National Triolian Resophonic Guitar (1931)

National  Triolian Resophonic Guitar  (1931)
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Item # 8949
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National Triolian Model Resophonic Guitar (1931), made in Los Angeles, California, serial # 972 P, 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 full production year) is in nicely original condition, featuring a multi-hued enamel-finished steel body with flat-cut f-holes and a 12-fret basswood neck with a bound painted fingerboard. These Triolians were hand-sprayed so no two are exactly alike. This one is not really very "Poly" at all; it has a pretty monochromatic dark mustardy yellow finish with only some subtle darker 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 is an excellent-playing and sounding example, recently given its 100,000 mile tuneup and ready to go back on the road.
 
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.).

This is a very nice original example, with some recent repair work to make an excellent player for yeas to come. The neck has been reset, refretted and a graphite bar added internally to keep it straight in the future, something the shallow basswood necks really benefit from. All else is original. There is some general wear to the finish but nothing excessive, and one small spot on the coverplate where it looks like something was once glued. The National shield decal on the headstock is darkened but fully intact. This Triolian is great playing and sounding example, "Blues Approved" for sure. Excellent Condition.