1983 Gallagher Ragtime Special Handmade in Wartrace, TN ID-8480 - Artisan Guitars

1983 Gallagher Ragtime Special Handmade in Wartrace, TN ID-8480

1983 Gallagher Ragtime Special Handmade in Wartrace, TN

In 1968, Doc Watson was picking under a tree at a music festival with Merle Watson. J.W. Gallagher and son, Don walked over and offered for Doc to play the guitar that was in the case they were carrying. Doc did, liked the sound and when he went to hand it back, they struck a deal. “Keep it, for as long as you play it.” That guitar became Ol Hoss and it was the first Gallagher guitar that year. The last that year was bought by the late, great, Grandpa Jones. Today, the Gallagher family keeps doing what they do like nobody else…they make guitars that ring like a bell. J.W. Gallagher first began woodworking as a cabinetmaker in Wartrace, Tennessee in 1939. He made fine quality furniture. However, by the 1960’s, J.W. Gallagher was making quality guitars exclusively. The Gallagher Ragtime Special was designed in '77 for a customer that wanted a Jazzagtime guitar. The ragtime was the first Auditorium size guitar designed by Gallagher. Fun Guitar to pick up and play everyday!

Gallagher Guitars are built by hand in very limited numbers. From 1965 to 2005 only 3037 instruments were made, that’s around 75 a year. Limited numbers, unlimited care. There is no substitute for fine craftsmanship in a musical instrument. The workmanship on all Gallagher guitars is the same regardless of price or model.


This small but powerful Gallagher Ragtime Special sounds great. It has a very open and woody sound. The top has opened up quite nicely and has great resonation and note clarity with just the right amount of punchiness.

This guitar shows wear consistent with it's 1983 birthday. As the photos will show, there are 3 areas with some scratches and dents on the top, all near the binding, as shown in the 3 photographs. There is a dent on the side wood right near neck/body joint as well as multiple dents and scratches on the tip of the headstock.


  • 1983
  • Top: Sitka Spruce
  • Back and Sides: Mahogany
  • Neck: Mahogany
  • Fingerboard: Ebony Bound
  • Bridge: Ebony
  • Finish: Natural Gloss
  • Purfling: Herringbone
  • Binding: Black
  • Frets: 14 (clear)
  • Nut and Saddle: Bone
  • Trussrod: Adjustable
  • Scale: 25 1/4
  • Tuners: Gold Enclosed
  • Voiced Bracing: Yes
  • Body Length: 19
  • Body Width: 15
  • Body Depth: 4 1/4
  • Neck width at Nut: 1 3/4
  • Total Length: 40
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