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1931 National Style 2 Tenor

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Serial #: 941, stamped below tailpiece

Scale length: 23" Nut width: 1 1/16"

Materials: Bell brass body; solid one-piece maple neck; ebony fingerboard, bone nut; pearl dot fingerboard inlays.

Hardware: All original hardware includes spun aluminum resonator cone, nickel stamped tailpiece, and nickel planetary tuners with grained ivoroid keys.

Notes: The National Guitar Company had a long history with the tenor guitar, introducing its first model in 1928, built initially with a pear-shaped body and tricone resonators. By later that year, the first single cone tenors made their debut, still with pear shaped bodies. By years end however, the single cone tenors were redesigned with guitar shaped bodies, a design the firm maintained until production tailed off around 1934, though some examples may have been produced as late as 1941, when the firm finally went out of business altogether.

With its powerful single cone resonator and larger body, the guitar shaped tenor was unsurpassed in volume and projection, making it ideal for big band, radio, and recording and were famously employed by the McKendrick brothers in the orchestras of Louis Armstrong, Eddie South and other big bands of the 20's and 30's.

This handsome guitar from 1931 features the Style 2 design, with its nickel plated bell brass body engraved in an elegant 'wild rose' motif adorning the top, back and sides. This gleaming example has been maintained in wonderful condition, with all original plating, hardware, and resonator cone. Apart from some pick fogging on the cover plate, and a few random nicks, the instrument has been carefully maintained now for over nine decades, since it left the factory in Depression era Los Angeles.

The neck profile is a gentle C, with smooth low action over a fresh high precision setup. The tone is forward, punchy, and full of natural reverb, with exceptional bark and projection: no wood-bodied tenor could begin to approach the power of this little cannon.

Happily, high quality National style instruments have been produced on an artisanal basis in San Luis Obispo, CA since 1989. But despite the profusion of models that have been reissued since then, the classic National tenor has never been among them, making these rare originals highly desirable to both players and collectors alike. A special plus, this striking instrument comes complete with a custom fitted Calton molded flight case, a thousand dollar value in itself, along with an additional gig bag.

A floral masterpiece, from the golden era of resophonic technology: one only, call now.

Setup: String slots at nut and bridge inspected and recut as necessary; fingerboard conditioned; body and neck cleaned and hand polished.

Case: Original National black arched hardshell case.


















































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