The guitar has the original Jerome tuners, set up for nylon strings, (nylon strings are still on it). The back and sides are Brazilian rosewood. The top is most likely spruce. Damage to the guitar is primarily to the back of the guitar, esp.Almost all of the wood binding, except for 8 inches on the top sound board, is intact. The back binding is intact except for 10 inches along the width of the bottom. The back middle strip is fully intact.
The neck of the guitar is intact and with no major deformity, but the previous owner covered some of the frets in a red masking tape which might take steam to remove. This guitar was made before the Civil War. All in all, this is a great project guitar for the amateur or professional luthier.
I will be happy to answer questions, or send additional photos upon request. I'm no collector or authority, but it was easy to look up. And scroll down, you'll find this passage. Martin Stamps, Peghead Logos, Labels.Older 1800s Martins are a challange to date (since they don't have a serial number like 1898 and later Martins). A "New York" stamp does not immediately suggest that the Martin guitar is from the 1830s for example. To accurately date pre-1898 Martins you must be familiar design and ornamentation appointments and the changes that took place in each model throughout the 1800s. Most useful though is the stamp, but you can only use the stamp on the INSIDE of the body on it's center backstrip (visible through the soundhole) to date a guitar. And even then you can only date to a period (and not to an exact date).
For example if it says on the center back strip, C. Martin, New York, then the guitar is pre-1867.New York, it is between 1867 and 1897. Check with a mirror, looking just below the soundhole and between the braces. 1836: Some with paper label "Martin & Schatz".
1838: Some with paper label C. 1838: Martin manufacturing moved from New York to Nazareth PA.
1840s: Some with paper label "Martin & Coupa". Martin, New York on inside backstrip. New York on incide center backstrip.1880s-1900s: Date often written in pencil on the bottom side of the top of the guitar by the factory foreman (can be seen with a lighted mirror). Narareth Pa on back of peghead & center backstrip. Martin New York is stamped on the inside backstrip, the head block and also on the back of the headstock. BUT THE REAL AUTHORITY IS FROM AN EXCELLENT BOOK BY ROBERT SHAW AND PETER SZEGO WHICH I'M INCLUDING IN THE SALE OF THE GUITAR.
According to the Shaw Szego's fine book Inventing the Guitar--The Pre-Civil War Innovations of C. Martin and his Contemporaries The Jerome tuners used on this guitar were discontinued by 1870.
The book also covers the history of the early Martin guitar company. Martin arrived in New York in 1833. In 1867 he forms a partnership with C.
Hartmann and the stamp is changed to C. BUT ON PAGE 183 THERE ARE PHOTOS OF THE EXACT GUITAR. THERE ARE DETAILED SKETCHES OF THE BRACINGS.
Total Body Length 35.25. With no pearl or ivory appointments in sight, this little guitar looks quite plain compared to most of the Martins profiled in this volume, but it is actually representative of the majority of the Cherry Hill workshop's 1840s production. The guitar was referred to as a small De Goni. After the guitar played by the famous Madame Delores Nevares De Goni. A BRAND NEW COPY OF SHAW AND SZEGO'S LARGE HARDCOVER 289 PAGE BOOK WILL BE INCLUDED FREE IN THE SALE OF THIS GUITAR.
According to the find research from Steve Kirtley and Robert Cowan, the coffin case in this listing was have high quality and made in the 1890s. THIS LITTLE GUITAR HAS THE SAME BRACINGS ON THE GUITAR, AS THE ONE MADE FOR COLONEL DARRAGH WATKINS AS A GIFT WHEN HE GRADUATED FROM WEST POINT.HIS GUITAR WAS MADE IN 1846. YOU MAY ENJOY READING ABOUT THIS AMERICAN HERO. I'm not sure of very little in life, but this is what I can be sure about this guitar. With everyone questioning me, I was forced to do some research.
I reviewed the work of Robert Cowans, Steven Kirtley and the Shaw and Szego book on Inventing the American Guitar. It turns out this plain little guitar has asymmetrical bracings seen in the early C. Martin guitars, that are still seen on many Martins today.
It was definitely made in the 1840s, and here's why I say this. The early Martin company, especially as they became more established in Cherry Hill WorkShop, was like Thomas Edison's lab. They were constantly experimenting and changing bracings, bindings, tuners and materials.The guitar I have listed is "identical" in measurements and appointments, (except the runners which are brass) to the guitar listed on page 183 of the Shaw & Szego book. The dimensions are "absolutely exact" to those listed. They are not the same for any other guitar listed in the book. Therefore, I believe that's a strong fact about the guitar being made in 1840s. The guitar pictured on page 183 has bone runners on the tuners that were changed over to brass in the mid 1840s. The guitar listed here has brass runners.
I drew out the bracings at someone's request. The bracings are simple, and seem to be a hybrid of the C.I think at the time Martin was offering three basic guitars. The plain one for sale here, and the Martin & Coupa style for a few bucks more, and the H.
Schatz style for a few buck more. I believe this little guitar was made in the 1840s because the "exact bracings" of this little guitar can be found in Figure 6-13 page 107 of Shaw & Svego's book. They are the bracing patterns for the guitar made for Colonel John Darragh Watkins, who received his guitar as a gift after graduating from West Point. You can see the guitar on page 127. This guitar pattern was an off shoot of the guitar made for Madame De Goni the famous Spanish Guitarist.
The guitar listed here was also referred to as the Small De Goni. The Watkins has the American style top bracing and the Spanish (Goni) style neck block that was the corner stone of the early Martin guitars, still seen today. In my opinion the guitar was made around 1846.
Also, the 1850s guitar have the darker neck and are more elaborate. In summary, for me to date this guitar beyond 1850 or to say early 1840s would be misleading of me. So, I'm sticking with the guitar being made on or before 1846. I also believe that it is unique in its bracings, that set it apart from many of the guitars made before and after this period.It carries the same asymmetrical bracings that are incorporated in the finest guitars made today by Martin and other luthiers. There is much on him. Another significant Martin Spanish-style guitar was owned by Col. John Darragh Wilkins, who received it as a gift upon his 1846 graduation from West Point.
Wilkins carried it with him during the Mexican War of 1848 and the Civil War (in which he saw action at both Fredericksburg and Bull Run). The Martin, its reinforced wooden case, and their owner all survived, and we have many reasons to be thankful. The history and provenance of this guitar are impeccably documented, Szago observes.
And just as the 1843 de Goni guitar is the earliest documented example of a guitar with an X-braced pattern, the 1846 Wilkins is the earliest documented extant guitar with a fully modern X-bracing. The item "PROJECT Pre-Civil War Martin Guitar with COFFIN CASE" is in sale since Thursday, June 16, 2016.This item is in the category "Musical Instruments & Gear\Guitars & Basses\Acoustic Guitars". The seller is "nicksvintageguitars2015" and is located in LaGrange, Georgia. This item can be shipped to United States.