Here is one of the rarely seen 12-fret D-28 guitars. It is also one of the very last regular 12-fret D-28s made (although a few more 12-fretters were made on special order in subsequent years).
Serial number 55082 was stamped on December 29, 1933 and cleared final inspection on January 23, 1934.
This might also be considered a special order guitar as it originally had the name "Lee" inlaid in pearl in the fingerboard (one photo show the fingerboard with the name inlay).
The guitar differs from other 12-fret D-28 guitars because it has a solid headstock and a neck width of 1-3/4" at the nut (as opposed to the slotted peghead and 1-7/8" wide necks of earlier examples). This guitar was made only a few weeks before the first 14-fret D-28 so it may be that Martin was experimenting with dimensions and features.
The tuners are Grover G-98 clipped plate machines with seamed butterbean buttons.
Back and sides: Brazilian rosewood
Top: Red spruce (Adirondack)
Other style 28 features: herringbone purfling, white celluloid binding, zig-zag backstripe
Photos courtesy of Gruhn Guitars
Love the site and this guitar! I can see where this site will become a very valuable resource for us Martin lovers. I’m sending a donation!
I appreciate any donation you care to make.
Do you have any guitars you would care to share? They don’t have to be rare or expensive.
My dad, Clyde Medley owned Serial 55083 D-28 Herringbone 12-fret solid headstock from 1958 until 2008 when we sold it C.F. Martin Museum in Nazereth, PA for $75,000.00. It was the last one made before 1934. To my knowlege, it is still there at the museum.
Thanks for the report. The last D-28 made in 1933 was serial number 55084. The 12-fret D-28 guitars were always made to order only but the last two (serial number 55083 and 55084) as a small batch of two. Both were shipped to Chicago Musical Instrument Co. on January 12, 1934.
Although I did a lot of research at Martin I don’t remember ever seeing this guitar.