1911 Martin 000-45 Case
This is a most unusual item, and as rare a Martin guitar accessory as one can imagine. It is the original, end-loading leather case from the Martin 000-45 that was made, in 1911, for CF Martin III while he was in college at Princeton University, Class of 1916. While it is a 45-grade guitar throughout, in the interest of conservative taste he had it made without fingerboard inlays and certain other trim, though it did have ivory bindings, ivory friction pegs, and a solid ivory bridge. The very first style-45 Martin of any size had been made in 1904, and the first 000-size Martins of any grade had ben made in 1902. After having grown up in the Martin workshop and learning the skills of making Martin guitars, he became the shop superintendent and was in charge of production for many years, and was named president of the company in 1948 after his father’s death. The guitar itself is now in the Martin museum at the Martin factory in Nazareth, PA; it is pictured and described on P. 156 of “Martin Guitars, A History” by Richard Johnston and Dick Boak. This case is embossed with wide, fancy tooling along all of its edges, top, back and sides, and the seams are all stitched. There are two 4” diameter Princeton University decals on it, one of them wholly intact. It is lined in yellow felt, and the handle and closure strap are intact as well; the end flap is present though detached. The case maker’s logo and TRADEMARK / WARRANTED are embossed inside an oval and branded into both sides of the leather. It’s a beautiful item overall, now well over a century old and historically extremely important, a unique part of Martin history. $3000.