A total of six D-2 guitars were made in 1931 and 1932, of which this guitar was the last regular D-2 built. A seventh D-2 was made in 1934 with a carved top, being basically a C-2 up-sized to a Dreadnought 12-fret body.
Clearly the D-2 a very rare guitar but adding to the story is the fact that this guitar is still in the possession of the family of the original owner!
All D-2 guitars were ordered by the Chicago Musical Instrument Co. As well, all 12-fret Dreadnoughts were "special order" only; none were ever made for stock. It wasn't until March 1934 that the first Dreadnought D-18 and D-28 guitars, all with 14 frets, were built for stock.
Serial number 50642 was ordered on March 30, 1932, stamped on April 4 and cleared final inspection on April 22 (only 18 days in production!) The guitar doesn't have a Martin decal because the first decals weren't purchased until June 1932.
It can be seen from the photographs that the top binding is not herringbone. At some point the guitar was dropped or bumped and a portion of the herringbone purfling was damaged. Since herringbone purfling was not available at the time the decision was made to use white celluloid purfling, similar to later style 28 guitars, as a substitute.
It is particularly interesting to look at the vintage photos of the guitar. It was obvious the guitar was the pride and joy of the lady who once owned it.
The tuners appears to have been replaced. The original tuners were probably Grover G-97 machines (these were similar to G-98 tuners but a horizontal string barrel in comparison to the vertical string barrel of the G-98 machines). In this case the original tuners would have had clipped plates and seamed butterbean buttons.
Style 28 features:
Back and sides: Brazilian rosewood
Top: Red spruce (Adirondack)
Purfling: White celluloid (was originally herringbone)
Binding: White celluloid
Back stripe: Zig-zag pattern
Other period features:
Ebony belly bridge
Ebony neck reinforcement
1-7/8" neck width at nut
Tortoiseshell celluloid pick guard
Slotted square and diamond fingerboard inlays
No decal on front of head stock