C. F. Martin, Guitar, c.1846


SKU: 31789 Categories: ,

A Guitar by Martin known as the ex-Col. Wilkins This transitional model has the X-brace; branded at the back of the head: C.F.MARTIN/ NEW YORK; also branded on the internal Spanish heel: C.F.MARTIN/NEW YORK. The back and sides are Brazilian rosewood with a strip down the center of the ribs, the solid head has ebony pegs, and the spruce top has an ebony pyramid bridge. With a period or original grain-painted wood coffin case. Extensive provenance regarding the past owner, Civil War officer Colonel Wilkins.

C.F. Martin’s adoption of Spanish guitar design ideas during the 1840s is evident in this guitar, including:
* A deep body, broad center bout, & expanded lower bout
*Lightweight & strong cedar neck with a solid tapered headstock and Spanish heel-stylistically like a violin
* Internal Spanish foot extension of the neck block
*Long, narrow, rectangular ebony pyramid pin bridge
* Heel cap on the same plane with the back
* Brazilian rosewood body with divided sides

This guitar was built with an X-brace, a C.F. Martinengineering innovation. The back and sides are Brazilian rosewood with a strip down the center of the ribs, the solid head has ebony pegs, and the spruce top has an ebony pyramid bridge. The nickel-silver nut, an idea first implemented in the 1840s, was a luxury feature. It is branded on the back of head and on the internal Spanish foot: C.F.MARTIN/NEW YORK.

Remarkably, family documentation shows that the original owner of this guitar was Colonel John Darragh Wilkins, who served in the Union Army. Measurements: total length 953 mm, length of back 476 mm, scale length 24 ¾”. The original grain-painted coffin case is included.


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Additional information

Weight 25 lbs
Dimensions 48 × 20 × 10 in