The Twelfth Fret ~ Since 1977 ~

Martin 0-17 Steel String Guitar Mahogany, 1936


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The Martin 0-17 has at least two major distinctions as one of Martin’s oldest defined styles, and their first production steel string model.

Martin’s Style 17 first appeared in 1874 as a fairly plain model, and was discontinued from 1898 to 1906. In 1908, the first Martin 0-17 models appeared in the catalogs. These had Spruce tops paired with Mahogany for the sides, back and neck, and Ebony for the fingerboard and bridge. From 1909, Rosewood (Brazilian) was used for the fingerboard and bridge, and it had top and back binding.

The Style 17 was discontinued in 1918. When redesigned and reintroduced in 1922, it was all-Mahogany construction and was built for steel strings – Martin’s first to offer this feature. By 1930, the top and back binding were gone and with only minor changes to the pickguard and tuners stayed in the catalog until 1959, but in production until 1961, appearing again for 1967.

Here we’re looking at a Martin 0-17, one of 861 built during 1936 at the Martin plant in Nazareth, Pennsylvania. It is in good playing condition, and has had some repairs and service over the years. As stock, the top, back, sides, neck, linings and body blocks are Mahogany, with Spruce bracing for the top and back. The head plate, bridge and unbound fingerboard are Brazilian Rosewood. Position markers are small dots. The tuners have nickel plated buttons, which appeared in 1936 replacing the previous plastic (celluloid) buttons. A back seam crack was repaired long ago, and a neck reset was performed by Bruce Dowd in Toronto which included a new nut and saddle.

Fret wear is light to moderate in the low positions. While it would seem likely that it has been refretted given its age and light wear, in reality it was used for some time with an extender for Hawaiian / lap use. The finish has wear expected of an 88 year old instrument that’s been used as intended.

A three element K&K Pure Mini pickup set is installed to an end-pin jack. These work well and are an indication that this guitar is ready to play!

Sold with a newer arched top hard shell case.

Price: $7,999.99 CAD
  • Model: 0-17
  • Year: 1936
  • Finish Natural Mahogany
  • Class: Vintage
  • Serial Number: 64349, built during 1936 at Nazareth PA
  • Country of Origin: USA
  • Condition: Good
  • Date Posted: 31/01/2024

  • Consignment Item

  • Including Hard case
  • Instrument Weight: 3.5lbs 1.6kg
  • Scale Length: 24.8in 630mm
  • Nut Width: 1.75in 44.46mm
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