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1920s Washburn Lyon & Healy Style 115 Vintage Parlor Acoustic Guitar, Brazilian Rosewood


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Up for sale, a circa 1920s Washburn Style 115 parlor guitar in exceptional condition, featuring solid Brazilian rosewood back and sides. This guitar has received all the maintenance due an acoustic instrument that's a century old, boasting a fresh neck reset, tall carved bone saddle, and a fret level/crown.

Based in Chicago, Washburn's parent company Lyon & Healy was one of the preeminent acoustic guitar makers of the early 20th century, going toe-to-toe with Martin for the lion's share of this burgeoning market. Founded in 1864 by George Washburn Lyon and Patrick Healy, the Washburn company produced some impressive gems including this Style 115, which boasts a solid ladder braced spruce top, bookmatched Brazilian rosewood back and sides, and a mahogany neck capped with an ebony fingerboard.

Strung with 11-52 bronze strings, this Washburn offers tons of projection and dry, percussive cut. Trebles are sparkling and crisp, while the midrange is rich and layered with a sweet bloom as notes sustain. The bass register has a somewhat hollow quality, taut and punchy with great clarity. The overarching sound offers plenty of warmth, and this detailed-sounding parlor is simply a joy to play. This Washburn is featherweight at 3lbs 5oz, professionally setup here at Mike & Mike's Guitar Bar with easy-playing action.

The mahogany neck has a deep V-shaped profile carve with rolled edges on the slab ebony fretboard, measuring 1.010" deep at the 1st fret and 1.095" at the 9th. The original slender frets have been lightly dressed in the instrument’s lifetime, currently exhibiting no wear. The guitar plays cleanly up the steel reinforced neck, and the guitar boasts 12 frets clear of the body. The original ebony nut is intact, measuring 1 13/16" in width. The headstock has a polished ebony veneer, and the original open-gear nickel-plated strip tuners are intact and function as intended.

The Brazilian rosewood bridge sits flush with the top, and the new carved bone saddle has ample height. String spacing at the bridge measures 2 3/8". The guitar benefits from a fresh neck reset, ensuring the guitar is optimally playable for decades to come, and there is a crack repair across the neck heel. The body measures 13 3/4" across the lower bout, and the body depth is 4". The original Washburn "best in the world" label is intact, the six digit serial is cleanly stamped on the heel block, and the "George Washburn" stamp is present too.

The instrument has been professionally refinished in gloss nitro lacquer, highlighting the particularly dynamic grain on the bookmatched Brazilian rosewood back. Crack repairs are very few and very minimal on the body, with a couple very slight repaired splits at the bass-side waist on top, and a couple even tinier repairs at the bass-side edge of the soundhole. There is one ding on the backstrip and some additional minor marks on the lower bout on top and adjacent to the rosette. An endpin hole has been cleanly plugged, and the guitar exhibits a small spot of cloudiness and chipping in the lacquer central to the back lower bout body edge. The gloss finish on the neck profile is nigh-flawless.