19th Cent German Guitar
A lovely example of 19th-century German guitar craftsmanship, somewhat the worse for wear though eminently restorable. The specific curves and proportions of the body, and especially the same kind of peghead joint that one finds on early Martins, are the clues that lead us to the area of Lower Saxony, which became part of the then-new German states in the 1870s, that Martin came to America from. It has beautiful Brazilian rosewood back and sides with wood marquetry of the era not only around the edge of the top, but also along the centerlines of the sides, again typical of these makers. There are some splits on the top and back, a seam separation in one side; an ebony bridge that appears to be original despite some misguided soul having unsuccessfully added bolts to keep it down. The tuners, with lovely patinaed genuine bone buttons, are definitely of the 19th century and may or may not be original to the instrument. The soundhole rosette is gorgeous, with wood marquetry, hand-engraved mother-of-pearl flowers and green heart-of-ablone shell half-moons and mastic fill. The carving of the heel is especially fine and elegant; I’ve never seen another quite like it. The finish is original varnish. Needs cleaning and some TLC. Offered as is for $1995.