Epiphone Deluxe Arch Top Acoustic Guitar (1947)

Epiphone  Deluxe Arch Top Acoustic Guitar  (1947)
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Item # 7617
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Epiphone Deluxe Model Arch Top Acoustic Guitar (1947), made in New York City, serial # 56334, sunburst lacquer finish, curly maple back and sides, spruce top; laminated maple neck with rosewood fingerboard, original brown hard shell case.

Original high-end acoustic arch-top Epiphone guitars were very popular among professional users when new but nice examples are surprisingly hard to find today. This Deluxe model from 1947 is both a treat for the vintage arch-top enthusiast and an extremely fine player's instrument.

At the time this guitar was built, the Stathopoulo family maintained their guitar building operation on the second floor of a large loft building on West 14th street in Manhattan. Epiphone, Inc. operated an integrated factory and showroom in the heart of swing-era New York where players could come and try out guitars that had just been finished "out back".

At the time, The Deluxe, as well as the inch-larger and even fancier Emperor, was among the very finest orchestral guitars available, along with the Gibson L-5 and Super 400 and individually built creations from John D'Angelico (about 20 minutes walk downtown), Willy Wilkanowski (a subway ride out to Greenpoint, Brooklyn), and Elmer Stromberg (a few hours north in Boston).

The Epiphone company had been headed up by Epaminondas ("Epi") Stathopoulo until his death in 1943. By all accounts he was an extremely fastidious and dedicated man, who personally inspected every instrument produced. All high-end carved-top Epiphone guitars are fine instruments, and were often preferred by the era's top players to anything else available.

This Deluxe carries a serial number dating it to 1947, just after the end WWII. This was a high production period for Epiphone, likely due to a backlog of orders held off during wartime. It is a great example of the more refined, "perfected" swing-era Deluxe.

The 5-piece laminated neck is slimmer than the older models with just a hint of a "V" profile. The original "E"-marked enclosed Epiphone tuners with shaped catalin buttons and the gold-plated "Frequensator" two-part tailpiece are hallmarks of this period. The 17 3/8" wide body is bound in 5-ply celluloid and the finish is a deep and fairly subtle sunburst showing off a bit of curl on the maple back.

The sound is both rich and powerful, with the definition Epiphones are known for. We are always pleased to offer these top-line Epiphones; they are not only great guitars, but a huge part of the New York area musical heritage.
Overall length is 42 in. (106.7 cm.), 17 3/8 in. (44.1 cm.) wide at lower bout, and 3 1/4 in. (8.3 cm.) in depth at side, taken at the end block. Scale length is 25 1/2 in. (648 mm.). Width of nut is 1 11/16 in. (43 mm.).

This is a lovely just-post WWII Deluxe in far better shape than many; a superb-looking and sounding guitar. The finish overall is well-preserved, with just some light wear...mostly small dings and dents to the top, including pickwear into but not through the finish. There is an old clear overspray to the back of the neck only.

There is a dark stain and some minor disturbances to the finish on the top near the fingerboard related to a floating pickup mounted there at some point. The neck looks to have been reset some time ago and there is a bit of typical touchup around the edges of the heel; visible, but inconspicuous.

The guitar retains its original hardware including the rosewood adjustable bridge, gold-plated Frequensator tailpiece, and Epiphone individual enclosed gold-plated tuners. The only missing piece is the pickguard. Overall a superb postwar swing guitar; one of the nicest '40s Epiphones we have had with a huge sound. It still lives in a well-preserved original HSC with some old travel stickers on the lid. Excellent - Condition.