The Twelfth Fret ~ Since 1977 ~

❌SOLD❌ C. A. Potter Criterion Guitar, Circa 1905


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There isn’t a lot of information about C. A. Potter Criterion guitars but these were built around 1905 in Cleveland, Ohio. This was a higher-end instrument with features taken from other makers. Notably, the neck and head joints show significant influence from the Martin-Stauffer instruments built around the 1830s.

It’s interesting how some of the features found on these early instruments have come back in improved form. On the Potter Criterion, there is a bolt through the heel to secure the neck joint – an arrangement used in a slightly different way by many modern builders including Taylor. With this, the section of the fingerboard over the body is on an extension of the neck, and doesn’t contact the top. This presages construction styles of Archtop guitars and, if you refer to our posting today of a David Wren Concert with his RFX fingerboard extensions, it’s found there too. This reduces damping of the top and increases access to the upper registers.

The C. A. Potter Criterion Guitar uses a double-O style body, with what looks to be a ladder-braced cedar top and Brazilian Rosewood sides. The back, however, seems to be a slightly burled mahogany or Koa. The neck has a pronounced V profile and is mahogany, again with a Martin-Stauffer style headstock joint. There is a ‘rope’ style binding motif around the top. The ‘pyramid’ bridge is ebony with a fairly large bone saddle insert. The tuners are friction banjo style pegs, an indication of earlier construction.

This instrument is in decent, playable condition. It has had some damage and repairs, there is crack on the back and pick marks on the top.

Sold without case.


Price: $1,999.99 CAD
  • Model: Criterion
  • Year: 1905 | Approximate year
  • Class: Vintage
  • Serial Number: N/A, built during the 1920s for the C. A. Potter company of Cleveland, Illinois.
  • Country of Origin: USA
  • Condition: Fair
  • Date Posted: 08/05/2017

  • This instrument has been sold
  • Not Consignment

  • Required CITES documentation

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