C. F. Martin / 0-45 / 1919 / Natural / Guitar
SN 14301.This 1919 0-45 is a rare model very worthy of restoration. This incredible field find has been tucked away since the owner passed away a number of years ago. It’s had some repairs, but is original in the right ways and with the proper attention can be a wonderful playing guitar that will enhance any prewar collection. In 1919 the 0-45 was the crown jewel in the Martin catalog. Even in that time of prosperity, this model was only for the select customer – consequently only 11 were made and sold that year. This seems to have been one of the guitars made for the Southern California Music Company. The appointments of this model are well known and no need to go over them here although it's worth noting that 1919 was the first full year for the ebony bridge and the first year for ivoroid binding. The pearl inlayed flowerpot headstock, the pearl trim, are all beautifully detailed and still intact. The restoration needed is not extensive but because of the historical importance and value of the instrument, it’s critical to have the right person do the work. It will require the things most old guitars require – a neck reset, the bridge reseated and reglued, frets dressed, and a great setup (possible refret and new bridge). There are a top cracks that have been stabilized and a couple of back cracks that need attention. Mostly the instrument needs a good cleaning. This will restore the luster to the pearl detailing, the Adirondack top, and the gorgeous Brazilian rosewood back and sides. I have an estimate on the repairs from a well-known east coast luthier and if you call or email I will share this with you. It’s quite reasonable. One last story. The top cracks are cleated with paper. This is the first time I’ve seen this so I called my contact at the Martin Museum to ask if he’d ever seen this before. He said “that’s the way we used to do it. In fact, Joan Baez sent her 0-45 to the factory to have some top cracks repaired. The repairman cleated the cracks with paper and wrote ‘Communist!’ on the paper. So look inside and see if there’s any writing.” To be continued…Note that this guitar is on consignment and not in the shop. Please call or email to arrange a viewing.
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