Martin Guitars

1919 Ditson 1-45 Guitar (Baby D-45), Serial Number 466

Martin began making Ditson guitars with the wide-waisted shape in 1915. The initial production guitars were relatively plain guitars with mahogany back and sides. It was not until 1919 that Ditson guitars were made with Brazilian rosewood bodies and the full range of Martin models were offered: styles 21, 28, 30, 42 and 45. (For the record it should be mentioned that Vahdah Olcott-Bickford bought two Ditson 3/4-21 guitars in 1918.)

The rosewood Ditsons were ordered for just one year and only four Ditson 1-45 guitars were made, with serial number 466 being the last.

Although Martin always referred to these guitar as "Ditson Model 1-45" they have been popularly names "Baby D-45" because of their small size but with a wide waist reminiscent of a Dreadnought guitar.

Serial number 466 was ordered on March 19, 1919 and was shipped to Charles H. Ditson & Co. in New York on July 29, 1919.

The tuners are most likely Dinsmore & Jager #9 machines with inlaid ivory buttons. A distinctive fleur-de-lis pattern is engraved on the backing plates.

Although Martin had stopped putting ivory bridges on their own guitar in 1917, the Ditson 1-45 guitars were supplied with that feature.

The last photograph shows Chris Andrada holding two of the four Ditson 1-45 guitars.

The guitar comes with its original green-lined keratol case.

Style 45 features:

Back and sides: Brazilian rosewood

Top: Red spruce (Adirondack)

Purfling: Abalone

Abalone sound hole ring

Binding: Ivoroid

Backstripe: Fancy purfling strip

Other period features:

Fan braced

Ebony fingerboard

Ivory pyramid bridge

Ebony bar neck reinforcement

1-7/8" neck width at nut

Style 45 Japan pearl snowflake fingerboard inlays

Oliver Ditson Co. stamp on back of headstock

No style stamp

Photos courtesy of Chris Andrada

11 thoughts on “1919 Ditson 1-45 Guitar (Baby D-45), Serial Number 466

    1. Sorry, this is not a site for selling guitars, just for sharing information about Martin guitars.

      Occasionally I will post a guitar that is available. If that is the case I show the date I posted the entry and provide a link to the dealer or collector.

      I do get to see a lot of guitars so if you let me know what you are looking for, I will let you know if I see anything.

      Right now I know of a Ditson 1 that is for sale privately. Would that be something you would be interested in? If you want to chat call me at 519-472-8851.

  1. The Ditson 1-45 guitar in it’s original green lined case, at the top of this thread, was owned by Rob Ehlers. As I hear the story, It was found at a Goodwill in Pasadena, and in need of repairs. Sadly, in the 1960’s, Rob refinished the guitar in nitro cellulose, and put the ebony bridge on it. I was going to buy it, back sometime in the later 1980’s, but I was three thousand dollars shy of his asking price of $18,000. I was however able to take some photos while I was with the guitar, one of them being the one you see at the top. I also have a couple of photos of myself with that guitar. Actually, I have photos of me with three of the four Ditson 1-45’s, including the one I own. The only Ditson 1-45 I do not have a photo of, with myself in the photo, is the one at the Martin Factory Museum. I hope that will change someday soon.

      1. I don’t really know, I do know Sting owns a size 5 guitar.

        Chris owned one of the 1-45 guitars and another (in quite wretched condition) is in the Martin Museum Collection. The Martin example looks good from the outside but the inside is a hideous mess.

        If you find out if Sting owns one let me know, especially if you can get the serial number. Chris’ 1-45 is serial number 466, the others have serial numbers 463, 464 and 465. I don’t have the serial number for the Martin example.

      2. That’s a big NOPE, Tom… Sting does not own any of the four Martin built Ditson Style 1-45’s…He did have a reproduction Ditson, I believe a Style 2, made by Jack Spira, from Australia, as well as actually owning a few original Martin Made Ditson Style 1’s, the plain ones, two of which came from my collection.

    1. If the serial number is 100, you a have a Ditson Model 1 guitar. It was shipped to Charles H. Ditson & Co. in New York on November 16, 1916.

      Martin used a separate serial number range for Ditson guitar (from 1 to 571). There should also be a “Ditson” stamp on the back of the headstock.

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