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1950 Epiphone Spartan

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Serial #: 59057, blue New York label

Body size at lower bout: 16 3/8" Scale length: 25 1/2" Nut width: 1 11/16"

Finish: Original limed blonde finish, nitrocellulose lacquer type

Materials: Hand carved solid bookmatched quartersawn spruce top; solid Primavera back and sides; three piece maple neck; Brazilian rosewood fingerboard with pearl inlay; triple-bound body, bound fingerboard and headstock; original bone nut.

Hardware: 100% original hardware includes 16x1 epsilon logo tuners, Pat. Pend. Frequensator tailpiece, bound tortoise pickguard, adjustable rosewood bridge with maple base, adjustable truss rod.

Notes: One of the scarcest models in the Epiphone line, the Spartan was introduced in 1934 as a round hole archtop with a maple body, equivalent to the Gibson L-4. By 1936 the model was converted to f-holes and became Epi's top-of-the line 16" guitar. By the dawn of the 50's, the electric pickup had all but drowned out the loudest acoustic archtops, and the Spartan, never produced in large quantities, disappeared altogether. Though offered in the postwar Epi catalog, the Spartan is rarely seen on the vintage market, and this is one of only a handful of blonde examples we have found to date.

The Spartan was the only postwar 16" Epi made with pro series appointments like the solid carved top and back, the Frequensator tailpiece, 16x1 epsilon logo tuners, and a bound tortoise pickguard, none of which are found on the Blackstone, Zenith or other smaller Epis. This blonde Spartan is further distinguished by a body of solid Primavera wood, a rare tropical tonewood also known as white mahogany, now quite rare and highly desired for its lustrous figure. This striking instrument is notably lightweight and resonant; and at a mere 5lb. 7oz in weight, she's loud and bright as a cannon. Apart from a single short dryness crack soundly resealed long ago near the bass soundhole, the guitar is otherwise free of pick, thumb or fingerboard wear, and shows only a few scattered finish nicks and a bit of scuffing on the back for its long career.

The voice is bright, forward and aggressive, with projection surpassing many larger guitars. Long 25 1/2" scale for punch and projection, 1 11/16" nut for easy fingering, fine original fretwork with smooth low action, comfy gentle C neck profile. We are always delighted to turn up a Spartan, and this example is surely as striking a specimen of this rare model as we've seen.

Setup: The frets have been precision leveled, recrowned and polished; trussrod tension and neck relief adjusted; 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-.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: Original deluxe brown Epiphone plushlined hardshell case. 













































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