1888 Pre Owned Martin 2 1/2 17 w/ Brazilian Rosewood and Original Coffin Case ID-8490
1888 Pre Owned Martin 2 1/2 17 w/ Brazilian Rosewood and Original Coffin Case
This 1888 Pre Owned Martin is in remarkably fine condition with very light wear. This is not at all what you would expect from an instrument that is over 120 years old. This instrument has been fully inspected by the renowned staff at Gruhn Guitars here in Nashville. The low E string tuner button was replaced by a previous owner. The A string button has been replaced by Joe Glaser at Glaser Instruments here in Nashville, the missing tuner was replaced with real Ivory that was aged to match. Both Tuning buttons are photographed in detail below. Additionally, there has been a chrome strap button added on the "Ice Cream Cone" neck heel.
The late 1800s were an exciting and crucial time for the guitar's place in history. The 1800s introduced the X bracing pattern. This is a fundamental design that is still used by all the fine luthiers we represent. The Martin company had just lost it's founder, C.F Martin Sr., and it was time for his son to take the reins. It was somewhere in this historic period that our little 2 1/2 17 was built. We are thrilled to have such a remarkable piece of history. Even in spite of the unbelievable amount of homework that was required to find it's place in history.
Prior to the late 1880s, most Martin styles were offered only in one size. As demand for larger guitars increased, styles previously listed only in size 2 or size 1 began to appear in larger sizes. This 2 1/2 would be considered a parlor size by today's standards, but it was the norm at the time. The size and nylon strings in use lends itself beautifully to the emerging guitar fingerstyle of the era - a style that is making a revival today. The tone is responsive and open as only an over 120 year old guitar can be. It boasts rich, mellow, dark tones with a surprising amount of volume.
The Style 17 was Martin's entry-level style. It was offered in both a size 2 1/2 and 3. It is contructed with Brazilian rosewood back and sides and a spruce top; the typical woods for guitars of the era. The neck is remarkably straight, with lower action all the way down the fingerboard. While bracing patterns were going through radical changes, this model featured fan-pattern bracing much like classical builders today use. The body is bound with rosewood binding, with no binding on back. Notice the beautiful figuring on the Brazilian used for the back and sides.
One of the most amazing parts of this piece is that is has the original coffin case. The wooden case is also in wonderful condition, with the original latches and handle. The case really establishes the time period this guitar was built - and looks wicked in your hands. For you history buffs out there, a young Samuel Clemens purchased a used 2/12-17 in 1861 and kept his until his death in 1910. From unpublished letters, it is suggested that he put in considerable time to try and become an accomplished guitar player. Well, we can't all write like Mark Twain, however, we can own the same type of guitar that he did! Additionally, he found the instrument to be quite useful in meeting people. Some things never change...
- Shipping Weight: 68
- Top Wood: Spruce
- Back Wood: Brazilian Rosewood
- Nut Width: 1.825"
- Scale: 24 1/2"
- Year: 1888
- Fretboard: Ebony
- Bridge: Ebony Pyramid Bridge
- Tuners: Brass Three-on-a-Post w/ Ivory Buttons
- Purfling: Wood
- Body Binding: Rosewood
- Backstrip: Single White
- Body Depth: 3 3/8"
- Lower Bout Width: 11 5/8"
- Upper Bout Width: 8 1/4"
- Waist: 6 7/8"
- Total Length: 36 5/8"
- Case: Original Wooden Coffin Case
- Misc. 1: Strap Button Installed
- Misc. 2: Neck Profile: V
- Misc. 3: Black Finished Neck
- Misc. 4: Frets: Barstock Frets
- Misc. 5: Neck Heel: Cone-Shaped