C. F. Martin D-28 Flat Top Acoustic Guitar (1954)

C. F. Martin  D-28 Flat Top Acoustic Guitar  (1954)
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Item # 9816
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C. F. Martin D-28 Model Flat Top Acoustic Guitar (1954), made in Nazareth, PA, serial # 135271, natural lacquer finish, Brazilian rosewood back and sides, spruce top; mahogany neck with ebony fingerboard, original black hard shell case.

This is a stunningly well preserved Martin D-28 which was built during the "golden era" of postwar Country music in the early 1950's, when few of the stars of the day would be seen without one! After WWII the D-28 was the biggest, best and most expensive Martin guitar available. The pearl trimmed models were discontinued during the war and not revived, leaving this comparatively austere Dreadnought as top of the line. Despite strong competition from Gibson's Jumbo models this was at the time the absolute final word in a flat-top instrument to most professional players.

This D-28 was built in early 1954 has all the classic period appointments; multi-layer celluloid binding back and top, long-saddle ebony bridge, "Big-dot"-inlaid ebony fingerboard, tortoise pattern Celluloid pickguard and "Waffleback" Kluson Sealfast tuners. It features beautiful Brazilian rosewood back and sides with a very straight and even figure to the grain as Martin generally preferred in the 1950's. The very tight and even-grained spruce top would also be considered premium wood today. As the then-top of the line, 1950's D-28's were built with the highest graded woods Martin could procure.

While this is a fabulous guitar to look at; still, as with most old Martins the real beauty comes in the playing. The D-28 is one of the most respected of all Martin models, and this is simply fantastic sounding example. It has a huge full-range sound with a brighter top end than many while still maintaining a powerful bass response. This guitar is perfectly suited to period genres including purely acoustic Bluegrass or acoustic/electric Honky Tonk but also suited to a wide range of modern playing styles. We don't know where it was for 65+ years but this D-28 guitar has apparently seen not too much use since new and been exceptionally well-maintained.
Overall length is 41 in. (104.1 cm.), 15 3/4 in. (40 cm.) wide at lower bout, and 5 in. (12.7 cm.) in depth at side, taken at the end block. Scale length is 25 1/2 in. (648 mm.). Width of nut is 1 11/16 in. (43 mm.).
This guitar is simply beautifully preserved, showing only very light signs of use and age. The original finish still shines like Ike was in office, with some scattered small dings, dents and handling marks but no heavy wear. The most notable is a chip in the lacquer at the tip of the diamond volute on the back of the headstock.

There is one tiny pickguard crack off the top edge in the usual spot just below the B string. This has been cleanly sealed with minimal fuss and no cleats added. The only other visible repair is a strap button had been added and removed at lower treble side of the heel. The bridge and bridgeplate are original, the bone saddle has been replaced or at least recut, with the slot showing a bit of work around it.

The neck has been very cleanly reset and playability is excellent. The original frets show very little wear and really this guitar looks a few years old, not 66+. The beautifully ambered top finish has the natural look many builders today (including Martin) try to recreate with artificial ageing treatments. As "Big Dot" D-28's go they really do not come much better than this! The original green-lined hard case is still with the guitar, showing some light external wear but also in a far-better-than-normal state of preservation. Excellent + Condition.