C. F. Martin 5-18 Flat Top Acoustic Guitar (1953)

C. F. Martin  5-18 Flat Top Acoustic Guitar  (1953)
$3,900.00 + shipping
Buy Now
Item # 9288
Prices subject to change without notice.
C. F. Martin 5-18 Model Flat Top Acoustic Guitar (1953), made in Nazareth, PA, serial # 130252, natural lacquer finish, mahogany body and neck, spruce top; Brazilian rosewood fingerboard and bridge, black gig bag 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. In 1953 exactly 200 were shipped out, one of the model's all-time best years.

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 has been a longtime fan, seen numerous times 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 a very good sounding and playing example, somewhat worn in but still a lovely original little guitar.
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 guitar shows a decent amount of general wear but remains nicely original with no large areas of finish loss and is an excellent player. There are pick marks and some odd lengthwise scratches to the top, but less of the heavy strum wear often seen on old Martins. There is a bit of wear into the wood on the lower edge of the sound hole and a worn-away area down to the wood at the waist below the pickguard. The back shows some buckle marks into but not through the finish.

Structurally this is a very solid example showing no cracks anywhere, and the bridge does not appear to have lifted either. The back of the neck is relatively clean with only some tiny dents and dings, the frets and fingerboard show some minor divoting in the lower positions but not enough to affect playability. The bridge looks to have been lowered a bit but still has decent height, and this is a very good-playing and sweet sounding example of this diminutive gem. Overall Very Good + Condition.