Harmony Patrician H-1414 Arch Top Acoustic Guitar (1954)

Harmony  Patrician H-1414 Arch Top Acoustic Guitar  (1954)
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Item # 12042
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Harmony Patrician H-1414 Model Arch Top Acoustic Guitar (1954), made in Chicago, serial # 4850H1414, natural lacquer finish, mahogany back, sides and neck; spruce top, rosewood fingerboard, period grey chipboard case.

This is a lovely example of one of Harmony's better grade acoustic archtops, the Patrician Model H-1414. This was the fanciest of numerous Patrician variations, particularly distinguished by a unique mahogany top with a contrasting spruce center panel. This is a very unusual appointment, but was mirrored on a sister model the H-1415, which reversed the formula with a spruce/mahogany/spruce top! These models were the just-below-the-top-of-the line Harmony archtops, second only to the carved top, cutaway Cremonas.

The internal date stamp on this guitar is indistinct but appears to read 1954, which marks it as one of the last H-1414s made. The ornate engraved and painted vine motif on the tortoise celluloid headstock overlay was only used toward the last of this particular model's run around 1953-54. The solid mahogany backs and sides are celluloid bound with elaborate wood marquetry top trim. The mahogany neck is fairly chunky with a comfortable round profile, topped with a bound, block inlaid rosewood fingerboard. The adjustable rosewood bridge, tailpiece and Waverly tuners are standard fittings for Harmony in this era.

Harmony called these "Matched Panel Patrician Models...Unique in styling, rich in tone". The list price in 1954 was $65, plus case. While obviously not going to replace anyone's L-5 this is a very pleasant guitar to play; the tone is not particularly deep or rich (sorry Harmony!) but is not overly thin or shrill either. This is as nice an example of this slightly oddball archtop as we have ever seen, a cool and slightly unusual piece.
Overall length is 40 1/2 in. (102.9 cm.), 15 7/8 in. (40.3 cm.) wide at lower bout, and 3 7/16 in. (8.7 cm.) in depth, measured at side of rim. Scale length is 25 in. (635 mm.). Width of nut is 1 3/4 in. (44 mm.).

This is a very clean, all original and fine playing guitar showing not too much wear for 70 years on the planet. It shows small dings and dents to the original finish but no major wear. The neck has been reset, the frets polished out and playability is excellent. It resides in an original (or at least period) Chipboard case. Overall Excellent - Condition.