A 150-Year-Old Martin Acoustic | Find of the Week

Our Find of the Week this week is bound for the antique roadshow: it's a Martin 1-21 flat top parlor acoustic built between 1875 and 1886, courtesy of our friends at Retrofret in Brooklyn.

C. F. Martin 1-21 Flat Top Acoustic Guitar
C. F. Martin 1-21 Flat Top Acoustic Guitar, circa 1880.

Built about 150 years ago at Christian Frederick Martin's headquarters in Nazareth, Pennsylvania, this midline model was among one of the legendary luthier's popular instruments in the latter half of the 19th century. Boasting a Brazilian rosewood back and sides, a spruce top, and a cedar neck with an ebony fingerboard, it was suited to nylon or gut strings much like most Martins of the era.

This particular 1-21 comes with its original coffin case, and despite some weathered wear and tear, it has somehow avoided unnecessary alterations. The neck has been reset with original bar frets and the tuners have been replaced with Waverly strips from the 1950s. At an asking price of $6,750, it's considerably more affordable than the average museum piece of its era. Now's your chance: check out the full listing for more photos and detailed information, and make an offer on this fully-functional featherweight today.

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