National Grand Console Model 1050 Double Eight Lap Steel Electric Guitar (1949)

National  Grand Console Model 1050 Double Eight Lap Steel Electric Guitar  (1949)
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Item # 11429
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National Grand Console Model 1050 Double Eight Model Lap Steel Electric Guitar (1949), made in Chicago, serial # V15591, two tone lacquer finish, maple bodies, original brown hard shell case.

This very stylish jet-age lap steel (which requires a large lap!) is an interesting product of the often colorful just-postwar era at Valco. It is a double eight string variant of the classic period National Dynamic, striking to look at but great sounding as well. The twin sculpted wooden body and neck units are finished in an early space-age two-tone metallic green metallic/cream lacquer combo. They are fitted with colorful back-painted Lucite fingerboards marking the positions with differently colored geometric shapes. A decorated metal control panel is situated between the two. The pickups are the standard Valco unit mounted under clear plastic handrests.

The headstocks are covered by cream plastic plates (no unsightly string ends!) while the 4-on-a-side Kluson tuners are sheathed in National-branded oblong stamped metal covers. The tone and volume knobs are mounted in the center with descriptive terms instead of numbers ("Mellow; Brilliant") and a 3-way lever switch between them for neck selection. This rather hefty lap steel National was offered in the late '40s/early '50s period without any legs, but those were soon added as a catalog option making for a more generally practical instrument. Still this sleek double-bank lap behemoth a super cool steel, if you have the knees for it!
Overall length is 35 1/2 in. (90.2 cm.), 10 3/4 in. (27.3 cm.) across at the widest point, and 1 1/2 in. (3.8 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.).

This imposing and stylish steel remains in nicely original condition overall showing some general play wear but no real damage or repair. The finish has numerous chips, scrapes and dings, mostly on the sharp edges of various components with the most loss at the ends. The metal plate in between the necks has a decent amount of wear but the graphics are all still legible. The hardware appears original and undamaged except the tuner buttons are all neatly replaced (the originals likely crumbled) and two of the screw caps holding on the headstock face tuner covers are replaced by hex nuts, the other two are intact. This is a great-sounding, sharp looking double 8 steel, fun to play if quite the lapful! It includes the original oblong HSC (with an ancient clear lacquer overcoat) and a very sturdy gig-worthy Amphenol cord. Overall Very Good + Condition.