C. F. Martin 0-17 Flat Top Acoustic Guitar (1941)

C. F. Martin  0-17 Flat Top Acoustic Guitar  (1941)
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Item # 9613
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C. F. Martin 0-17 Model Flat Top Acoustic Guitar (1941), made in Nazareth, PA, serial # 77496, natural lacquer finish, mahogany body and neck, rosewood fingerboard and bridge, black chipboard case.

This is a superb playing and sounding JUST pre-war Martin 0-17, showing only relatively light wear and repair with a very powerful sound for a small body all-mahogany guitar. It was built in early 1941, a year that saw only 327 of these little mahogany wonders made with WWII looming. Inexpensive instruments remained important to Martin's bottom line; sales of this affordable model had been a big part of the company's salvation in the early-mid 1930's.

While the humbly unadorned 0-17 stood near the bottom of the Martin guitar line, it is still built of high-grade materials to Martin's lofty standards. The pre-was scallop braced examples are truly exceptional guitars despite their budget status. Listing for $30.00 in 1941, this guitar still represented a fairly expensive proposition for many Americans at the time…you could get a guitar from Sears for $1.98! Then as now 0-17 is a fully professional-quality instrument, extremely responsive with a rich, singing tone. This is one of the nicer pre-war examples we have ever had in a while and a wonderful player's instrument in every way.
 
Overall length is 38 1/2 in. (97.8 cm.), 13 5/8 in. (34.6 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 guitar shows some light wear and repair but remains a lovely example, cleaner than many of these depression era workingman's guitars. The top appears to have some very light old clear lacquer overspray, the effect of which is minimal. The rest of the finish is undisturbed. It shows some small dings, dents and nicks overall but very little in the way of playing wear. The top center seam has been resealed; the only other crack is a couple of small grain splits on the turn of the lower side, sealed but not finished over.

The tuners are modern repros of the original flat-plate Kluson machines, installed with no extra drilling required. The rosewood bridge is original and uncut, the saddle is newer. Even the bridgepins and endpin appear original. The bone nut looks like an older Martin-style piece, but is likely a replacement as the 0-17 were usually fitted with ebony nuts. The neck has been cleanly reset, the original frets show virtually no wear and this is a truly excellent playing guitar, with a huge ringing sound. It is still housed in the original chipboard case which is far better preserved than most and actually still fully functional.

Overall Excellent Condition.