1937 Martin Guitar Model D-18
Appraised Value: $12,000 - $14,000
IMAGE: 1 of 2
Appraisal Video: (2:35)
Mass Street Music
GUEST: Yeah, I think this guy probably thought he was some kind of lady's man. (chuckles) It belonged to my father and he bought it new in 1937 from a music store in Shawnee, Oklahoma. And he played it in a band for quite a few years and then when he entered the service, it kind of set around for a long time.
APPRAISER: So you remember the instrument being around the house as a child?
GUEST: Oh, yeah. I was never allowed to touch it.
APPRAISER: So, can you tell me what's been done to it since you had it?
GUEST: Well, my dad played it up until 1986, and at that time it was... the frets were wore out and it were buzzing when he tried to play it and everything. So I contacted Martin Guitar, and they told me to... I was lucky because there's a gentleman here in Oklahoma City that could repair it. And he re-fretted it and reset the neck and has a couple of little, minor cracks in the side that he repaired. But while it was in the shop, my dad passed away, so he never got to play it.
APPRAISER: It's a 1937 Martin D-18. At the time it sold for around $75. Um... it was the simplest of this dreadnought guitars. It was the least ornamentation you could get. But as time has gone on, it's proved to be a very desirable guitar amongst professional musicians. There have been some things changed about it. If you look on the top here, there's a couple holes that have been filled. There are some repairs on the side and some finish touchups, but still, there are no cracks in the instrument. It's structurally sound. Obviously it had a very good repair job and is in great playing condition. Has anyone given you any indication of its real value?
GUEST: No, not really. I know there's a couple of guys at music stores that have offered me $300 or $400 for it, but I knew it was worth way more than that.
APPRAISER: Usually when an instrument's had some alterations it affects their value greatly, but being that this is such a prized instrument for its sound, it still is of significant value. In pristine condition, this instrument would bring somewhere in the neighborhood of $18,000 to $20,000.
APPRAISER: But still, it's a very nice thing, very desirable. I think its value would be $12,000 to $14,000. It is the right year and the right model. If it were two years later, it's value would be half that.
APPRAISER: Pretty good investment for $75.
GUEST: I figured $2,000 or $3,000 at the most.
This website is produced for PBS Online by WGBH Boston. ©1997-2013 WGBH Educational Foundation.
ANTIQUES ROADSHOW is a trademark of the BBC and is produced for PBS by WGBH under license from BBC Worldwide.
WGBH and PBS are not responsible for the content of websites linked to or from ANTIQUES ROADSHOW Online.
PBS is a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit organization.