Martin | 0-18 | 1943 | SN:83119
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This is a 1943 0-18 which has been lovingly restored and has a great back story to it… prior Mark Hargrave has this to say:”I responded by telephone to a classified ad in my hometown paper. A spoke with a pleasant, slightly guarded woman, who described the guitar as best she could. We arranged a meet at her place for the following day. Fast forward to the next afternoon. After exchanging pleasantries, Jean fetched the guitar over to where we were sitting. The O-18 had been in a closet, she explained, since her husband’s death in 2004. The story that unfolded is this: Her husband told her he had won the guitar in a poker game in San Diego, during the time he was serving in the Navy during the Second World War. The Martin was brought back to Illinois, remaining in her husband’s possession until he presented it to his son. Some time later, the man visited his son, only to find that the Martin was being stored under the front porch of the son’s residence (basically outside). Displeased by the son’s disregard for the value of the Martin, the man took the guitar back to his place, and there it remained until he passed away.
Anyway, I evaluated the condition of the guitar, which overall was pretty good. There were the inevitable issues, almost always present in a guitar of this age. Because a neck reset was needed, the saddle and nut had been deeply grooved so as to lower the strings. Fortunately, the bridge had not been shaved. The frets had pulled up on the treble side of the neck, resulting in muting of the B and high E strings. I did not know until later that Martin had used a rosewood reinforcing rod in these guitars, due to the metal shortage during the War. The next day the woman phoned and told me, “Ernie would want you to have this guitar.” Who was I go argue?
I took the lovely Martin O-18 to John Kingslight, a master luthier living in central Michigan (check the hyperlink below, he’s the real deal). He performed a beautiful neck reset, along with resetting the popped frets and replacing the “groovy” nut and saddle. The balance of the guitar is untouched, save the bridge pins (the originals are in the case).”
References: Martin Guitars, a History by Mike Longworth.
Pictures kind courtesy of Mark Hargrave.
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