C. F. Martin 0-15 Flat Top Acoustic Guitar (1950)

C. F. Martin  0-15 Flat Top Acoustic Guitar  (1950)
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Item # 8797
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C. F. Martin 0-15 Model Flat Top Acoustic Guitar (1950), made in Nazareth, PA, serial # 116414, natural mahogany finish, mahogany body and neck, rosewood fingerboard, black hard shell case.

This is a well preserved, great playing and sounding postwar 0-15, the lowest-ranked guitar model in Martin's 1940-50's line. The 0-15 is a study in careful economy; the matte finish was less polished out than the otherwise identical 0-17 it had recently replaced in the Martin line, but structurally the guitars were the same. Decorative appointments are reduced to the minimum. There is no ornament besides a W/B/W sound hole ring, tortoise celluloid pickguard and gold Martin logo decal. The tuners are large-plate openback plastic-button Klusons seen mostly in the late '40s.

While this was the least expensive guitar Martin offered, listing for $50.00 in early 1950, it is still built to the expected Martin standard of quality and is an extremely fine instrument. Exactly 700 of these little mahogany marvels were shipped from Nazareth in 1950, and this remains a nice surviving example, showing some wear but still playing and sounding excellent.
Overall length is 38 1/2 in. (97.8 cm.), 13 1/2 in. (34.3 cm.) wide at lower bout, and 4 1/4 in. (10.8 cm.) in depth at side, taken at the end block. Scale length is 24 3/4 in. (629 mm.). Width of nut is 1 11/16 in. (43 mm.).
This little Martin shows some typical wear and tear but remains all original and a nice example of this simplest of flat tops. The finish has some dings, dents and scrapes overall, but the top shows almost none of the typical pickwear. There are a few deeper scratches to the back, but most of the wear to the instrument is relatively superficial. There is one repaired grain crack to the top that appears to be the result of a case lid impact more than the typical dryness situation. Other than that the guitar is crack free. There is a spot on the headstock face where the finish is pulled up from what appears to be the removal of something once glued there; this is the instrument's most notable cosmetic defect.

The guitar has had a well-done neckset and some leveling to the original frets and plays perfectly. There is a bit of blushing and checking to the finish on the top near the fingerboard from the neck removal. The original bridge was lowered slightly at some point but still has decent height to it. The fingerboard shows some light wear in the lower positions, but no serious divoting. The sound is comparatively bright but sweet with plenty of volume, and the instrument responds well to fingerpicking or flat picked strumming. Excellent - Condition.