Headstock details and the ink-stamped number inside this guitar show it clearly to be made in the USA in the fall of 1951 - a Christmas guitar for a budding guitarist no doubt! That owner back in late '51 certainly was very careful, as the guitar shows some play wear (mainly to the 'ebonised' finish on the decidedly non-ebony fretboard, and also a little to the painted-on body 'binding' where the guitar would have rested on the player's knee). There is some scuffing to the sides of the body.
I also suspect the player never progressed beyond the 1st position, because past the third fret the fretboard is untouched!
An unbelievably correct and honest original 1951 archtop guitar. These student-grade guitars were made in huge numbers by manufacturers such as Harmony back then, but few survive in this sort of condition. It is interesting to compare this guitar with the absolute top-of-the-line 1958 Harmony 1310 carved top we also had in stock (click here to view)
Note, however, that this is not one of the bottom-of-the-line models, which had plywood tops. This vintage guitar actually has a solid top! There is a barely-perceptible and stable crack adjacent to the lower bout F-hole - check the detailed pics on the 'more pictures' link below - but this characterful guitar has an equally characterful and surprising tone and projection. Typical early '50s distinct "V" neck.
No sign of a neck reset, and plenty of adjustment (both up and down) of the original bridge. A very rare find in this sort of condition!!
Sold to Gareth