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1955 D'Angelico New Yorker Cutaway
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Serial number: 1985, stamped inside back
Body size at lower bout: 18" Scale length: 25" Nut width: 1 11/16" Body Depth: 3 1/8"
Finish: Natural blonde finish, nitrocellulose lacquer type
Materials: Solid handcarved tiger flame maple back and sides; solid bookmatched handcarved Adirondack spruce top; solid flame maple neck; 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 gold hardware includes engraved art-deco stairstep tailpiece; Grover Imperial tuners; original adjustable ebony bridge with inlaid feet. Vintage correct 9-ply leopard stairstep tortoise pickguard.
Notes: The instruments of legendary New York luthier John D'Angelico are widely regarded as the definitional masterpieces of the modern jazz guitar. This New Yorker model was his top of the line instrument, and we are extremely pleased for the opportunity to offer this outstanding example. With its cutaway body and original natural finish, this guitar embodies the most desirable features of this most sought-after of archtop guitars: a true pinnacle of the instrument.
Stamped with serial number 1985, this guitar is listed in D'Angelico's ledger as completed on December 3rd of 1955, for a customer recorded as 'F. Ferruzzi' (sic), who purchased it for young Regis Ferruzza, age 18, who kept the guitar for a decade until switching to classical guitar. Ferruzza then sold the instrument in July of 1965 to professional guitarist Oscar Carlson, who performed with it in the Denver area for some four decades until his death in 2005. So meticulous was Mr. Carlson that he kept his original cancelled check for the guitar until he died: it is included with the instrument, along with a copy of D'Angelico's original ledger entry.
This example exhibits signature features of D'Angelico's largest, most costly model, including the 18" super jumbo body, center-dip headstock, and engraved stairstep tailpiece. The peghead inlays were inspired by the art deco styling of the New Yorker Hotel, and the multi-bound stairstep tortoise pickguard and original Grover Imperial tuners both echo the prewar motif, along with D'Angelico's trademark streamlined soundholes. The curl of the maple is exceptional even for a D'Angelico, with huge rollers of tiger flame coursing the back from rim to rim, around the sides, and up the neck. The bookmatched quartersawn spruce top has Adirondack type grain, and is handcarved and tap-tuned as well, with a fingerboard fashioned from dark solid ebony, and an adjustable ebony bridge with pearl inlaid feet.
The guitar has been maintained in wonderful condition, with all-original finish, notably free of pick, buckle or fingerboard wear. Original gold hardware remains installed as well, including an additional vintage correct tortoise stairstep pickguard (original included in case.) Remarkably, the original multi-ply binding remains excellent as well, without shrinkage or rot, all still tight to the body throughout. Only the outermost ring of the peghead binding has been replaced, meticulously toned to match the original material. The intensely figured back, sides and neck show no cracks or repairs. On top, one short hairline crack is soundly cleated at the end of the fingerboard under the high E string, with another just beside the centerseam from bridge to endblock, also tightly resealed long ago. The solid ebony fingerboard is smooth and straight, with fine medium jumbo frets immaculately dressed. The neck profile is particularly elegant; a fine gentle C contour that simply glides across the palm, with smooth low action over a fresh high-precision setup.
Like any master quality guitars or violins, D'Angelicos do vary tonally across a fairly wide spectrum. And much of that has to do with the history of the individual instrument. While many factors contribute to tonal response, one constant in the finest examples is play over time. Simply put, the more they're worked, the better they sound. And this big guitar really has it all: the clarity, balance and superlative projection of a true bandstand veteran. Wide open and full throttle, this X-braced masterpiece simply throbs with deep resonance and juicy natural reverb. This is not just a fancy logo on a peghead: this is a real working instrument, first and foremost, with an absolutely commanding presence. And all transmitted sweetly to the amp with its genuine vintage gold DeArmond 1100 Adjustable Rhythm Chief pickup, the original and most coveted floating pickup of all time.
It's the whole enchilada: the Holy Grail. If you've been looking for the ultimate jazz guitar experience, look no further. Just 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 nickel strings (.013-.056). 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: Original deluxe arched plush lined hardshell case, with custom Cordura zippered case cover.
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