Martin_00-21 dated 02_1891

This is a Martin Double Ought style full size guitar that was part of an estate sale about 20 years ago. The seller advised that it has been siting in its case since acquiring it. Most of the following info Š in italics-is from Martin customer service.


The date 2/91 is pencilled in just outside the scalloped x-braces. The X-braces have been scalloped. The top is Adirondack spruce. Martin didnÕt use cedar during this period. The tuning machines look like the original Seidel models that were use during this time and the buttons would be ivory. The frets are nickel silver. Pretty much what has been standard for the entire history of the company.


The pyramid bridge was held on with hide glue and four machine screws when I acquired it.

Martin never screwed down bridges. I suspect at one point this guitar was strung with steel strings causing the bridge to lift and the top to distort. The guitar looks to be a Style 21 and from the measurement of the lower bout I suspect a Size 00. These were not MartinÕs least expensive models, at this time a Style 17 would be. It is solid wood not a laminate. Martin did use thinner rosewood veneers lined with spruce early on but that practiced disappeared around 1860. Looks like a bone nut and ivory saddle, ebony pyramid bridge. The original nut and saddle would have been ivory.


It seems to have a VERY slight bridge plate-thin and less than an inch wide

Since all models were gut string guitars Martin did use very small bridge plates. They helped increase volume and tone and the tension of gut strings was not an issue. Bridge plates became large in the 1910s when Martin started building steel string models.


It has ebony non slotted bridge pins (one is damaged and was replaced). They appear to be original and are ebony with MOP inlay.  Appears to be a Size 00 based on its dimensions. By todayÕs standards this would be considered a parlor guitar but at the time it was built a 00 was the largest size the company was building. All guitars at the point when this was built were gut string models.


I used the Thompson belly reducer to flatten the soundboard and created a bridge overlay from maple using hide glue for ease of reversal if warranted in the future. Some spruce was missing under the bridge from tear out and new Adirondack spruce was splinted in and leveled. Old hide glue was removed. Back was re-glued and a piece of  wood binding replaced. Two frets were missing and these were replaced with period bar frets and dressed. Two cracks on lower bout were glued and cleated with hide glue and loose soundboard at the bottom re-glued with hide glue. Tuners cleaned.




9.5" upper bout

14" lower bout

25"scale length

36.5" total length

 4" deep at strap pin.