Stuart Mossman (May 13, 1942 - March 2, 1999) was an American guitar maker, entertainer and entrepreneur who built 6,000 guitars from 1968 to 1984 that were played by several professional guitarists, including John Denver, Eric Clapton, Albert Lee, Doc Watson, Hank Snow, Cat Stevens and Merle Travis. Mossman's work is seen as the foundation for today's generations of Luthiers who build guitars from fine tone woods.
The story of Mossman guitars is one of both tragedy and triumph. Often forgotten in the rejuvenated interest with acoustic guitars of the 1990s, Mossmans are best known for their craftsmanship, high-quality tonewoods, and attention to detail from a period when major manufacturers were rushing to meet the demand for acoustic guitars. While many of those instruments made during the high-production ’70s by volume manufacturers are now reviled by collectors, Mossman guitars from the period are exceptional in design, materials, and construction.
In early 1975, while the Mossman company was producing nearly 100 guitars per month, including a line of six production models and custom order instruments.
Mossman offered a variety of options on any model, such as extra-wide neck and 12 strings, and also provided custom inlay and engraving work. In fact, a customer could order any sort of special voicing for a new Mossman (described in the catalog as “overbalanced bass, overbalanced treble, or balanced bass and treble”) and by careful shaving of the braces during construction and assembly, either the top or bottom end could be emphasized.
In early 1975, a fire in the finishing area destroyed one of the buildings housing the manufacturing area and assembly line. No one was killed and losses to machinery were minimal. Only a few guitars were lost, but the company’s complete supply of Brazilian rosewood, the only wood stock stored in that location, was destroyed.
This instrument is a 1975 Flint Hills 12 String with a Spuce top and Indian Rosewood back and sides. This particular set of Indian Rosewood was chosen at the time, for it's similarities to Brazilian. Appointments include a Ebony fretboard and bridge, MOP dot fingerboard inlays, wood multi-colored purfling and back stripe, Grover enclosed tuners and White ABS body binding.
This instrument has some dents and scratches as expected from a vintage instrument. Additionally, there is some finish checking, minor fretwear and includes a hardshell case. We have attempted to capture most of the wear in the detailed photos below.12 string, 1975, Flint hills, Mossman, rosewood, spruce, vintage