Martin & Coupa Guitar, ca. 1845
Appraised Value: $8,000 - $10,000 (2012)
IMAGE: 1 of 4
Appraisal Video: (2:47)
Mass Street Music
GUEST: Well, just basically this guitar was given to me by my husband's cousin. It's been in their family for a long time. My husband learned to play the guitar on it, my children have learned to play the guitar on it. A friend of mine told me one time maybe I shouldn't let it stand in the corner in the case. And I said, "Why?" And so it's always been a question about is it real or is it not?
APPRAISER: How old are your kids?
GUEST: 36, 35, 34 and 27.
APPRAISER: And they all played on this guitar?
APPRAISER: It's been around a long time and it's still playable. What this guitar is is from the Martin Company. This guitar was made in about 1845.
APPRAISER: This guitar was made when Martin was collaborating with John Coupa. And the label reads "Martin & Coupa, 385 Broadway." And the fascinating thing to me is that it says second floor. You realize they weren't a big, huge company on the main street of town. They were upstairs. The top is spruce, the fingerboard is ebony. The peg head is painted black, it's not an ebony peg head. It's what they call a Stauffer headstock. When you see this kind of curlicue headstock with all the tuners on one side, mostly what you think about are Fender electrics. Everybody thinks that Fender invented the six on one side. Well, this guitar had these kind of tuners 100 years before Fender even existed. I'm going to do a quick look on the back of the guitar so you can see... It's beautiful Brazilian rosewood back and sides. A painted black neck. The Stauffer headstock has beautiful engraving on it. Normally, on this... this is a little bit lower end model. It's not real, real fancy. Normally, it didn't have this headstock. To get the fancy headstock, you had to pay $1. And so somebody was splurging on this thing. What's wonderful about it is that it's in spectacular original condition. Nicks, scratches and dings, but all original finish, all original binding, original neck. Usually with a guitar of this age, the bridge has given up, the saddle has given up. It's all still intact. Your kids are playing on it. It's mind boggling that it's done so well. It's a testament to what that company has done. I don't know if you have an idea of the value or not. To me, the value is kind of second to the fact that you have it and the condition of it, but it has a significant value. Estimation of its retail value is somewhere between $8,000 and $10,000.
GUEST: Wow, really?
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.