The Twelfth Fret ~ Since 1977 ~

No Longer Available – Epiphone FT27 Steel String Sunburst, 1937


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Here is a wonderful rarity – Epiphone FT27 steel string flat top, built around 1937 as one of Epiphone’s earliest forays into flat top guitar designs.
Epiphone as a brand name first appeared in 1924, though the Stathopoulos family had been building instruments for decades in Smyrna, Turkey. Persecution caused Anastasios Stathopoulos to move his family to the USA, landing in New York City; Anastasios died in 1915 and his son Epi took over. In 1925 Epiphone purchased the Favoran banjo company and began their own line of Epiphone Recording Banjos, and also arched-top steel string guitars. These instruments, particularly the arched top guitars, were very popular and Epiphone grew to be a major rival to Gibson.

Around 1935, Epiphone decided to enter the field of flat-top steel string guitars. The Epiphone FT27 seen here is one of the earliest of these guitars. Featuring a ‘jumbo’ sized body with a ladder-braced Adirondack Spruce top, Mahogany for the sides, back and neck and Brazilian Rosewood for the fingerboard and pyramid-style bridge. The finish is a nitrocellulose lacquer sunburst, with the sides, back and neck receiving a dark tinted coating. The finish has an amount of wear expected for a guitar that’s about 85 years old!

This example does not have a visible serial number – if it had a label, it’s long gone – so dating is imprecise. The Epiphone FT27 was introduced around 1937 and produced for three years. We’re calling this a 1937 model. It is on overall good condition and has had a top crack recently repaired at The Twelfth Fret Repair Shop. It plays well, and has a great vintage sound – ladder bracing can tend to be louder than X-bracing, but can also lose a bit of definition at volume. It’s ideal for many folk and blues styles.

This Epiphone FT27 is sold with a newer, black hard shell case.

Price: $3,750.00 CAD
  • Model: FT27
  • Year: 1937 | Approximate year
  • Finish Sunburst
  • Class: Vintage
  • Country of Origin: USA
  • Condition: Good
  • Date Posted: 01/02/2022

  • This instrument has been sold
  • Consignment Item

  • Required CITES documentation
  • Including Hard case
  • Instrument Weight: 3.828lbs 1,74kg
  • Scale Length: 25.5in 647.7mm
  • Nut Width: 1.642in 41.71mm
Epiphone Website

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