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1926 Martin 0-42

Perhaps every vintage dealer’s dream is to have a customer walk into the shop with an untouched old guitar that it has been in the family for years. Well, it happened to me and the guitar surpassed my dreams (I don’t have a retail shop so we met at the ferry terminal). In the case was this completely original 1926 0-42 in wonderful condition. This guitar, originally purchased by the grandmother, was played by the dad for a long time. Grandmother played in a vaudeville style review. Dad played for fun. Now it’s time to move on to a new family.

In 1926 the 42 series was the top of the line for Martin. The tone woods they used were absolutely the best available and there‘s a very tasteful amount of decorative trim. The condition of this one, while not mint, is wonderful. It has only just enough play-wear to authenticate its originality. The tone woods are first class all the way—tight grain spruce and somewhat figured Brazilian rosewood. Everything is in top condition—no cracks or serious scratches or dents. The aesthetics of the 42 series are my favorite. The abalone trim runs around the top, fingerboard tongue, and rosette. The fingerboard inlays are snowflakes and wings and in perfect condition. The original tuners are engraved with small wood roses. Yet, the headstock is a plain piece of Brazilian with the Martin stamp on the back—emphasizing that this is a musical instrument not some decorative piece for the parlor. It is gorgeous though.

Master luthier Mark Tossman restored the guitar to its original playing specifications. The work included a neck reset, new bar frets, repro bridge, and one reproduction bridge pin. It is set up for silk and steel strings although it had extra lights on it when it arrived. I believe silk and steel—or the light tension strings from NewTone are the correct gauge for the guitar. It plays perfectly and the intonation is dead on. The guitar has a lovely voice with good sustain on the bass end and very pretty trebles. This special guitar comes with the original case, also in excellent-plus condition.

$ 23,500