1932 Martin 12-Fret 0-18 Guitar with Dark Top (Serial Number 49601)

The guitar featured in this entry is one of the very last 12-fret 0-18 guitars made by Martin.
The guitar was stamped on January 4, 1932 and cleared final inspection on September 13 that year. Nine months was a very long time in production for the period. The long delay was the result of Martin launching production the "Model 32" 14-fret 0-18 guitars in February 1932. The 14-fret instruments  were an instant hit and demand for the 12-fret models came to an abrupt end. Eventually Martin had to offer these late 12-fret guitars at "close-out" prices to get them to move.
This particular guitar was shipped to to Robert Simpson Co. Ltd., a large department store, in Toronto on June 7, 1933. As such it was an export item and received a "MADE IN USA" stamp above the C. F. Martin & Co. stamp on the back of the head stock.
However, the most appealing features of this guitar is the very soft "amberburst" finish of the top, which appears to be quite a bit lighter than the dark top finish of the Model 32 guitars. This 12-fret guitar did not leave the finish shop until August 1932 so a question needs to be asked: Why did Martin put a lighter sunburst finish on this guitar than for regular Model 32 14-fret models?
The tuners are Waverly G-2 machines.

Style 18 features:

Back and sides: Mahogany

Top: Red spruce (Adirondack)

Purfling: Lines

Binding: Black

Back stripe: None

Other period features:

Scalloped X-bracing

Rosewood fingerboard

Rosewood belly bridge

Ebony neck reinforcement

1-7/8" neck width at nut

Tortoiseshell celluloid pick guard

Dot fingerboard inlays (graduated)

C. F. Martin stamp on back of head stock

Style stamp

Photos courtesy of Carter Vintage Guitars.

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