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1934 Epiphone Tudor

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Serial #: 7452, Long Island "Epiphone Banjo Corporation" label.

Body size at lower bout: 16 3/8" Scale length: 25 1/2". Nut width: 1 3/4"

Finish: Sunburst finish, nitrocellulose lacquer type

Materials: Hand carved solid spruce top; highly-figured hand carved bookmatched maple back and sides; 5 piece mahogany neck with centerstripe; Brazilian rosewood fingerboard with variegated mother of pearl inlay; triple-bound body; abalone vine pattern peghead inlay in older asymmetrical 'Masterbilt' headstock design.

Hardware: Vintage gold trapeze tailpiece; correct bound black Masterbilt style pickguard; correct aged gold Sta-Tite style "butterbean" tuners; compensated adjustable single foot ebony bridge.

Notes: For years it was just an picture in an old catalog. A simple black and white engraving, with a florid description. "Lending itself to the performer's mood it will sing in a whisper or shout it from the housetops." And that was that. As pictured, floating in the clouds, the Epiphone Tudor was an exceptionally handsome instrument, combining the figured maple body of the Masterbilt Deluxe with the graceful peghead vine of the Broadway, and adding a variegated floral fingerboard inlay all its own. Though pictured in the1934 catalog, positioned between the Deluxe and the Broadway models, nobody could seem to find a surviving example. The Epiphone Tudor: the guitar that never was.

That all changed with the publication of the Fisch and Fred book, Epiphone: The House of Stathopoulo, still the finest volume on an American guitar maker. There it was, in the plates on page C-17. In living color, a honest-to-goodness Tudor, serial number 7453, big as life, from the collection of the co-author. And that's when people started looking. There just didn't seem to be another one. After all, folks reasoned, Epi made some extremely scarce models, especially during the lean years of the Great Depression. (The Epiphone Windsor mandolin pictured on C-47 was found by us some years ago, and remains the only known example.)

But sometime last year we began to hear rumors that another one might have surfaced. We were intrigued, but a bit skeptical. Countless phone calls and emails later, however, a parcel arrived on our porch, containing within in it a full fifty percent of the known examples of this most elusive instrument. The other Tudor was found, just one serial number earlier than the other.

And we are pleased to report it's a dandy. It's birdseye maple back is positively aboil with bubble figure from rim to rim. The 5 piece neck is perfectly bookmatched with deep chevron figure tiger flame maple as well. And the top, handcarved from fine grain Appalachian spruce is miraculously free from cracks of any kind. Even the centerseam is tight as a drum. It was our privilege to reapply a factory correct deep Epiphone sunburst finish, and outfit her with the accoutrements due a dame of her station.

The result is an instrument whose beauty and performance are every match for her rarity. A true player, the Tudor has the clear, balanced and brilliant voice of the best Masterbilt Epis, and is structurally identical to the top-of-the-line Deluxe. Wide open, with volume and projection to burn. And the action is smooth and even over a dead level fingerboard. Though just one serial number earlier than the Fisch guitar, this example is graced with the flowing cursive peghead logotype of the classic era Epis, while her fraternal twin is inlaid with simple block letters.

And so it is with utmost satisfaction we present this magnificent specimen, the only example to be offered on the open market. Rare as the Ivory Billed Woodpecker itself, and every bit as handsome: the Epiphone Tudor, spotted in the field at last.

Setup: The frets have been precision leveled, recrowned and polished as necessary; bridge height adjusted; bridge compensation set; string slots at nut and bridge inspected and recut as necessary; bridge foot contour inspected and fit to top as necessary; bridge radius inspected and recurved as necessary; bridgewheels and tuners lubricated; fingerboard and bridge oiled; body and neck cleaned and hand polished. This instrument is strung with medium gauge bronze strings (.013-.056). The guitar will accommodate lighter or heavier gauge strings, according to preference. String action is set at 5/64" to 6/64" at the 12th fret, with moderate relief for acoustic playing with medium strings. The action may be lowered or raised to your requirements with the adjustable bridge.

Case: Plush lined hardshell case.




















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