Looking for opinions/info about my mystery archtop...

Picked this up recently in my travels, and was hoping I could get some information/opinions from you knowledgeable folks about it.  It didn't come with any kind of history or story (which is a shame, because I bet it has a lot of both).

IMGUR album with photos

I've chatted already with a few folks that really know their instruments from this period and gotten a lot of good suggestions, but here's what I know for sure:

This guitar has been loved, and played a lot.  Shows lots of play wear, and signs of small repairs over the years.

25.5" scale.

1.75" width at nut.

15" lower bout.

Plastic/bakelite bridge.

Tuners are a 4/2 mix of scalloped/round Grovers from the mid-late 30's.

Neck is straight, but with just a slight twist (counter-clockwise as you sight down from the headstock).

I'm here at this forum in large part because I ran across a number of Kerry Krishna's knowledgeable posts about (somewhat) similar instruments.  Tried to add him as a friend, but it hasn't gone through yet.  So, Kerry, if you're reading this... this is the guitar I had mentioned to you in my request.

Any ideas?

Tags: archtop, guitar

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Matt, it looks like a 'no brand' Kay arch top from the early 40s. The Bakelite bridge, (if it is original to the guitar0 would cement that. Kay were using the bakelite bridges up until they ran out in daly 40s. It's vera likely that if you take off the strings, and the bridge ,  you will see by whatever footprint is underneath, whether  it IS original.  It's possible that the bridge was a later addition, but Kay did make arch tops with the abbreviated sound holes, just as a few other Chicago makers did. It looks like a nice axe! 

 Please go join my KayKraftGuitar site of Facebook if you with. There a hundreds of pics and lots of repair photoessays and such. 

 Here is a link Matt.

kay kraft guitars

Thanks for the info and the link (I'll join up for sure).  

FWIW, your assessment lines up exactly with the other opinions I've gotten.

It is indeed a great guitar, but I may be looking to offer it up for sale at some point in the near future.  While I appreciate it for it's history and quality, I am neither a collector nor a truly talented player, and I feel it should go to someone who is at least one of those things... 

Is it appropriate to list it as available for sale on your Facebook group?  Don't want to run afoul of the rules right after I join.

I though it was a Kay too but I wonder if  the inlay is original. I've never seen a Kay of this vintage with this sort of inlay but everything else, right down to the gap/looseness at at the base of the heel says Kay. 

Does anyone else have any experience with  factory inlay of this quality and quanity on a Kay of this vintage and style?

Yes Matt,if you wish,you can put it up for sale on my site. Just include price in the description.


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