Exc(+) condition • SN: 8836
1-7/8 Width at nut” • 2-5/16″ pin spacing
This Martin 0-21 has Beautiful Brazilian Rosewood back and sides, an Adirondack Red Spruce top, and a Cypress neck. This “single 0” size guitar is generally thought of as the “start” of true parlor guitar sizes. These “single 0’s” and the smaller sizes from there, the #1, #2, #2-1/2, #3, etc.
This guitar was built for gut strings. What this means is that it is built without beefing up the area of the top below the bridge with tone bars. A thoughtful and competent luthier can do the job so you can play it with steel strings, or better yet, just string it with nylon strings or silk & steel strings – they sound great!
The slotted peghead has Brazilian Rosewood overlay and the original brass tuners with the original buttons. The serial number “8836” is stamped on the top of the peghead, and it is also stamped on the head block of the guitar. On the back of the peghead at the top “C.F. Martin & Co. Nazareth, PA” is stamped. There is no decal of any kind on the peghead. The 1800’s style diamond volute can be found on the back of the peghead. The neck profile starts as a very small heel, a really crisp V, and then as you move to about the 6th fret the V begins to melt into more of a lazy V, or even almost a U shape. In other words it is a very strong V towards the heel and more of a U shape towards the nut. Ebony heel cap and possibly the original Ivory nut. The Gabon Ebony fingerboard has the original bar frets and small diamond cut inlays, but the bridge is a replacement. Whoever made the copy bridge did an excellent job, but it is not exactly accurate because they left out the diamonds on either side. It is not worth taking off and finding an original copy because the work done on this bridge is great. The bridge pins are cream with black dots, and there is the original Ebony endpin.
The body of the guitar is wonderful quarter sawn Brazilian Rosewood. There are no cracks in the back, but there are a few very small cracks on the side that are hard to spot. you can see, on the lower bout on the treble side around the corner, a couple of cracks that have been repaired. The sides are also a remarkable quarter sawn Brazilian to match the back. The top of the guitar is a great Adirondack Red Spruce top with crazy wide grain out towards the binding, and then as you move inward towards the bridge you can see the growth rings get tighter. The 7-ply binding around the top of the guitar is a Rosewood outer binding with Maple, then more Rosewood; next it goes Maple, Ebony, Maple, Ebony. The soundhole Rosette is very elaborate as well with a herring bone center piece, and then a 5-ply binding of concentric circle inside of the herring bone. At the butt of the guitar there is an endwedge of Ebony that is bordered with Maple. There is an extra hole drilled above the endpin where someone previously put in a screw-in endpin. The back of the guitar has no binding but there is a decorative center strip of blonde wood. The back is so nice, the only negative thing is the occasional scratch mark. The neck and top have the same occasional scratches. The top has some wear where the pickguard would be.
This is a very cool 121-year-old instrument that we have strung with silk and steel strings. Comes with the original semi-hard case.