This particular guitar has a very interesting story as it has been in the same family since 1934. The guitar is a remarkable survivor and, based on the photographs supplied by the owner, is in original condition excepting some minor wear.
Serial number 57801 comes from the first batch of D-28 guitars with a steel T-bar and T-frets, earlier 1934 D-28's having an ebony bar neck reinforcement and bar frets. It is about as nice an early D-28 as you are likely to see.
It was stamped on September 26, 1934 and cleared final inspection on November 22 that year. It was shipped to J. R. Reed Music Co. in Austin TX on November 15, 1934. It will be noted it was shipped before the rest of the batch of 12 cleared final inspection. However, Martin had an order so rushed one of the guitars through inspection and shipped it. It was the Depression after all! A D-28 had a wholesale price of $50 in 1934, more than triple Martin's average wholesale guitar price.
The grandfather of the most recent owner received the guitar as a high school graduation present in 1934 and passed it on to his grandson when he graduated high school in 1993. The guitar was sold by a Martin dealer in Austin, Texas and spent all its life in a town called Dripping Springs, Texas, about 20 miles west of Austin, so it never went too far from where is was first sold.
The tuners are Grover G-98 clipped plate machines.
Style 28 features:
Back and sides: Brazilian rosewood
Top: Red spruce (Adirondack)
Back stripe: Zig-zag purfling pattern
Other period features:
Advanced X-bracing with scalloped braces
Ebony belly bridge
Steel T-bar neck reinforcement
1-3/4" neck width at nut
Tortoiseshell celluloid pick guard
Slotted squares and diamonds pearl fingerboard inlays
Decal on front of headstock
C. F. Martin stamp on back of headstock
The guitar was sold by the original family in April 2020.