National Triolian Resophonic Guitar (1931)

National  Triolian Resophonic Guitar  (1931)
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$3,850.00 + shipping
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Item # 8769
Prices subject to change without notice.
National Triolian Model Resophonic Guitar (1931), made in Los Angeles, California, serial # 960P, Polychrome enamel with stenciling finish, steel body, basswood neck, black tolex hard shell case.

The steel-bodied Triolian was National's "bread and butter" guitar during the Depression, offering great sound and serious volume at the relatively modest price of $45.00. With National Tricone guitars selling for over $100 and the flashy brass-bodied Style 0 at $62.50, the single-cone Triolian made the powerful National sound available to a much wider range of players. Made of slightly better grade materials than the bottom-of-the-line Duolian, the Triolian was extremely popular among blues and hillbilly musicians and is still an excellent choice for many styles of playing.

This 1931 "Polychrome" example (from the first production year) is in nicely original condition, featuring a multi-hued enamel finished steel body with flat-cut f-holes and a 12-fret maple neck with a bound painted maple fingerboard. These Triolians were hand-sprayed so no two are exactly alike. This one is not particularly "Poly"; it has a fairly monochromatic dark mustardy yellow finish with greenish accents around the edges. The back has a bold and fairly clear palm tree & sunset sprayed on, the most distinctive visual signature of the Polychrome Triolian. The tuners are the fancier engraved-plate style used on the expensive Tricones, soon replaced on these with a plain strip. This guitar has recently been reconditioned but remains original and is an excellent-playing and sounding example.
 
Overall length is 39 1/2 in. (100.3 cm.), 14 1/4 in. (36.2 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 in. (635 mm.). Width of nut is 1 13/16 in. (46 mm.).

Overall this is a nicely original Triolian, with a recent neckset and refret but no other repairs or alterations. The finish shows typical wear with chips and dings, mostly to the edges. The painted fingerboard shows quite a bit of play wear, as does the back of the neck which is worn down in a sort of abstract rainbow pattern. There is an old oddly shaped grain crack on the bass side of the neck from the 5th to 12th fret, which appears to have been under the finish and looks more like a grain flaw than any sort of impact damage. All hardware is original including the cone, biscuit, tailpiece, and tuners, and the original decal is fully intact if somewhat darkened over time. This is a very fine-playing example, with the expected "blues approved" tone but actually playable in any style. Excellent - Condition.