inventory


Harmony

Harmony Supertone Lindbergh ca 1928 |

SOLD

In 1927, Charles Lindbergh gained national prominence for his unprecedented, non-stop flight across the Atlantic; a year later, the Harmony Guitar Co. (then owned by Sears), in a stroke of 'marketing 101', capitalized on his fame with a guitar bridge in the likeness of his monoplane, The Spirit of St. Louis. This snappy example is among the fanciest of guitars ever produced by the venerable Harmony company, known for it production of 'everyman' guitars. The red spruce with 'bear claw' grain top, over koa body, is adorned with a thick band of abalone and black/white binding topped off with the iconic Spirit of St. Louis profile bridge in Brazilian rosewood. The neck is mahogany, with Brazilian overlay on the headstock. Tuners are a higher grade not commonly found on cheaper instruments. Inside the sound hole is pasted a blue and white 'Guarantee This Supertone..' label. The number 657 is ink-stamped inside an oval on the label. It's common to find ink stamps inside Harmony guitars, but they are typically 's' or 'f' stamped before the number. The extremely dry, ebony-like fingerboard was replaced because it literally blew up when a fret was removed to drill the steam hole. Because the board was so very dry, cracked, and worn, it was removed and replaced with a new ebony board; the original fancy inlays were retained and mounted into the new board, along with new frets. The original neck binding was not replaced, but will accompany the guitar. Additionally, a pair of carbon fiber rods were installed to ensure neck stiffness. The neck was reset, and a new nut and saddle fitted. Consequently, this guitar is set up to optimum playing, with very comfortable action. The guitar is crack free, with only a few dings here and there; someone in the past left some tool marks along the fingerboard extension. Otherwise, this a very solid, clean example. The body measures 13 3/8" across the lower bout; scale length is 24 1/4"; the fingerboard measures 1 3/4" at the nut, string spacing is a hair under 21/4" at the bridge, and the neck is a very flat 'v' profile, with a fairly modern feel. The top is ladder braced, and the guitar is light as a feather. With all the above taken into consideration, this guitar is a pleasure to the hands and the ear. It plays effortlessly, and produces a surprisingly bold sound, ringing sweetly in the trebles, and projecting strongly in the mid range with a pleasant and balanced bass on the bottom. Country blues players will love this guitar, and we're certain it would hold its own flat-picked in an old timey setting, too. Even though there are a number of examples with the 'aero' bridge to surface over the years, not all are fully blinged-out like this one. Additionally, the astute guitar shopper will discover that lot 143 in the April 'Artistry of the Guitar' auction at Guernsey's is the exact same guitar as we offer here. However, that guitar requires a $31,000 opening bid (plus 25% buyers fee!) So, if you're hankering' for a koa fingerpicker with an aero bridge and lots of bling, save yourself some bucks and shop here


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Gretsch

Getsch Dobro Resonator ca 1935 |

$1150.00

With the Great Depression in full swing by the mid-1930s, National/Dobro began to license Regal, in Chicago, to create wood bodies which fit the resonator system. Some were branded Dobro, some Regal, in addition to a host of other brands. This example reflects the Gretsch version. It is essentially a Regal Model 19, with the Gretsch logo on the headstock.The resonator system is the typical Dobro 'spider' setup where the cone sets on 'feet', and sports the 'Poinsettia' cover plate, which first appeared with the advent of the Regal-Dobro. The body is ply, with two f-holes, and white painted binding, top and back. The 12-fret neck is likely poplar, joined with a typical dovetail joint, and an ebony, or other dark tropical wood fingerboard. The neck measures 1 3/4" at the nut, with a scale length of just over 25". The slotted head stock is covered with white MOTS (mother of toilet seat) plastic, with GRETSCH sprayed in black. This is essentially a no-issues guitar, in excellent condition. Only the tip of the heel shows bare wood where it appears a heel cap had fallen off, and a section of finish missing on the back (see photo). The neck was removed and reset to a comfortable playing action. All component parts are original, including cone, tuners, tail piece, nut and finish. Frets were leveled and polished. Comes with a good soft case.


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Galiano

Galiano Grand Concert ca 1925|

$2395.00

A beautiful example from the workshops of the New York City Italian Guild of guitar makers. The first quarter of the 20th Century saw the emergence of small guitar workshops founded by Italian immigrants such as A. Cerrito, R. Ciani, J. Neptuno and others. Many of these craftsmen were also employed by the Oscar Schmidt guitar factory in nearby Jersey City, NJ, building the iconic Stella guitars. But the instruments produced in the small New York City shops exhibit a much higher level of craftsmanship than those of the Schmidt factory guitars. This grand concert flat top guitar is from that early 20th Century period, and likely from the shop of Antonio Cerrito. Tell-tale signs are the quality of workmanship and finish, the large position dots, the refined ladder braces and square kerfing, and the mortised heel joint as opposed to a traditional dovetail joint. The body is made from a high grade of mahogany with a one-piece back, with 'A. Galiano' pasted inside. The top is straight-grained spruce with wide growth rings along the outside edge of the top, and narrower growth rings in the center (some believe that this gives more 'spring' to the top and produces a more resonant and responsive sound, which this guitar certainly delivers). The top and sound hole are bound in holly and ebony. The bridge appears to be the original 'pyramid' with its original brass fret-wire saddle and original bridge pins. The fingerboard is 'ebonized' tropical wood, and the neck is carved to a comfortable 'C' profile. This is a Grand Concert-size guitar, which measures 14 7/8" across the lower bout. Scale length is 26 1/8", and measures 1 3/4" at the nut. The guitar appears all original down to the nut and saddle, and the only evidence of any work ever being done is a small back crack repair. Action is ~ 7/64" and the guitar plays beautifully. We've owned a number of these NYC guild guitars over the years and this one stands above the others in both condition and sound. The tone is clear and rich, with very pleasing bass...a joy to play. Comes with a hard case.


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National Regal

National Regal Model 6 ca 1936|

$1299.00

This our second one of these unusual resonators in the past two months! In the mid-1930s, National licensed Regal and Harmony to produce wooden bodies to accept the National resonator cone. Regal went on to produce wood-bodied resonators under its own name, as well as for catalog and music store sales. Mark Makin, in his new book on resonator guitars, reports that this guitar is likely such an example, and that John Dopyera believed these were also known as 'Rositas'. The specs of the guitar are that of a Regal/Dobro Model 6. The body is typical ply construction, and the soundwell accepts a small 8" National cone with biscuit, which gives this model a slightly different tone compared to the typical larger cones found in Trojans. The neck is likely poplar shaped to a very comfortable soft 'V' profile. The neck has a National 'B' series serial number stamped into the top of the headstock, which places it in 1936 according to the National serial number register, but Makin dates these to 1939 in his text. The 'piano grain' finish is similar to metal-bodied National guitar of the late 30s. This guitar is an amazing survivor, in excellent ++ original condition, with no evidence of any work or even a neck set! Only a few nicks from use, a hint of finger wear on the fretboard and neck, very slight oxidation on the cover plate, a screw hole in the heel from a strap button, and a bit of case rash on the sides of the lower bout. The guitar is set up with a very comfortable action, plays like a dream with a sound that is unique..loud, piercing trebles, and mellow and distinct bass notes, for both slide and fingerstyle. This is a very rare and cool blues guitar, snappy to both the eye and ear, in 'collector-grade' condition. Comes with its likely original 'Protex' soft case.


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Koa Concert

Martin 00-18 1964|

$2950.00

A nice, clean example of an ever-popular model from Nazareth, PA. The 00-18, with its not big/not small body dimensions, produces a pleasant and balanced tone. This one is essentially an issue-free guitar, with only a few cosmetic nicks and dings, some capo wear on the treble side of the neck, and a replaced saddle and one bridge pin. The guitar retains its original, unmolested bridge, sparkling finish, single Grover tuners, and ivory nut. The guitar has had a recent neck set, the frets were leveled and dressed and action set at a very comfortable 4/64" & 6/64". The guitar plays easily, and produces the sought after and much appreciated Martin tone. Comes with its likely original soft case.


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Koa Concert

OS Hawaiian Conservatory of Music Koa Concert ca 1925|

$975.00

The Oscar Schmidt Company pumped out guitars by the thousands, and consequently, there is a wide range of examples seen in the vintage market today. Less frequently seen are Schmidt's efforts go gain traction in the popular Hawaiian music craze that developed in the first quarter of the 20th century. Schmidt produced guitars under the "Hawaiian Conservatory of Music" label, a 'fake' conservatory used to hype sales. From the small sample we've seen, these all appear to be pretty high quality guitars. The bodies are made from beautiful Hawaiian koa, with 'rope' binding around the top and sound hole, and around the back and down the center-seam. The necks are mahogany, with quality strip tuners. The pyramid bridges sport pearl-dot inlay. Fingerboards can be either painted black, or a natural tropical wood that would simulate ebony. All this with a quaint label in the sound hole depicting a Hawaiian 'kaamaina' playing lap-style guitar under a palm on the beach. Can you say, "Aloha?" This particular example is an all original, structurally sound concert-size guitar. Only the saddle and one bridge pin has been replaced, although there is evidence that the bridge had been off and either replaced or reglued, but it is an early, straight-saddle, ebony pyramid bridge. There is also a bit of top and back binding missing. Recent repairs include a neck set, frets leveled and dressed, loose binding reglued, and a small hairline on one side of the bridge glued. The (original) finish on the koa body is dry, and on the bass side of the neck, has bubbled, as if it sat in a hot attic. The OS koa guitars that we've seen are usually finished in a high gloss. This guitar is a pleasure to play. The neck has a contemporary-feeling, 'C' profile, measures 1 3/4" at the nut, with smooth, low action. The sound produced is a bit more open and less 'barky' than the birch-bodied contemporaries; super fun for ragtime and country blues. Or, you could take it to the Big Island and play Hawaiian music under a palm. Comes with an old (Gibson L-00) soft case.


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Koa Grand Concert

OS Hawaiian Conservatory of Music Koa Grand Concert ca 1925|

$HOLD

The Oscar Schmidt Company pumped out guitars by the thousands, and consequently, there is a wide range of examples seen in the vintage market today. Less frequently seen are Schmidt's efforts to gain traction in the Hawaiian music craze that developed in the first quarter of the 20th century. Schmidt produced guitars under the "Hawaiian Conservatory of Music" label, a 'fake' conservatory used to hype sales. From the small sample we've seen, these all appear to be pretty high quality guitars. The bodies are made from beautiful Hawaiian koa, with 'rope' binding around the top and sound hole, and around the back and down the center-seam. The necks are mahogany, with quality strip tuners. The pyramid bridges sport pearl-dot inlay. Fingerboards can be either painted black, or a natural tropical wood that would simulate ebony. All this with quaint label in the sound hole depicting a Hawaiian 'kaamaina' playing lap-style guitar under a palm on the beach. Can you say, "Aloha?" This example (not to be confused with our recently listed concert-sized koa HCM guitar) is the rarer, larger and more robust Grand Concert version. This guitar has a 16 1/2" scale length, with a 14 3/4" lower bout. This example has a black-painted fingerboard and the neck is profiled in a modern feeling 'C' shape, very comfortable in the hand. The guitar is original but for a replaced ebony pyramid bridge. At some time, someone had moved the bridge over about a quarter inch, and drilled another set of pin holes. These were expertly filled, and the new bridge made to fit the existing 'footprint', with the newly drilled bridge pin holes to be drilled slightly askew to allow the required string alignment along the fingerboard. This is cosmetic, and does not effect playing or structural integrity. The finish is the original, shiny alcohol-based finish typically seen on the Schmidt koa guitars. A small area of pick wear was touched up, and a few spots on the sides where the finish touches the case are now dulled, but not worn. The neck was recently reset, the frets dressed and the action is smooth. The sound produced is among the best we've heard from a Schmidt-made guitar. The range is wide, with deep, thumpy bass, and sparkling trebles. ..way above average, and great for ragtime and country blues picking. Comes with an old soft case.


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Harmony Green Duco

Harmony Model H1093T 1932|

$550

Beginning in the last decade of the 19th century, the Harmony company produced many, many guitars. But relatively few are seen from before WWII, and virtually none fitted out in green duco frost paint, just like the National Duolians from the same time period. Harmony catalogs list this as the H 1093T model. It was offered in red, black and green. This example is stamped with the Harmony "F32" code, indicating the build year. The body is solid birch, with a poplar or basswood neck sporting an ebony fingerboard. Scale length is 23 7/8", and the neck measures 1 21/32" across at the nut. The neck profile is a flat-ish 'V' profile, a very modern feel in the playing hand. The lower bout measures 12 7/8". The guitar has had a few back cracks repaired, and some side seams reglued. The neck was loose in its joint, so it was removed (dry) and reglued, with the neck angle adjusted for comfortable action, although it did not actually need a reset, per se. Amazingly, the very rare and attractive paint is 99.9% intact, even the nut retaining most of its paint! The guitar is very comfortable to play, and produces a loud and focused ladder brace bark, with boxy overtones often present with the floating bridge/tailpiece setup. The frets were leveled and dressed, the neck is very straight with no buzzing, and fine action set at ~ 7/64". A very rare and cool guitar, pleasing to both the eye and ear. Comes with a soft case.


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Oscar Schmidt Galiano

Oscar Schmidt Galiano Decalcomania ca 1930|

$1199

In its seemingly endless strategies to market its guitars, the Oscar Schmidt Co. came up with the 'Decalcomania' ploy as early as 1912, according to catalogs of the period. Decalcomania was a decorative technique popularized during the ceramic transfer craze of the mid-1870s. The Oscar Schmidt Co. simply used 'decals' to fancy-up its factory-produced guitars. This guitar is an attractive example of 'Decalcomania'. Representative of a typical 20s OS guitar, this example sports a solid birch back and sides, spruce top, dyed fingerboard, black-painted bridge. The body is finished in a brown stain (like McTell's 'Brownie'), while the neck is more reddish. The tuners and pins all appear to be original. An 'A. Galiano' label is pasted inside. The neck, frets and fingerboard show very little playing wear, with the fingerboard retaining the oft seen numbering on the frets, probably for lap players. The original finish is clean and the decals retain their bright colors. The lower bout measures 13 1/2", the scale length is ~ 24 7/8", the neck is a tad over 1 7/8" at the nut and string spacing is 2 1/4" at the saddle. Action is set at 5/64" from top of 12th fret to bottom of both E strings. The neck shape is more C than V. Repairs include a recent neck set, frets leveled and dressed, new nut, and original fret wire saddle replaced with a new bone saddle. A hairline between the three treble bridge pins was glued, and there is a slight gap at the heel left over from the neck set, but very tight; two glued back cracks. The guitar plays very well and the sound is way better than most concert-size guitars of its ilk. The trebles and mids are bright and clear, and the bass is punchy and full for a small-ish guitar. The overall sound is round and resonant with the expected ladder brace overtones. Comes with a new hard case.


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Martin 00-18

Martin 00-18 1926 |

SOLD

By 1926, Martin was well on its way to steel string production, with the 0 & 00 size guitars leading the way. The combination of steel strings, 12-frets, slot-head, wide fingerboard and ultra-light construction is a favorite among many players today. This fresh-to-the-market example was owned and played by a woman for most of its life, and is in excellent overall condition. Beautiful two-piece spruce top with wood binding and two black purfling rings; multiple rings around the sound hole; original rectangular ebony bridge; mahogany body measures 14 1/8" across the lower bout; mahogany neck and ebony fingerboard with three dot markers; 1 3/4" across at the nut; bar frets; engraved brass tuners. This guitar is very sound structurally, has no old repairs, and has weathered the years well preserved. The 'discoloration' at the edges of the top is natural, and is shared with a 0-18 example we've seen only a few serial numbers away. Inside is very clean, including the original bridge plate. There is a very slight 1" crack in the top in the area of the kerfing on the treble side. There is some playing wear in the typical spot below the sound hole, and the treble side lower bout has some finish flaking, likely from resting on that side when stored for many years. The original ebony bridge retains its original profile. Six slots cut in front of the saddle (cheap fix to lower the action) were filled with ebony dust and glue, and are nearly invisible. The first few bar frets show some playing divots; there is only the hint of playing wear on the ebony board. The brass tuners are original. The neck was recently reset at an angle appropriate for a 12-fret Martin; the frets were leveled and dressed. Action is set at about ~6/64". The end pin and two bridge pins are replaced with Henkes/Blazer repros. The guitar plays beautifully, and produces a sound that can best be described as 'lovely' .. very responsive to a light touch but can ring out when pushed. Check out the sound clip! Comes with a new tweed hard case.


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Martin 0-17

Gibson National N-45 1947 |

$2295

Post WWII, Gibson was owned by CMI, which also controlled the distribution rights to National Valco instruments. At this time, Gibson began to make guitars that would be eventually branded by National. This guitar is part of that historic lineage. The small metal tag on the back of the headstock is impressed V 4898, which, according to the progression of Valco serial numbers, dates this guitar to 1947. By 1948, National added its own non-Gibson 'Stylist' adjustable neck and this guitar took on the 1155 nomenclature. This is likely a rare example of a Gibson National N series flat top, essentially a late 40s Gibson J-45. The differences are a different bridge shape, no truss rod, and a unique headstock and pick guard shape. The body measures 16 1/8" across, and is made from mahogany with a spruce top, whose sunburst is more brown in tone than the typical Gibson burst of the period. Scale length is about 24 7/8". Fingerboard is Brazilian rosewood, as is the bridge, which has a (replaced) drop-in saddle and reproduction pins (the originals are with the guitar but dry-rotted). The neck is mahogany, with a comfortable C-profile, and thick but not baseball bat-ish like on some of the wartime versions. The braces are tall and thin, as seen on Gibson flattops of the period. Repairs include: Refret and carbon rod installed under the fingerboard; neck reset; bridge reglue; several back braces reglued; tuner buttons replaced with Antique Acoustics reproduction buttons. Two back cracks glued. The finish is original, with some flaking off the neck, some rash on the back, and various scratches and nicks overall. With its straight finger board and action set at 5/64", this unique guitar plays very nicely, and produces an exceptionally clear tone, with sweet highs, strong mids and a dry, thumpy bass. Perfect for the player who seeks 40s J-45 tone on a 60s J-45 budget.


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Rickenbacher Model 59

Rickenbacher Model 59 Guitar and Amp 1937 |

$975

Rickenbacher Electro Model 59 lap steel, complete with original soft case, amp and original hang tag "Guarantee". The guitar is constructed from stamped steel, retains its original horseshoe magnet pick up, and volume control. The amp case is unlike other Model 59 amps; rather than a steel case, it's constructed of wood and covered with an attractive herringbone vinyl. The amp innards match those of a '37 Model 59 including the 'plug and play' amp cord, INCA transformer, 6" speaker and four tubes. The guitar produces very strong sound when played through a proper vintage tube amp. The guitar cord is frayed on the end, and will need attention for the amp to function properly, and the amp hums loudly when plugged in. The rare and original hang tag gives 'Instructions' on one side, and a 'Guarantee' on the other, which promises a neck replacement if necessary (a nod to the Bakelite Model B). A nice one-owner, time-capsule steel/amp set.


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Oscar Schmidt

Oscar Schmidt "Stella" Hawaiian Scene stencil front guitar ca. 1933|

$475

Standard size Oscar Schmidt-made guitar with rare and attractive stenciled Hawaiian scene on front. Unlabeled, but has all the hallmarks of the Jersey City factory outlined in "The Guitars of the Oscar Schmidt Company": sides of body thicker in middle than the two bout ends; square kerfing at top, tapered kerfing at bottom; angle to heel; headstock shape; flat-head screws to secure tuners; position markers at 5th, 7th, 10th and 12th frets. All birch construction, dyed fingerboard, overall excellent condition but for a few nicks and scratches. Back of V neck exceptionally clean, some dye worn off fingerboard but frets show very little wear. Fresh neck reset, using hide glue. Frets were leveled and polished. The floating bridge has a 1/16" shim to gain a bit of action adjustment since the original fret wire saddle offers no adjustment; the shim is the least invasive solution. This solid birch beauty is a comfortable player and produces a surprisingly loud and pleasant tone, with good difinition of individual notes. The body measures 13 3/8" across lower bout; scale length is 24 3/4".


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Stella Decalomania

Stella Decalomania(Oscar Schmidt) ca. 1930|

$825

'Decalomania' was the term used in Oscar Schmidt catalogs to describe guitars that were fancied-up with inexpensive decals. Additionally, several models sported 'pearlette', or in today's parlance, 'mother of toilette seat'. This example from the 1930's exhibits both degrees of gaudyness. This guitar is, from the catalog description, a "standard size, birchwood body, black satin finish, white pearlette fingerboard with three positions." Originally offered at $66 .. per dozen! The binding and soundhole ring are painted white. The body measures 13 1/2" across the lower bout, and the fingerboard measures 1 13/16" at the nut. Scale length is 24 7/8" (note how the bridge needed to be moved about an inch south for correct intonation, which is typical). Ladder braced. The guitar is pretty much original except for the loss of the pickguard. The neck was reset and multiple braces reglued. The fingerboard was removed, and two carbon fiber rods were installed to straighten and stiffen the neck. There appear to be a few cracks in the back, but they wouldn't open for glue, so may be surface or paint only. Don't be alarmed by the line in the heel, it's not a crack. It's the glue joint where two pieces of poplar were joined to make the neck blank, called a 'stacked heel', and is original and very solid. This is documented in a photo when the neck was off for a reset. A few scuffs and dings, but overall a solid and original guitar set up and ready to play with very low action..nice Stella birch-bodied bark, and uniquely ornamented. See more photos

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Victoria (Regal) 12-Fret Concert size (Parlor) guitar

Victoria (Regal) 12-Fret Concert size (Parlor) guitar |

$1100

The blue foil label reads 'Victoria Best American Make B&J New York Guaranteed Perfect Scale' and is likely made by Regal, possibly Washburn, in the late 1920's. This little parlor is as sweet as they come, with more tone and herringbone/$$ than any guitar you'll ever see! The mahogany body is bound, top and back, with herringbone trim, rows of dark/light checks, and white plastic, as is the sound hole. The back strip is also herringbone and dark/light check inlay. Body and neck are finished in an attractive reddish/mahogany wash which complements the marquetry trim. The original 'flat pyramid' bridge (similar to Washburns of the era) sports bridge pins with pearl dots. The 12-fret mahogany neck is a comfortable V-shape, with a dyed fingerboard (deep finger divots in the first position). The guitar is ladder braced, with the brace just south of the sound hold set on a bias. Overall, the guitar is in very good orignial condition with a nice patina to the finish. A few nicks and dings, overall finish crazing, and one very old side crack repair. The guitar plays well and produces a resonant, woody sound with surprisingly boomy bass. Very pleasant to play and hear. In fact, the tone is as nice as you'll hear in a guitar of this size. The lower bout measures 12 7/8", scale length is 24 1/8". Body depth is ~ 4" measured at the end pin.


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