|Comments||Here is a 1921 Martin A-Style Oval Hole Mandolin. C.F. Martin has been building instruments in Nazareth, Pennsylvania since 1833.|
In the at the end of the 19th and early part of the 20th century, mandolin orchestras were very popular, and the tide of European immigrants brought their musical traditions with them – many of which included mandolins in various forms. Martin started building mandolins in 1895, and their initial production was based on the traditional bowl-back European design.
Early in the 1910’s, though, Gibson introduced their radically new violin-based mandolin design, and this caused other manufacturers – including Martin – to offer instruments in the newer styles.
As we see here, Martin produced a hybrid – an A-style ‘teardrop’ body shape, using more or less guitar box type construction, but with the ‘bent’ top taken from traditional bowl-back mandolins.
This example is in good playing condition, and sounds good, but it is more suited to non-bluegrass styles of music. It’s got a somewhat warmer tone, with less of the bite and volume of instruments designed to fend off encroaching banjos.
Serial Number9281, built during 1921 in Nazareth, Pennsylvania, USA.Pricing$900 CAD with newer Eastman zippered case.NeckMahogany neck with unbound ebony fingerboard. Rosewood headplate, and the Martin logo and ‘Made in the USA’ are stamped into the back of the headstock.FretsOriginal bar style frets in good playing condition.BodyA-style Mahogany back and sides, ‘Bent’ spruce top with oval soundhole, ebony bridge. C.F. Martin Nazareth PA stamped on center strip of back. Inlaid faux tortoise pickguard.FinishOriginal nitrocellulose lacquer finish in good condition, play wear on the top around the sound hole.Hardware/electronicsOriginal tuners, bridge, and tailpiece. Ebony nut.Playability/ActionPlays very well – ready to go for another few decades!CaseNewer zippered Eastman case included.
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