Yeah, A really heavy V.
It plays amazing. The tone is very light and resonant. Not boomy, but balanced. I played a vintage Martin D-35 and a Lariv parlor side by side to make sure I wasn't just crazy. It killed both of them. ;)
The shop I bought it in had it tagged as 1890's, but I wasn't sure. It's hard to know why they tagged it. The shop had sold six months ago due to the owner's death. The manager told me it was there when they got the place. (Same tag) The John F S thing seems right. Everything I can find by that company (brass, etc.) stopped in 1914.
At any rate, it's the first guitar I've bought in a long time to not fix or sell. The tone was so good, I couldn't pass it up.
I paid $1050 for it. Too much? Not that I really care much. I like it, so it was worth what I paid for it! ;)
Here's what I can turn up. It's a John F. Stratton guitar ????
"Q: I have a guitar that is labeled "Harp Guitars" on a circular decal on the back of its headstock. EE
A: John F. Stratton was a New York City musical instrument manufacturer and wholesaler in business 1860-1914 by himself and with partners. His trademark of a Harp and the initials "J F S" was granted in 1879."
Talks about the company a bit.
I would love any other info.
Do you have some info that points otherwise?
I've found more websites with them and they all point to the same conclusion. A friend sent me an old string paper package from the JFS company. It has a drawing on it that appears to be the same guitar I have.
I would love more info! Please let me know!
Not really proof exactly, but it does look alot like the guitar I have.
I guess I'm treating it as innocent until proven guilty. Who knows?