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1850's Martin Acoustic

1850's Martin Acoustic

This Martin guitar was made most likely between 1847 and 1855. It bears the New York labeling inside the guitar on the center seam as well as upside down in the neck block. The parlor sized 2-20 body style features a spruce top and mahogany sides and...

Condition: Used

SKU: 11163

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Player's Perspective

Music Store Live is proud to present this 1847-1855 Martin 2-20! It's not a typo - you read correctly. This is a pre-civil war Martin acoustic guitar. It has a pleasing and warm tone and is a decent first position player. The action is on the high side as you might expect from a nylon or gut string guitar. While this is mostly a collectors guitar and serves to help document the development of the Martin guitar company, we want you to know that you can also enjoy strumming it in the first position. The original brass and ivory Jerome tuners are still intact and fully functional with the exception of the high E string tuner. As you might expect after 150 years the gear does not grip like it used to and cannot bring the high E up to tension. Regardless of the fact that it is not in tip top playing condition we want you to know that this guitar can still be enjoyed to a certain degree and we can see it providing a haunting vibe or mojo on your next recording.

Item Details

This Martin guitar was made most likely between 1847 and 1855. It bears the New York labeling inside the guitar on the center seam as well as upside down in the neck block. The parlor sized 2-20 body style features a spruce top and mahogany sides and back. The ebonized neck features a soft V profile and an "ice cream cone" neck heel. This guitar features a fan braced top and it has been refinished some time ago. The bridge is non original but is certainly an older replacement with two button inlays. The Jerome tuners are original and mostly functional. The original bone nut is still in good shape. There is a small hole drilled through the center strip on the bottom of the back, probably half the size of a pea. This now almost ancient 2-20 clears 12 frets to the body and has a slotted headstock. The guitar comes with an older chip board style case.

Overall Condition

This 1847-1855 Martin 2-20 parlor guitar is in fair condition. It can be enjoyed and strummed in the first position and has a pleasing tone. It is historically valuable as it shows certain points of development in the Martin guitar history. The refin was done some time ago in varnish by a previous owner who likely didn't realize the value or history of such an incredible piece. It could easily be wet sanded and cleaned up by your local luthier and preserved, as it should be, for the next century and a half. This guitar deserves a safe environment to be kept in where it can be appreciated properly.

Specs

The following features attribute to the classic and warm sound of this stunning instrument:


  • 1847-1855 Martin 2-20
  • Solid Spruce Top
  • Solid Mahogany Back and Sides
  • Ebonized Neck
  • Ice Cream Cone Heel
  • Soft V Neck Profile
  • Original Jerome Tuners
  • Replacement Bridge with Button Decorations
  • New York Branding inside guitar
  • Refinished
  • Fan Bracing
  • 24 1/2" Scale Length
  • Original Bone Nut 
  • Nut Width 1 25/32"
  • Slotted Headstock
  • 12 Frets Clear the Body
  • Older Chip Board Case

Our in house guitar tech has inspected, tested, and cleaned all of our instruments on site prior to shipping. All of our instruments are guaranteed to be fully functional upon arrival.