NEW YORK, NY.-
This April, an unrivaled Collection of 265 highly significant acoustic guitars will be sold at auction by Guernseys
in New York City. For four decades, the esteemed auction house has built a reputation for presenting extraordinary collections and this stunning assemblage of instruments is no exception. The array of extremely rare guitars, assembled by an anonymous gentleman over his lifetime, will be auctioned at a live, two-day event (April 2-3) at the stylish Bohemian National Center on East 73rd Street in New York City. Absentee bidders will have various options for participating including three online bidding platforms.
The Collection includes a broad array of legendary Martin, Gibson, Epiphone, Gretsch, Washburn, Stromberg, Prairie State and Larson Brothers guitars. Among the featured instruments are treasures created by such extraordinary nineteenth century craftsmen as Antonio de Torres, Francisco Simplicio, and early twentieth century master John D'Angelico. (Pictured: a 1934 DAngelico Excel and a Martin OM-45 Deluxe.)
The historical importance of these guitars is unparalleledthese are the instruments that laid the foundation of the guitar industry as we know it, said Chris Gill, Editor-in-Chief, Guitar Aficionado. This collection captures the transition as old-world handcraftsmanship merged with Industrial Revolution production techniques, creating very rare, high-quality instruments that showcase the various manufacturers creativity when they were really emerging and reaching their peak.
While each of the 265 guitars is rare and valuable with its own distinct features and unique story, some of the most notable guitars include:
· The 1862 Antonio de Torres Classical Guitar was created by Spanish master luthier Antonio de Torres whose influential designs transformed the guitar from a meek, polite instrument suitable only for the confines of small parlors, drawing rooms, and cantinas into a powerful instrument with a dynamic voice capable of filling a concert hall. More of an innovator than inventor, Torres took pre-existing elements like a fan bracing, a larger body size, and domed top and refined and improved the instruments overall design through painstaking attention to the finest details.
· The 1930 Martin OM-45 Deluxeone of only 14 that were ever producedis one of the rarest and most desirable guitars ever made. Reissues of this coveted instrument are also exceptionally rare, as Martin has only made a handful of reproductions despite its status as one of their most requested models. As if this guitar wasnt already rare enough, it is also the only known example with a sunburnt finish.
· The 1934 DAngelico Excel has a serial number (1098) that does not appear in John DAngelicos production record book, although an Excel model with a serial number 1097 that was made for Ned Cosmo is listed. That guitar is also the first Excel model with a serial number listed in DAngelicos records. The construction features, low serial number, and odd Exel misspelling of the models name on the headstock inlay suggest that this and Cosmos guitar were the earliestif not the firstExcel models that DAngelico made in 1934.
· The 1936 Epiphone Emperor was the companys response to Gibsons Super 400 model, introduced in 1934. The 1936 Emperor is a very early example featuring the short-lived second version of the Emperor trapeze tailpiece, which appeared on the model for less than a year before Epiphones trademark Frequensator tailpiece replaced it. The tailpiece features the Emperor name engraved on the upper cross bar, and zigzag pattern engravings surround the four cutout holes and edges.
Guernsey's has produced a magnificent auction catalogue which includes nearly a thousand handsome photographs documenting the many instruments in the event. Descriptions have been written by Guitar Aficionados Christopher Gill, while the guitars (and mandolins) were carefully inspected by noted expert Frederick Oster, a regular appraiser on the national televised program, Antiques Roadshow.
The catalogue features each of the 265 guitars, including fifty extraordinary Martins, the 1840's Martin & Coupa, various OM-28, F-9, 00-45, D-28, and D-45 models. Among the many Gibsons are Super 400s, SJ-200s, L-5s, and a one-of-a-kind Super 400 Flattop. The dozen D'Angelico guitars include New Yorkers, Excels, a Special, a Style A and a rare mandolin.
The entire collection can be previewed from April 1-3 at the Bohemian National Hall, 321 East 73rd Street in Manhattan. The previews will start at 10 am and run through the evening. The live auction will take place on Wednesday, April 2, and Thursday, April 3, beginning at 7:00pm. Information about several advance preview events is available from Guernseys.