C. F. Martin 00-18 Flat Top Acoustic Guitar (1952)

C. F. Martin  00-18 Flat Top Acoustic Guitar  (1952)
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Item # 9485
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C. F. Martin 00-18 Model Flat Top Acoustic Guitar (1952), made in Nazareth, PA, serial # 125102, natural lacquer finish, mahogany back, sides and neck, spruce top; mahogany neck with rosewood fingerboard, original brown chipboard case.

The 1940's and '50's 00-18 is not one of Martin's rarer creations, but to many players and Martin fans constitutes one of the company's most beloved combinations of wood, wire and inspiration. This is not a flashy guitar; the trim is discreet with tortoise celluloid on the body edges and a simple multiply soundhole ring. In classic Martin style, the elegant understatement speaks for itself.

The 14 1/4" light mahogany body makes for a very responsive guitar, with a nice mix of depth and clarity to the sound. This example was built in mid-1952, one of a total of 651 000-18s shipped that second year of the Korean War. This 00 has typical period features with tortoise celluloid binding and pickguard, a rosewood through-saddle belly bridge and a nicely ambered top finish. The tuners are the postwar open back individual Klusons with large baseplate, replaced not long after this with the ubiquitous sealed Kluson Deluxe machines.

While not a particularly expensive guitar by 1952 standards, listing at $90.00 (plus case) the 00-18 still represented a substantial investment to many players in the early postwar period. Despite its smaller size and lack of flash the 00-18 remains a fully professional instrument popular with pickers of many styles, and one of Martin's most versatile and timeless classics.
Overall length is 39 1/4 in. (99.7 cm.), 14 1/4 in. (36.2 cm.) wide at lower bout, and 4 in. (10.2 cm.) in depth at side, taken at the end block. Scale length is 24 3/4 in. (629 mm.). Width of nut is 1 5/8 in. (41 mm.).

This is a very well preserved example overall; it has had a cleanly done neckset and the pickguard neatly replaced but appears otherwise unaltered. The finish shows minor checking and light general wear overall; just small scratches, scuffs and dings mostly. There is very little of the common pick wear, just a bit down to the wood on the soundhole edge above the pickguard. The back of the neck is very clean.

There is a typical pickguard crack repaired running back from the top edge of the guard; this is usually caused by the shrinking of the celluloid original and is likely why that was replaced. There are no other cracks on the instrument. The original bridge appears unaltered and the original bridgeplate is intact and unaltered. The original frets and fingerboard show some very light play wear making for an excellent player. This is a very lightly built guitar compared to later examples, with a lively sound. It would make an excellent recording, writing or performance instrument and is ready to gig, still with its original surprisingly functional chipboard case. Excellent Condition.