1939 Martin 000-21

This is a vintage mid-1939 Martin 000-21 Orchestra Model flat top acoustic guitar. This particular grand auditorium-sized pre-war example, serial number 73184, is in completely intact 100% all original condition. This unbelievable find from Martin’s Golden Era is rare in and of itself, however, finding one in perfect structural condition, with no cracks, no breaks, no repairs, and no replaced parts, is becoming practically impossible. Almost identical to a concurrently crafted 000-28, this exceedingly rare model is every bit as magical, and produces an extraordinarily beautiful tone.

This pre-war Martin 000-21 features; Brazilian Rosewood back and sides, scalloped bracing, a 14-fret neck (introduced in ’38) Herringbone-inlayed soundhole rosette and back stripe, an Ebony fingerboard (discontinued and replaced with Rosewood in ’41), and miscellaneous desirable pre-war appointments.

To clarify and expand upon the extent of this instrument’s originality, here is a detailed list of the original components/parts/features:

– Original Adirondack Spruce top
– Original Brazilian Rosewood back, and sides
– Original Lacquer finish on entire body
– Original several-ply white/black/tortoise binding on top
– Original single-ply tortoise binding on back
– Original Ebony fingerboard
– Original Brazilian Rosewood headstock veneer
– Original Grover tuning machines with “Butterbean” buttons
– Original T-frets
– Original Ebony bridge
– Original bone nut, 1 11/16″ wide nut width
– Original bone saddle
– Original Tortoise plastic pickguard
– Original Scalloped braces
– Rear-shifted X-bracing
– Original bridge plate
– Original neck joint
– Original ‘C.F. Martin & Co.’ headstock decal
– Original slotted/split-Diamond inlays
– Original notched black plastic bridge pins
– Original black plastic strap pin included
– Original Green-interior hard case

Incredibly well-preserved, this guitar was recently purchased from the family of the original owner. It appears that at some point in the late-’50s, a DeArmond soundhole pickup was professionally installed, and though there are no residual marks marring the integrity of the inside of the soundhole, there is an enlarged strap pin hole, which has been expanded to accommodate a 1/4″ input jack. Both the original strap pin and an attractive vintage after-market peg are included. The original bone bridge saddle has been notched instead of shaved to lower the height of the action. It has been executed tastefully, and isn’t distracting, but is a slight modification to the saddle which should be noted. Lastly, several very slight pickguard wood grain separations are apparent, which do not present as cracks through the top, but rather unfortunately inevitable superficial openings typical to all Martin models. Yet, the very small ones on the inside of the tortoise guard are actually quite insignificant in comparison to the average pickguard drying cracks prevalent on guitars made 30 years after this one.

Surprisingly, thanks to the pristinely intact neck joint, the neck angle and subsequent action are better than any other ’30s Martin we’ve ever offered. While it may not be perfect, it does not need a neck reset, nor has it ever had one. Sure the action is a little high, but the gutiar is playable, and the string height is comfortable. The guitar sounds incredible, with a perfectly balanced richness, and clarity that is simply unparalleled by any other acoustic guitars. Accurate intonation, and playability perfect for both strumming and finger-picking alike, this guitar is a pure pleasure to play.

The original case is in perfect structural shape: all latches and hinges work perfectly, all hardware is in place, and even the original leather handle is intact.