National New Yorker Lap Steel Electric Guitar (1940)

National  New Yorker Lap Steel Electric Guitar  (1940)
This item is currently on hold.
Item # 10523
Prices subject to change without notice.
National New Yorker Model Lap Steel Electric Guitar (1940), made in Chicago, serial # C4462, two tone finish, maple body, plastic facing, original tweed hard shell case.

The early National New Yorker is a supremely stylish pre-war lap steel, not only striking to look at but great-sounding as well. The stairstepped wooden body and headstock are encased in Phenolic with an alternating black and white overlay on the top. The black fingerboard has white engraved fret lines and positions markers and is trimmed in metal. The headstock graphics are cut-in to the plastic, with a National shield logo at the top.

The volume control is on the treble side just forward of the metal-covered pickup. A white chicken-head tone knob mounts behind the bridge and offers the sonic descriptions: "Hawaiian", "Chimes", and "Harp". We're not hearing any difference between the first two but "Harp" rolls the treble down nicely. The early Kluson tuners have metal buttons and gears covered with oblong stamped metal plates.

We have seen numerous six-string New Yorkers, both pre and post-war; it was one of National's more popular instruments at the time. This is a nice early example, rarer than the postwar versions and a steel that not only makes a fantastic Art Deco visual statement, but remains a fine player's instrument .
Overall length is 33 1/8 in. (84.1 cm.), 7 in. (17.8 cm.) wide at lower bout, and 1 3/4 in. (4.4 cm.) in depth, measured at side of rim. Scale length is 23 in. (584 mm.). Width of nut is 2 1/4 in. (57 mm.).

Overall this is a nicely original example in good cosmetic condition with only some generally light wear. The pickup was rewound to the original spec. by Tom Brantley, who does this better than anyone. There are small some chips and dings overall, and noticeable corrosion on the tuner buttons and cover plates. The instrument is housed in the original tweed hardshell case with a couple of period steels and an original cloth-covered Amphenol cord that amazingly still works. Excellent Condition.