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1939 D'Angelico 18" Special

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Serial number: 1418, stamped inside back

Body size at lower bout: 18" Scale length: 25 5/8" Nut width: 1 10/16" Body Depth: 3 1/4"

Finish: Sunburst finish, nitrocellulose lacquer type

Materials: Solid handcarved highly figured tiger flame maple back and sides; solid bookmatched handcarved Adirondack spruce top; solid flame maple neck with 3-ply walnut/maple centerstripe; engraved mother of pearl split-block fingerboard inlays; ornate art-deco peghead inlay, seven-ply body and headstock binding, triple bound fingerboard and soundholes.

Hardware: Original hardware includes gold engraved stairstep art-deco tailpiece; original gold Grover Imperial tuners; original adjustable ebony bridge with inlaid feet. Vintage correct bound stairstep tortoise pickguard.

Notes: Anybody seen Jimmie Norton? If so, please let him know we've got a guitar with his name on it.

The instruments of master builder John D'Angelico are widely regarded as representing the pinnacle of the modern luthier's craft. Completed June 10th of 1939, this extraordinary guitar was built for one Jimmy Norton, and entered by D'Angelico into his ledger as a "Special Large" model. With its full depth 18" body, this guitar is functionally identical to the New Yorker model, yet retains the ornate floral inlay pattern of D'Angelico's earliest guitars.

Lovingly maintained, this stunning guitar has been preserved in superb condition, with exceptional flame maple body and a fine-grained, quartersawn bookmatched soundboard of genuine Adirondack spruce. Original gold hardware includes engraved stairstep tailpiece, inlaid ebony bridge, and a very early set of Grover Imperial tuners, along with a gorgeous original style bound tortoise pickguard, that looks like Mirabella work.

The instrument is absent any but the most incidental pick, buckle, or fingerboard wear, with multi-ply binding all tight to the body, and only a few tiny patches of thumbwear on the neck. The tobacco sunburst finish on the top and sides is consistent with D'Angelico's color pallette and well sunken into the grain. We believe the back and neck had a bit of light clear nitro lacquer added some decades ago, long enough that some fine age checking has appeared now in those areas. Several finish cracks are visible in the top and sides, yet we can find that none go all the way through to the interior.

With its parallel braced, tap tuned soundboard and long scale, this guitar is an absolute powerhouse, with a huge dynamic range, deep resonant bass, brilliant highs and projection to burn. The neck in notably fast for a prewar instrument, with a decidedly contemporary gentle C profile, with smooth low action over fine pro frets. Offering true New Yorker performance at a fraction of the price, this Special Large is a masterpiece of luthiery, in splendid condition. Call now.

Setup: The frets have been precision leveled, crowned and polished as necessary; bridge height adjusted; bridge compensation set; string slots at nut and bridge inspected; bridge foot contour inspected; bridge radius inspected; 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-.057). 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: Deluxe black arched plush lined hardshell case.








































































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