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I was reading on another site that a Martin historian found the original decal order for the Martin headstock dated 1932:



I am bidding on this guitar, but I am worried that several aspects of the guitar are suspect (decal on headstock, bridge):



Any thoughts?
Thanks,
Claire

Tags: guitar, martin

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I don't know enough about old Martins to help you, but as there's a nice picture of the serial number, why not contact Martin? One thing I do know is that their records are reputed to be good: If anyone can tell you anything about a guitar with this SN, then it's Martin. Let us know how it turned out.

Grahame
It looks authentic though the neck looks wider than what I thought it would have been and the bridge looks either worked around or reset.Anyway it appears to be in baaaad condition.I'd it get for as little as possible....DUH. It doesn't look like an
Antique Road Show find but I'd probably go for it! All my comments are guesses of courses.Would you restore it?
2nd IMO....too much $,pickguard glue pattern screwy
It's real. The comment made about the decals was attributed to the ukuleles - not the guitars. If you win this item, it will be big bucks to restore unless you do it yourself.
Based on what I could see of the inside, the heel shape, and general look of the instrument, I'd say genuine. However, Martin started using the belly bridge shape in 1929 and headstock decals in 1932. Those obviously are not original. The guitar has had an amateur refinish.
Indeed, you should be worried about this one.

Decal - nope - first use of decal was, as you mentioned, 1932.

Tuners - nope - obvious replacements.

Bridge - nope - later bridge (original would have been pyramid, rectangular, 1" x 6"


Finish original - I'd say no. Tuners, decal, and bridge point to full refinishing and rehab later in life. The only marginally clear pic of finish is the heel cap shot and the finish looks to be pretty bad on the back. "Binding 100%" What's that supposed to mean when one of that series of crummy photos shows chips missing from the back binding?

IF the dimensions are accurate - 15-1/2 wide - then it's a 000-28 and a hard guitar to find, so if the top hasn't been sanded to death, it might support SERIOUS money for restoration, provided the resultant guitar could handle steel strings. If the seller made an error in measuring, then, well. . .

Looks like too much fingerboard inlay for 1919
Well, we've heard from the master but I just want to say that I wonder if the whole neck has been replaced at some point. Maybe when the bridge was changed? I read somewhere (maybe Frets.com) that Martin builders used the same templates for marking head stock shapes for decades and that the corners gradually became more rounded. The shape of this head doesn't seem to have sharp enough corners for such an early serial number.
Right you are - I forgot to mench - could well be a neck replacement. Can't see the decal, or anything well enough to guess when that might have been done. In the shop we'd use a magnet to check for T-bar truss rod, among other things.
I own a 1925 0 body and there were no decals until much later. if it really is 1919 it was braced for gut strings only. It concerns me that there are no strings on it. This could mean the guitar can't handle string tension....The saddle is very low and has grooves filed in it as well. This would indicate there is a problem with action height or too much neck relief. It seems odd that the white ring in the rosette is not yellowish in color. Hard to tell for sure.

The fingerboard and neck look authentic because it has frets that are just rectangular wire (compression frets with no tang). Also the fret board looks like old ebony with the kind of finger dig marks you would expect to see in a guitar that old. The serial number stamp is the most convincing part. I think it is a question of how much non-authentic work has been done (like the bridge) to it. The tuners look a lot like the ones on mine but I am not sure.

I have brought one back from worse shape but it took a year to get there.

Best wishes,

Dave
The seller has corrected his listing to say the width is 13.5".

This looks like an old boogered Martin that needs a lot of work. I have somethng similar (a 1923 "Wurlitzer" 0-18 that needs to be taken apart and put back together. But even when it was barely together, it had something that put my intact D-28 to shame (I know, apples & oranges).

Assuming you can do the work yourself (and have the time) you could end up with a decent little guitar. If you are going to pay somebody else to do the work you may have stopped playing by the time you get it back. How much are you willing to spend to give yourself a big project? It would be pretty nice to have an 0-28 with NylGut or light steel strings at the end of all that work.

Joshua

But the bidding is past my interest level.

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