This consignment 1930 Martin shade top OO-21 (44066) is very lively and presents in very nice, clean condition. The 12 fret guitars from 1930 are often mentioned as being the crowning achievements of Martin’s golden age of steel string building, and this guitar is clear evidence. One of only 85 OO-21 guitars built in 1930, this instrument is one of the cleanest that I have encountered. The Adirondack spruce top has the medium-fine grain in the center and very fine grain at the edges. The medium brown Brazilian rosewood back and sides has very pleasing tap tone responses. The Waverly strip tuners are in fine working order, the finish clean and bright. The original ivory nut and tailpiece saddle in good shape, though a nut crack has been glued under the low E string. The ebony fingerboard and bar frets are all in fine condition. The original bridge and pin set are all in clean, fine condition.
The top has two small repaired cracks near the treble edge of the lower bout. A shallow cross-grain repaired finish scrape on the bass-side upper bout of the top, about level with the end of the fingerboard, has been spot filled with lacquer. The back has a network of 4 connected 2″ cracks on the treble side lower bout, near the bottom edge. The entire body, but not the neck, had a lightly applied “clean up” overspray treatment many years ago, possibly at the Martin factory. There is light finish wear and signs of play scattered over the body surface.
This guitar is quite responsive, colorful, and bold-voiced for a OO size instrument. A real pleasure to play in a variety of settings. With Bull’s Head Harptone case in good condition.
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