pickup, master volume and tone controls

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C. 1939 Recording King Model 1027 Ray Whitley

C. 1939 Recording King Model 1027 Ray Whitley

Lot # 158 (Sale Order: 21 of 128)      

Recording King was Montgomery Ward’s in-house brand name for guitars and other stringed instruments they sold in the 1930s. Kay and Regal made Recording King instruments, but the highest quality Recording King guitars were made by Gibson. Recording King even sold artist models bearing the names of several famous Gibson players, including Carson Robison, Roy Smeck, and Ray Whitley.

Recording King introduced two Ray Whitley guitar models in 1939—the Model 1027 and Model 1028—both built by Gibson. The Model 1027 seen here is the fancier of the two, featuring fancy fretboard inlays, Whitley’s signature on the headstock, the distinctive “batwing” bridge, and rosewood back and sides.

Serial number: EA614
Top: Spruce, sunburst finish
Back and sides: Rosewood, possibly Brazillain Rosewood
Neck: Mahogany
Fretboard: Rosewood
Frets: 19
Bridge: Rosewood “flying bat” pin
Tuners: Nickel-plated Grover G-98 open gear with metal buttons

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1941 Gibson SJ-200

1941 Gibson SJ-200

Lot # 159 (Sale Order: 22 of 128)      

Here is a very rare pre-war Gibson SJ-200 with the desirable East Indian Rosewood back and sides. Gibson made only about 100 rosewood SJ-200 guitars before the maple version went into production, so in addition to being very desirable for the tonal qualities of its rosewood back and sides it’s also quite collectible due to its rarity. This is also the variant with the single-piece saddle that replaced the six individual height-adjustable saddles found on the earliest SJ-200 guitars during the late ’30s.

But this particular SJ-200 has another attribute that makes it even more rare and desirable, as it once belonged to guitarist Stephen Stills, best known for his work with Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young and Buffalo Springfield. Although Stills was best known for playing Martin acoustics, he has long owned an impressive guitar collection that also included a few SJ/J-200 guitars.

In the early ’70s he was occasionally photographed playing one of his Gibson SJ- or J-200 guitars on stage during concert performances with Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young. In the January 1976 issue of Guitar Player magazine, which features a cover feature on Stills and his collection, two J-200 guitars are listed: one with a 1962 serial number and another without a serial number. The latter could have been this particular guitar, as the writer apparently didn’t know to look inside the guitar at the neck block for the FON stamp. In that article, Stills also mentions a sunburst 1947 SJ-200 with serial number A1111 that was stolen in Cleveland in 1975.

Even without the Stephen Stills association, this guitar is exceptionally desirable. The rosewood back and sides deliver brilliant, balanced tone and assertive volume output with warm bass but without the thin and comparatively shrill treble of the maple version.

FON: 4804G stamped on neck block
Top: Spruce, sunburst finish
Back and sides: Maple
Neck: Maple with rosewood center strip
Fretboard: Ebony
Frets: 20
Bridge: Moustache-shaped rosewood pin with four pearl inserts
Tuners: Gold-plated Kluson Sealfast with plastic pearloid tulip-shaped buttons

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1952 Edgar Mönch Classical

1952 Edgar Mönch Classical

Lot # 160 (Sale Order: 23 of 128)      

NO RESERVE. Edgar Mönch started building classical guitars in the 1940s in Munich, Germany. In 1965 he moved his workshop to Toronto, Canada, where he trained Jean Larrivée (of Larrivée Guitars) how to make guitars, but in the early ’70s he returned to Germany where he established his shop in Freiburg. Mönch’s guitars feature conventional Torres-style fan bracing and are inspired by the designs of Hermann Hauser. The tone of his 1950s instruments is described as similar to the classical guitars made by Hermann Hauser II during the same period.

Built in 1952, this guitar has a loud, commanding voice that is ideal for concert performance thanks to its Brazilian rosewood back and sides. Julian Bream and John Williams played Mönch guitars during their careers, and this guitar is certainly worthy of players of their caliber.

Label: Sobrinos de Domingo Esteso/Construcción de guitarras/Gravina 7 Madrid; “Para Enrique Ruiz de sus amigos Conde” and “1962” handwritten on label
Top: Spruce with golpeadores
Back and sides: Cypress
Neck: Mahogany
Fretboard: Ebony
Frets: 19
Bridge: Tie block
Tuners: Machine with engraved baseplates and carved pearl buttons

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Sold for: USD 3,250.00

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1953 Martin D-18

1953 Martin D-18

Lot # 161 (Sale Order: 24 of 128)      

NO RESERVE. Martin D-18 guitars from the mid-1950s like this one are the dreadnought flattops of choice for many pros. Country stars Brad Paisley and Keith Urban are just a few recent examples of players who often use mid-’50s Martin D-18 guitars to record rhythm tracks in the studio. The tone of this 1953 D-18 is particularly powerful, sweet, and instantly recognizable for its classic Martin dreadnought sound.

Serial number: 128988
Top: Spruce
Back and sides: Mahogany
Neck: Mahogany
Fretboard: Rosewood
Frets: 20
Bridge: Rosewood belly pin
Tuners: Enclosed nickel-plated Kluson Deluxe with metal buttons

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Sold for: USD 4,750.00

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1951 Epiphone De Luxe Regent

1951 Epiphone De Luxe Regent

Lot # 162 (Sale Order: 25 of 128)      

In 1950, Epiphone temporarily increased the size of the De Luxe model’s body width to 18 ½ inches, the same as their Emperor model, but the size returned to 17 3/8 inches in 1952. This 1951 De Luxe Regent dates from this very brief period when the De Luxe and Emperor were almost identical with the exception of a few minor details. The most instantly recognizable difference is their fretboard inlays, the De Luxe having single-piece clouds while the Emperor had unsegmented three-piece blocks with abalone shell “V” inserts.

According to the collector, this guitar originally belonged to jazz guitarist Johnny Smith and he purchased it from Smith’s brother. The floating DeArmond pickup and pickguard-mounted master volume and master tone controls are customizations that Smith had installed on the guitar.

Serial number: 62762
Top: Spruce, natural finish
Back and sides: Maple
Neck: Maple with mahogany center strip
Fretboard: Rosewood
Frets: 20
Bridge/tailpiece: Rosewood, gold-plated Frequensator
Tuners: Gold-plated Epiphone “E” with marbeloid buttons
Other: Floating DeArmond neck pickup; master volume, master tone, and switch mounted on pickguard

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