C. F. Martin 5-18 Flat Top Acoustic Guitar (1959)

C. F. Martin  5-18 Flat Top Acoustic Guitar  (1959)

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Item # 8730
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C. F. Martin 5-18 Model Flat Top Acoustic Guitar (1959), made in Nazareth, PA, natural lacquer finish, mahogany body and neck, spruce top; Brazilian rosewood fingerboard and bridge, original black chipboard case.

The model 5-18 is Martin's entry into the all-time cutest guitar sweepstakes, and a very playable and good-sounding professional quality instrument despite its diminutive size. The "modern" 5-18 is built from the company's 19th century terz guitar patterns, with an 11" body and short scale just over 21". With appeal beyond its obvious suitability for young students, the 5-18 was steadily produced -- albeit in small numbers -- for much of the 20th century. The guitar was a solid seller through the 1950s, averaging well over 100 units per year...until 1959 when only 50 were shipped out, making this one a member of that select club.

With a sparkling sound and unmatched portability, this littlest Martin remains a well-regarded instrument today for travel, recording, and even live use. Dolly Parton is a longtime fan, and has been seen with a 5-18 over the years. Marty Robbins was particularly fond of this model in the late 1950s and was often seen with one, sometimes strumming and sometimes paddling up an imaginary stream! This is one of the nicest of this model we have had.
 
Overall length is 33 3/8 in. (84.8 cm.), 11 1/4 in. (28.6 cm.) wide at lower bout, and 4 in. (10.2 cm.) in depth at side, taken at the end block. Scale length is 21 3/8 in. (543 mm.). Width of nut is 1 5/8 in. (41 mm.).

This is a superbly clean example with only some light finish wear and no visible repairs or alterations. There is one deeper small ding in the back of the neck behind the third fret. The neck has been cleanly reset and the bridge pins are newer, but otherwise this guitar is as it left Nazareth in 1959. It is also one of the best-sounding we have had, with a deeper, less boxy tone than many of these. Complete in the original red-lined chipboard case, this is a diminutive gem from the folk era. Excellent Condition.