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Here is a delightful Martin 000-28, the top model in the immediate post-war period. The more ornate 'abalone' models such as the 45 had been discontinued in the early 1940s, not to surface again until the late 1960s. Serial number of 102131 places manufacture squarely in 1947, a year during which serial numbers ran from 98159 to 103468.

This guitar was restored back in the 1980s by Gerard Gilet in Sydney, a commission undertaken for the daughter of the original owner to correct the effects of the fact that her father had lived for decades in tropical areas, which had caused the failure of some of the glues attaching the top to the rim, and some of the binding and purfling. There was also damage to the solid Brazilian Rosewood side lower bass bout which was beautifully repaired by Gerard, a leading luthier here in Australia.

The guitar still retains a beautiful vintage patina and does not at all have the characteristics of many 'restorations', testimony to Gerard Gilet's sensitivity when dealing with fine vintage instruments. (Indeed, even Gerard's hand-built guitars, such as my much-loved jumbo that sold recently, have that beautiful character of perfectly applied, thin nitrocellulose finishes). The original cellulose tortoise has been retained.

The only criticism I have of his work on this occasion was the choice of Gotoh tuners, which are still on the guitar. The outlines and (filled) mounting holes of the original Kluson Deluxe tuners are evident, and it should be a simple task to re-install Klusons should you wish to do so.

Martin's 000 body size is regaining popularity as preferences move from the big Jumbo and Dreadnought sizes back to the vintage, smaller sizes. Martin's present 'Eric Clapton' model, for instance, is a 000-28.

But this is the real deal! Real vintage Sitka Spruce top (darker than the pre-1946 Adirondack Spruce), and solid Brazilian Rosewood back and sides. There are some minor stable humidity cracks in the solid timbers, which is to be expected in a 60-year-old solid timber acoustic.

The sound of the guitar can only be described as heavenly. It has an inherent sweetness of tone, but also a surprising amount of volume and projection. The balance between the low and high notes is better than any acoustic guitar ever to come through Grouse Guitars, and the intonation with a new set of Elixir 13-56 strings is perfect.

The original case long ago became a victim of the tropical conditions of the guitar's early life, so the guitar comes with a non-original hard shell case.

Sold to a buyer in Sydney


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