Up for sale, a 1910 Martin 0-21 in exceptional condition, luthier owned and professionally maintained. Built mid-way through 1910 and one of only 185 Martins built in this year, this 0-21 is emblematic of the elevated craftsmanship of the early 20th century. Arguably the most hallowed acoustic tonewood combination of all time, this guitar features solid bookmatched Brazilian rosewood back and sides, with an X-braced Adirondack spruce top and Honduran mahogany V-shaped neck capped with an ebony fingerboard. The instrument is a true featherweight at 2lbs 13oz.
Sound simply leaps from this Martin, with an overarching warmth and detail that stacks up well against later models braced for steel strings. Dynamically sensitive with a woody cut and glassy treble snap, the wound strings have excellent clarity and body, while plain strings have a sparkle and almost vocal-like sustain and body. A great choice for fingerpicking, this 0-21 yields a mellow, balanced quality with equal presence afforded all strings when playing open chords or traveling up the fingerboard.
Currently strung with Silk & Steel strings, this guitar has received all the maintenance due a Martin of this vintage, with a professional neck reset, new carved pyramid bridge, and compensated bone saddle. This guitar remarkably has no top or back cracks, and the finish is a combination of the original gloss and modern French polish.
The mahogany neck has a slender V-shaped profile carve, less severe than many Vs, with a relatively soft shape and rolled fretboard edges, measuring .830" deep at the 1st fret and .950" at the 9th. The ebony fretboard features 20 bar frets, with 12 clear of the body and graduated dot position markers on frets 5, 7, and 9. The fretboard is in fantastic shape, with no notable wear into the board itself, and the frets show no wear. The guitar plays cleanly up the straight neck with a 24.9" scale, and the original carved ebony nut is intact, measuring 1 13/16" in width. The headstock features a Brazilian rosewood overlay and original open-gear strip tuners that still function well. The C.F. Martin & Co name is cleanly imprinted into the back of the headstock per factory practices in this era of production.
The Adirondack top has the rich reddish golden color indicative of red spruce, with multi-ply binding and rosette. A new correctly shaped and carved ebony pyramid bridge has been carved and fitted with a tall compensated bone saddle. The guitar benefits from a professional neck reset, and the neck angle is viable for decades to come. The guitar had at one time been fitted with a trapeze tailpiece, and the small mounting holes have been cleanly filled, with a pale shadow of the tailpiece still present on top. The serial is cleanly stamped on the heel block, visible through the soundhole.
The original finish is no longer present on the back and approximately 80% of the sides, with additional French polish added over the entire instrument including the neck profile. This work was expertly done by luthier Cat Fox, a previous caretaker of this Martin. The French polish finish highlights the dynamic cuts of bookmatched Brazilian rosewood on the back and sides, and crack repairs are limited to a trio of very cleanly addressed (and difficult to spot) side cracks on the treble-side lower bout rim, all flush with the rim and only requiring two small cleats. Cosmetic wear is otherwise limited to pick wear across the strum path, and some additional scuffs and minor dings on top, while the back and sides are stunningly well-kept
A modern hardshell case is included.