Appraisal Video: (2:50)
Vice President & Department Head, Musical Instruments
APPRAISER: Can you tell me a little bit about this guitar that you've brought in for us to look at?
GUEST: Well, it belonged to my husband for many years. I'm not sure exactly when he got it, but it was in, probably, the early '40s.
APPRAISER: Now... and was he a musician? Did he play this guitar, or...?
GUEST: Yeah, he was a cowboy, and he played the guitar, and he was a musician.
APPRAISER: He did play.
GUEST: Yeah, he could make that sing.
APPRAISER: Uh-huh, uh-huh.
GUEST: And he played it all his life.
APPRAISER: Now, you were saying that he used to do wrangling, also, for trail rides?
GUEST: Yes, he wrangled dudes down the Grand Canyon, and he'd put the guitar on the back of his saddle and take it down and sing to the dudes when they'd get down below.
APPRAISER: Well, I get a little chokey just, actually, hearing that story because I probably would have liked to have been one of those dudes on the trail ride, having come from New Jersey and... and learning a few cowboy songs, but never very authentic.
GUEST: Yes, yes.
APPRAISER: This guitar is made by C.F. Martin Company in Nazareth, Pennsylvania, and it was made in 1938. It's a 000-42, and Martin denoted their style and size-- first it was the size-- by the three zeros, and then a hyphen. And then 42 was the style, and the style of this guitar was one of the highest that they sold, and really the... the top of their line in those days. They were produced from 1918 to 1943, and then production ceased of them. They used the finest materials throughout, all inlaid with abalone pearl. We have wonderful abalone cat's-eyes and snowflakes that run up the ebony fingerboard, and a fingerboard that's bound in ivory, as is the whole body. They used the finest Adirondack spruce for the top-- and actually, Adirondack spruce can no longer be gotten today-- as well as Brazilian rosewood back and sides. For a guitar collector, for a guitar maker, for a musician today, it's certainly the top of the line for any guitar. A great finger-picking guitar and flat-picking guitar as well. Now, do you remember how much your husband paid for it, or did you ever know?
GUEST: No, but because he had very few funds, I suppose he picked it up at a pawn shop, but I don't know.
APPRAISER: And he never breathed a word to you of what he paid for it.
GUEST: He never told me.
APPRAISER: Well, this guitar today, I think, to collectors, would easily sell between $20,000 and $25,000.
GUEST: Oh, yes, that's... It's not for sale, but it's nice to know that.
APPRAISER: Good-- good for you. All right. Well, thank you so much for bringing it in.
GUEST: Oh, thank you, it's interesting.