The Twelfth Fret ~ Since 1977 ~

Pre War Martin D28 Dreadnought Guitar, 1941

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The term ‘Holy Grail’ has been taken to mean a number of things deviating from its medieval origin, but in the guitar world, it’s often this – the pre war Martin D28.

These instruments are rare, special, and are emulated by many builders, including C F Martin itself.

A bit about the term “Pre War” – this is taken to mean the date of the US entry into WW2 on December 7 1941, but can be extended into 1942 when wartime shortages forced changes in materials use. One visible example is the use of Herringbone edging. Martin used this as standard, but they had been sourcing that from Germany, and when they ran out, could not possibly resupply.

This pre war Martin D28 dates to approximately June 1941 based on its serial number and production totals, and is in good playing condition with – to understate- a very good sound, rich, full, and large amounts of projection. It has had an amount of work done to it over the years, described below.

As standard for the pre war Martin D28, the body is a dreadnought with Adirondack Spruce top and bracing, Brazilian Rosewood for the sides, back, and head plate, Mahogany for the body blocks, lining and neck, and Ebony for the fingerboard and bridge.

Originally, it was fitted with Grover Sta-Tite tuners and these have been replaced with drop-in Waverly models; the Grovers are included in the case. The bridge is also a replacement made and fitted by Sim Daley in Nashville.

What appears to be the original hard shell case is included.

Text From  Gruhn Guitars  May 1, 2008 Appraisal Of This Pre-War Martin D28:

“I have personally examined this instrument. The guitar described below is, in our opinion, a Martin style D-28 made in the year 1941.

Serial number 78315. This guitar shows significant playing wear. A large non-original pickguard has been removed and considerable finish touchup work has been done on top, but the guard presently on the guitar appears to be the correct original style. The bridge appears to be original, but it has a replacement saddle. The frets have been dressed and the fingerboard shows filled wear. A crack on a treble side bout has been re-glued but not properly aligned. A strap button has been installed on the heel of the neck. Wood has been added to the top of the original bridge plate. There is finish touch up over belt buckle wear on the back of the body. In other respects it conforms to the typical specifications of the model for the period in which it was made with dreadnought body size, Adirondack Spruce top with herringbone edge trim and low X scalloped bracing, ebony fingerboard with slotted diamond inlays, Brazilian Rosewood back, sides and peghead veneer, zigzag back stripe, and nickel plated Grover tuners. This is an exceptionally fine sounding instrument as well as a model which is greatly sought after by collectors as well as musicians. “

And from a August 1 2009 handwritten update by George Gruhn:

“I have inspected the guitar today. It has been set up with a new bridge by Sim Daley. The value remains unchanged”.

 


 

 

**Note this instrument is priced in USD: $50,000.00 .

  • Model: D-28
  • Year: 1941
  • Finish Gloss
  • Class: Vintage
  • Serial Number: 78315 , June 1941
  • Country of Origin: USA
  • Condition: Good
  • Date Posted: 13/01/2020

  • Consignment Item

  • Required CITES documentation
  • Including original Hard case
  • Instrument Weight: 4.56lbs 2.08kg
  • Scale Length: 645.6mm 25.4in
  • Nut Width: 43mm 1.69in
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