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1951 Epiphone Emperor Regent
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Serial #: 63140
Body size at lower bout: 18 1/2" Scale length: 25 1/2" Nut: 1 11/16"
Materials: Highly figured solid fiddleback maple back; solid tiger flame maple neck and sides; solid carved quartersawn bookmatched spruce top; 9-piece maple-walnut neck; 9-ply body binding; triple-bound heel cap, neck binding, f-holes and head stock; solid ebony fingerboard with "split-block" mother of pearl and abalone inlay; ornate pearl tree-of-life peghead inlay.
Hardware: Original gold hardware includes Pat. Pend. Frequensator tailpiece; epsilon-logo 16X1 tuners; adjustable compensated Brazilian rosewood bridge; hex-key truss rod. Vintage correct multi-bound leopard tortoise pickguard.
Notes: The glory of the Epiphone line, the Emperor was introduced in 1935 as the largest and most costly instrument the company ever made. Epiphone produced several prototype cutaway examples as early as 1941 but for reasons unknown, waited until 1948 to add them to the regular catalog, almost a decade after Gibson started offering the Super 400 with a cutaway. The Emperor Cutaway (or "Regent") model, had a run of just seven years until the company dissolved. As a consequence, the Emperor Regent remains one of the rarest and most desirable guitars of the classic era.
With its massive 18 1/2" lower bout, this mammoth guitar was the largest production archtop of its time. Though bigger even than the mighty Super 400, the Emperor is paradoxically more comfortable to hold however, as the upper bout is a full inch smaller than its Gibson counterpart. In addition, the extended Emperor cutaway offers several frets more access in the uppermost register than the S-400.
The back of this spectacular instrument is carved of gorgeous fiddleback maple, with neck and sides of tiger flame maple of exceptional intensity. The top and back are lavished with a full nine plies of binding, and neck itself is nine ply as well, unusually ornate even for this top-line model. And finally, this exceptional guitar is from the last full year for the classic prewar style peghead, with its graceful tree-of-life inlay unencumbered with the truss rod cover of later examples. (The hex-key rod is mounted under the fingerboard, in traditional Epi style.)
The instrument has been maintained is in gleaming condition, with all original gold hardware, fine original fretwork and a handsome recent bound pickguard. The formal dark sunburst finish is 100% original as well, showing only traces of normal scattered checking. Apart from some light thumbwear and a few lacquer dings on the top and neck, the instrument shows few signs of play altogether. The guitar has massive acoustic projection, with an exceptionally warm lower and middle register and the clear, brilliant highs of tonewood aged over six decades. The soundboard is hand-graduated from solid quarter-sawn bookmatched spruce, and the gentle C neck profile is remarkably contemporary, with smooth low action over a fresh, high-precision setup. Even the original deluxe brown hardshell case is in great shape as well.
An instrument of exceptional rarity, performance, and appeal, this guitar is a outstanding opportunity for the player and collector alike. We go years here before we see one of these, especially in this sparkling condition. One only: call now.
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; bridge wheels and tuners lubricated; fingerboard and bridge oiled; body and neck cleaned and hand polished.
Case: Original Epiphone deluxe brown arched plush lined hardshell case.