1880s Martin 1-26. Guitar Database.

Martin | 1-26 | 1880s | SN:N/A

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Luthier Facts :
Name: Martin
Location: Nazereth, PA

Wait list: Sockists Worldwide
Taking Orders?: Yes, standard & customs
RIYL: Martin have set the benchmark for a lot of builders and manufacturers.
Note: (RIYL) Recommended If You Like



  • Model: 1-21 style
  • Type: 1 parlor
  • Year: 1880s
  • Top: Red spruce
  • Back and sides: Brazilian rosewood
  • Neck: Cedar
  • Total length: 37 3/4
  • Body length: 18 7/8
  • Upper bout: 9 1/4
  • Lower bout 12 3/4
  • Depth upper bout: 3 3/8
  • Depth lower bout: 4 3/16
  • Bridge:Ebony
  • Binding: Rosewood
  • Rosette: Lines
  • Backstrip: Marquetry
  • Purfling: Marquetry
  • Headstock: Rosewood
  • Scale Length: 24.9”
  • Nut width: 1 7/8”





This is an example of a 19th century 21 style guitar with the Spruce/Brazilian rosewood tonewoods, cedar neck, line purfling, delicate marquetry purfling and backstrip. The Brazilian has nice spiderwebbing and here is the information provided by the owner:

“This is a pre-serial number Martin 1-26 guitar in great condition. There are no cracks or repairs in the sides or back. There is a splint under the bridge to butt crack that was very professionally installed. Another tight crack from bridge to soundhole has been attended to as well. The bridge is not original, but is the correct size. The bridge pins are ivory (real) with abalone inlay and may be original to the guitar.

The ivory tuning key buttons are original, as are the tuners. The action is slightly high, and a neck reset is optional, but not needed. A couple of the frets have slid over a bit and need to be moved back into place. There are some non-original fret markers which have been installed in the fingerboard. Various nicks and wear, but overall in amazing condition considering the age of this guitar. OK, that’s all the bad, now for some good.

Many recognize the 1-26 as one of Martin’s finest sounding guitars. Indeed, the first time I removed it from it’s case and started putting it in tune, my wife came in from across the house and asked, “What is THAT?!?” She usually doesn’t pay much attention to me tuning a guitar (it happens a lot), but noticed this one immediately. I’m only offering this story to make a point about how absolutely beautiful this guitar sounds. The great condition, beautiful wood and inlay, and rarity of this guitar only add to the package. The V shaped neck is a joy to play.

1880s Martin 1-26-Complete Photo Selection


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