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ca. 1935 Washburn Deluxe

Serial #:1560, orange oval label

Body size at lower bout: 15" Body depth, heel to endblock: 3 3/8"-4". Scale length: 25 1/4" Nut Width: 1 3/4" Neck depth: .82/1.10 1st/1th frets

Materials: Solid carved spruce soundboard, arched flame maple back and sides, solid multi-ply mahogany neck, solid ebony rosewood fingerboard with pearl dot inlay, abalone peghead inlay, bound body.

Hardware: Original nickel hardware includes trapeze tailpiece, compensated adjustable ebony bridge, bound tortoise pickguard. Recent nickel Waverly high-ratio butterbean tuners.

Notes: In their 1892 catalog, the Lyon and Healy Co. of Chicago reported production of some 100,000 instruments per year. Even allowing for a bit of puffery, it still would have made them the largest producers of musical instruments in the world.

The original Washburn guitars (not to be confused with the import brand of recent decades) were the pride of the Healy firm, and were produced in the company's giant Chicago plant by Regal after 1930. Founded in 1908, Regal maintained a Custom Shop to produce hand-carved archtops of professional quality, for brands such as Bacon and Day, Stewart and others.

This rare example of the Washburn Deluxe (Model #5258), was the firm's top-line f-hole archtop model, and is noteworthy for a number of features. At barely 4lb 4oz, the instrument is exceptionally light in weight, with a distinctly clear, open, and resonant voice, enhanced by the finely graduated X braced soundboard, as used by the Advanced Model Gibsons of the prewar era.

The compact 15" body is easy to hold as well, with a tapered depth ranging from 3 3/8" at the heel, to a full 4" at the endpin. Unique as well is the scale, at 25 1/4", it is significantly longer than most guitars of its size, adding power and projection to the voice. Finally, the lightweight mahogany neck is crafted with a unique seven ply construction, whose stiffness has kept the solid ebony fingerboard ramrod straight throughout the instrument's long career.

This distinctive guitar has been maintained in fine shape, without apparent cracks, and retains its all-original dark sunburst lacquer finish. The instrument is remarkably free of pick, thumb and fingerboard wear, with playwear mostly confined to some button scuffing on the back, and some scattered finish nicks on the top and sides. Neck angle and bridge height are both excellent, with ample room for string height adjustment up or down. Action is smooth and low, with a fresh high-precision setup over the prewar style V profile neck, and the top centerseam has been soundly resealed for a few inches under the original trapeze tailpiece. The pickguard is original as well, in a striking bound leopard tortoise, with newer Waverly high-ratio tuners added for precise modern tuning.

Accompanied by a copy its original Tonk Bros. catalog page, this rare prewar find from the Windy City, is the first example we've had the pleasure to present. One only: call now.

Setup: 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; bridge wheels and tuners lubricated; fingerboard and bridge oiled; body and neck cleaned and hand polished.

This instrument is strung with medium gauge bronze strings. The guitar will accommodate lighter or heavier gauge strings, according to preference. String action is set at 4/64" to 5/64" 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: Recent brown deluxe plush lined hardshell case.






















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