Martin (used, 1926) 000-18 12-fret slothead acoustic guitar

Tag No 39-2298 Used
This item is NOW ON SALE!

#26998, in very good condition with a slightly over-sized newer hard shell case.

This guitar has seen trial and a modicum of tribulation, nevertheless it is the ultimate statement of the visual essence of the C F Martin guitar in the 20th Century.   We are in awe of its rarity and historic significance.  1926 was technically the 13th year of in which the 000-18 was made, and it was also the largest year of production for the 12-fret version – Martin made 224 that year.  Over the 13 years of production, however, they averaged only 27 guitars per year.  In the year 1926 this model Martin sold for $45.

This is a very handsome guitar, however it has one major aberration from original that sort of stands out when you look at it closely:  the lower bout of the side is wholly replaced in an area covering approximately 29”.  They used a type of wood often called African mahogany but, with its golden highlights, its grain doesn’t match the original mahogany in the upper bouts – it could be Sapele (good old Entandrophragma cylindricum).  Astonishingly, the interior kerfing appears original (how did they do that?).  The top and back lower bouts have a rebound outer layer; the bridge and bridge plate have been replaced, and so has the pickguard.   The instrument has been refinished, the neck refretted and the neck has been reset.   The tuners could be replaced – they overhang the thickness of the headstock on the back of the headstock.  The tuners are definitely old, and they look correct for the period.  There was a pickguard crack that was glued and cleated underneath.  There are 5 side cleats underneath the face in the lower bout.   When you see and play this guitar our workshop wil have shimmed and recut the nut, lowered the action at the bridge saddle and performed our world renowned set-up.  They’ll have also reglued two loose back braces  and restrung the guitar with John Pearse silk-and-steel strings.

Indeed, we note the newer bridge, a newer pickguard that is slightly “bubbled” underneath; it has replaced oversized ebony pyramid bridge and a newer bridge plate under the face.  Who ever performed the neck reset provided no shim under the bottom of the fingerboard peninsula – they glued the fingerboard to the face, which resulted in a small fall-off at the end of the board.   As we said, the bottom side of the guitar, from just under the waist on the bass side to just under the waist at the treble side, was replaced.  And it shows. This guitar has rosewood bindings on each side, though the binding on the lower half was replaced when the side section was.   

The good news is that it the guitar is a 1926 Martin 000-18, a 12-fret to the body, slotted headstock model that was made in moderately low numbers.  It has an ebony fingerboard that is inlaid on frets 5, 7 and 9 with mother of pearl dots of decreasing size.  The tuners appear to be either original or period with brass plates and one line of etching.  It has rounded headstock slots, which isn’t expected – one would expect square slots.  Contributing to the mystery is that, in this time period (prior to the early ‘30s) Martin guitars have no headstock decal logo on their headplate – instead they have a “C F Martin & Co., Nazareth, PA” pressure stamp on the back of the headstock. 

Although this guitar, including the neck, was refinished, one can still read “Nazareth, PA” pressure stamp but it is right up to the top edge of the back of the headstock, and the “C F Martin & Co.” part of the logo is “off” of the headstock.  This strongly suggests that the headstock was once longer than it presently is.   That, combined with the rounded slots that you generally see on Martin classical guitars makes one wonder about the originality of the neck.   Nevertheless – it all looks righteous as seen by the audience, and feels and plays right to the player.  This 86 year old guitar shows, of course, normal dings, scrapes, scratches, scuffs and chips.  The braces on the top and back are dark colored and old or perhaps that’s excess glue inside there.   The interior kerfing is intact around the upper bouts, but in the lower bouts where the one-half-side was replaced the kerfing is around half normal size.  

This is a venerable and desirable collectible that has its little quirks and peculiarities, but considering that 12-fret, slothead 000-18 Martins are seldom seen for sale, we are pleased to be able to offer it. When an example is found in “excellent” condition they are $12,000 to $15,000.   We are pleased to present this to you, for the purpose of adult companionship.   

Regrettably, on hold.

Our SUPER SALE Discount Price is $3,600.00 and Our SUPER SALE Cash Discount Price is $3,495.00.

Sorry, this item has been sold.
You may still add it to your want list, and we will contact you if your desired instrument comes in!

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