Steve Swan Guitars
High Quality New and Used Acoustic Guitars

(650) 515-1014

Vintage Martin Dreadnought

I seek out strong examples of Pre-1970 Martin guitars from many sources. With their light build, Adirondack Spruce tops, and scalloped brace voicing, I am strongly interested in all models from the classic late 1920s through 1944 period. I like to have good sounding examples of the larger OOO and Dreadnought sizes in the postwar tapered brace voicing period of 1945 through 1948 with Adirondack Spruce tops ending for all models by late 1946 and Sitka Spruce tops being used exclusively in 1947-48. The beefier build style starting in 1948 progressing up through the mid-1960s produced some really great Dreadnoughts for Bluegrass and other heavier playing styles where volume and clarity are important. Scattered throughout the 1950s and early 1960s, but most notably in the 1952-53 period Martin used light, but strong Engelmann Spruce tops on some of their guitars. Many dealers currently mistake and misname this lighter colored top wood as Adirondack Spruce. I’ll also have smaller model sizes represented in this 1948-1969 group if they are responsive and demonstrate a lot of character in their voice.

Coming Soon: 1945 D-28, 1946 D-28, 1953 D-28 with Engelmann Spruce top.


1935 Martin D-28 (59394)

_____________________________________________________________ NOTE:   The highly polished surfaces of the back and sides makes outdoor photography without reflections exceedingly difficult, to say the least. _____________________________________________________________ This consignment 1935 Martin D-28 (59394) comes to the shop from the estate of a friend who purchased it over 20 years ago from a large upper midwestern electric dealer. The […]

More info and pictures →

Price: 79,500

1946 Martin D-28 (95062)

From spring of 1946, this extra resonant and responsive consignment D-28 (95062) is one of only 425 made that year. The combination of lively medium density Brazilian rosewood back and sides, a beautifully quartered Sitka Spruce top, Steel T-bar reinforcement in a full profile neck, and the radically tapered top braces all combine to make […]

More info and pictures →

Price: $19,500

1955 Martin D-28 (144545)

This lovely consignment 1955 Martin D-28 (144545) remains in marvelous original condition and the list of repairs is quite short. One of 806 D-28s made in 1955, the quality and care displayed in Martin guitars from the 1950s remained undiminished, even though the postwar boom in instrument ownership kept Martin quite busy. The  fine grain […]

More info and pictures →

Price: $13,500

1940 Martin D-28 (76035)

Fresh from a neck reset and refret, this one-owner consignment 1940 Martin D-28 (76035) is lively and in clean condition. This D-28 is one of only 134 made in 1940 and was made late in the year, nearly into 1941. Having been stored in the family home for 25-30 years, the finished surfaces and metal […]

More info and pictures →

Price: $65,000

1944 Martin D-28 (87595)

The consignment early 1944 Martin D-28 (87595) has been very well cared for, though there is some evidence that it was intended for use by a stage performer. This guitar is one of only 219 scallop-voiced D-28s made by Martin in 1944. The finish is bright and clean over he entire instrument, with just a […]

More info and pictures →

Price: $67,500

1940 Martin D-28 (74244)

This wonderful sounding consignment 1940 Martin D-28 (74244) is very clean and original, except for a patch of belt buckle rash in the middle of the back. Built very early in the year, this D-28 is one of only 134 that Martin made in 1940. The medium-fine grain Adirondack spruce top is free from any […]

More info and pictures →

Price: $87,500

1935 Martin D-18 (59589)

This great sounding spring of 1935 D-18 (59589) is one of only 133 made that year and was made early enough in the year that it received the “C.F. Martin” stamp on the back of the headstock. Adirondack spruce top with medium grain width out to edge of the lower bout. Honduras mahogany back and […]

More info and pictures →

Price: $39,500

1945 Martin D-28 (93083)

This magnificent sounding consignment 1945 Martin D-28 (95083) has the same favored specifications of Adirondack spruce top and steel T-bar neck reinforcement that my all-time favorite personal postwar D-28 had, only few serial numbers away from this one. The stiff narrow grain Adirondack spruce top and radically tapered top brace voicing give this guitar a […]

More info and pictures →

Price: $40,000

1946 Martin D-18 (96240)

This well presented consignment 1946 Martin D-18 (96240) has a lot of power to cut through in a group context, yet still retains a musical vintage warmth in the midrange and bass. The medium grain Sitka spruce top is free of cracks, but shows some dings, pick wear, and light fingernail dragging. The ebony bridge […]

More info and pictures →

Price: Sold

1942 Martin D-28 (82509)

This consignment 1942 Martin D-28 (82509) is one of only 96 examples made during the first year of WWII. This guitar remains in a fine state of preservation, though it was clearly used for years of performance. The voice is rich and even, responding quickly to a light pick attack. The medium grain width Adirondack […]

More info and pictures →

Price: $80,000