Martin | D-40BLE | 1990 | SN:496412
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- Model: D-40BLE
- Year: 1990
- Top: Spruce
- Back and sides: Brazilian Rosewood
- Neck: Mahogany
- Nut Width: 1 11/16″
- String Spacing: 2 1/8″
- Scale: 25.4″
- Body Length: 19 1/4″
- Lower Bout: 15″
- Upper Bout: 11 1/2″
- Body Depth: 3 3/8″, 4″
- Bridge: Inlaid Ebony
- Rosette: Abalone
- Backstrip: Marquetry
- Purfling: Abalone style 40
- Tuners: Gold hand engraved Martin monogram tuners
- Case: Mark Leaf
This is a modern D40-BLE. The style 40 was issued as to address the gap between the -42 and -45 styles and the plainer -28 -21 styles. It has gone on to be a popular style, providing pearl topped guitars at an affordable price. Built in 1990 this limited edition guitar has several vintage features such as the brazilian rosewood body, a narrower nut width as well as forward shifted braces. Most unusually, it is the first in the series.
The prior owner has this to say about the guitars “Serial #: 496412, numbered #1 of #50 limited edition, label hand signed by CF Martin IV and Mike Longworth. Serial number 1 is ordinarily reserved for Christian Martin. It is so special, with a mirror, you can see that both Christian Martin and Mike Longworth have signed the underside of the top. Even a picture of Mike Longworth handing it to the original owner.
One of Martin’s most ornate models, the Style 42 dates back to the 1860s, and was produced in various sizes until 1941. Style 40 Martins were revived in 1985 and remain in production with some variations to this day. This example was created in an edition limited to just 50 instruments produced in 1990 alone, and remain the only D-40 models made with Brazilian Rosewood since WWII.
This extraordinary instrument is crafted with classic prewar features including scalloped X-bracing that crosses 1″ from the soundhole, snowflake inlay on fingerboard and bridge, vertical Martin logo in high-color abalone, and grained ivoroid binding. Completing the design is the prewar style figured tortoise pickguard, and the unique and eye catching gold hand engraved Martin monogram tuners.
This pristine example has been in storage since purchase, and is in 100% original condition, without pick, buckle, thumb or fingerboard wear. The top is crafted of fine grain bookmatched quartersawn Sitka spruce, which combined with the particularly resonant Brazilian body produces a voice so powerful it is simply startling, with intense, piano-like projection and exceptional brilliance. With presentation quality looks, a comfy C profile neck, and blistering volume, this beauty is a rare find indeed on the vintage market.”
References: Martin Guitars, a History by Mike Longworth.
Pictures kind courtesy of cpabolting.
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