The Twelfth Fret ~ Since 1977 ~

❌SOLD❌ Zemaitis Heart 12 String Superior Plus Acoustic Guitar Mahogany, 1986


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This rare Zemaitis Heart 12 String Superior Plus steel string acoustic guitar is built of Mahogany, with Ebony for the fingerboard and bridge and Rosewood for the headplate. It was built during 1986 at the Zemaitis shop in Chatham, Kent, England.

During the 1970s, Tony Zemaitis became one of the most sought after luthiers as English musical royalty discovered his new metal-topped electric guitars. Ron Wood, Eric Clapton, Keith Richards, and George Harrison all played Zemaitis models at various times. The Zemaitis 12-string models were especially sought after; at the time, many 12’s had actions that were easy to play, and Zemaitis had developed a design that overcame these issues. The neck shape brings to my mind the modern Taylor profile.

As these guitars go, the decoration of this Zemaitis Heart 12 String is very restrained, with Mother of Pearl hearts and diamonds inlaid on the top, fingerboard and headstock. Its oversize heart-shaped soundhole, and the jumbo body, are its most visibly distinguishing characteristics.  The finish is quite thin, perhaps a few coats of clear lacquer, and has naturally sunk with time.  It provides some physical protection to the wood, with minimal restriction to the guitar’s tonal production. 

This guitar was part of Scott Chinery’s extensive collection, which is documented in several books including “The Chinery Collection: 150 Years of American Guitars” by Scott Chinery. The label mentions Chris Trigg, who was the owner of Vintage And Rare Guitars in London, suggesting that the guitar was originally commissioned by Mr. Trigg.

Tony Zemaitis retired in 2000, and died in 2002. His son has continued the company, operating out of Paso Robles, California. The heart-shaped soundhole is a prominent feature on their current steel string acoustic production.

The original ‘coffin’ style, hand built wooden case, is included.

This rare piece is priced at $30,000.00 Canadian which today (June 18 2019) is $22,434.00  US.  


Price: $14,999.99 CAD $19,999.99 CAD
  • Model: Heart 12 String Superior Plus
  • Year: 1986
  • Finish Satin
  • Class: Vintage
  • Serial Number: 1986
  • Country of Origin: UK
  • Condition: Very Good
  • Date Posted: 04/01/2019

  • This instrument has been sold
  • Consignment Item

  • Including original Hard case
  • Instrument Weight: 6.16lbs 2.8kg
  • Scale Length: 25.5in 648mm
  • Nut Width: 1.9in 48mm
Zemaitis Guitars Website

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