Here is a vintage 1947 Martin 000-28 flat-top acoustic guitar. This particular example, serial number 102154, was recently purchased from Bakersfield, CA, where it was believed to have been serviced by indigenous guitar legends Semi Moseley (Mosrite) and Bill Gruggett (Gruggett). With enough vintage vibe and musical mojo to automatically qualify for being the eye-catching head-turning, wall-hanger in any space, keep in mind it’s also a highly fantastic acoustic guitar that will excite your ears the same way its incredible altered aesthetic and obviously storied history will inspire your imagination. Sure old original guitars are great, but it’s unique customized vintage gems like this that achieve an additional status as a piece of Americana artwork.
This ’47 Martin 000-28 features: a double bound body construction, a two-piece close-grain spruce top, Brazilian rosewood back and sides, a Mahogany neck with an Ebony fingerboard, a Brazilian rosewood headstock overlay/veneer, an Ebony bridge, the original single-line Kluson Deluxe tuning machines, and the original Lifton hard shell case with green interior!
As touched upon briefly, the guitar was recently purchased from a gentleman in Bakersfield, CA: home to some of Country music’s greats and the guitar luthiers whom helped them achieve such. And while little is known about left-handed “Ron” and his creatively customized Martin 000-28, it was explained that Semie Moseley of Mosrite had painted the guitar its current sunburst color, in addition to, custom fabricating matching double pickguards with his name engraved within. Also, the guitar was rather simply configured from right-handed to left-handed, with respect to the nut only, which means it is currently more conducive to right-handed playing, is strung for such, and includes an extra nut that was used when it was strung opposite.
Moseley refinished the top and the back of the neck in his famous sunburst color finish, and even oversprayed a light transluscnet red over the peghead. The back and sides were also oversprayed with a clear coat of lacquer, but do not appear to have been sanded and refinished. The bridge has a plugged hole in the middle, there are a couple of filled holes by the neck heel from ancient strap pins, and there is one large drying crack parallel with the grain of the wood, in the back of the guitar that was oddly stabilized and cleated by Bill Gruggett many years ago. And though that sounds like a lot, it is otherwise in very impressive structural and cosmetic condition.
The top, sides, and neck are all crack, break, and repair free. The spruce top is void of warping, bellying, structural fatigue, and the original bridge (though affixed by an after-market Moseley installed screw) is cleanly attached and not lifting. As is the case with nearly all vintage Martins, the originally delicate neck angle has since given way to less playable action. While the neck is firmly in place with no evidence of separation at the heel, the low-E string currently sits 3/16″ above the 12th fret. The guitar is currently playable, but a neck reset must be considered when placing a bid on this guitar, as it is necessary to restore the guitar to perfect playing/functional condition.
In its current state, the guitar sounds great, and even with the vibration dampening plastic guards, the natural acoustics projects nicely. The neck profile is fantastic and the original frets display surprisingly light wear. With very minimal work, this guitar will likely replace your favorite acoustic.
The guitar includes the original green-interior Lifton hard case, several original bridge pins, and miscellaneous vintage string packages.