Original 1937 C.F Martin D-18 Shade Top (Pre-War)

Make:C.F. Martin
Model:D-18 Shade Top
Year:1937
Case:Newer hardshell case
Condition:Very Good

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We present an original 1937 C.F. Martin D-18 shade-top from the golden era.

This pre-war Martin D-18 is one of the best sounding flat-tops we’ve heard and from that period it can’t get much better. This 1937 example represents some of the best features such as honduras mahogany back and sides, red spruce top and a rare Sunburst/shade-top finish. Sitka scalloped forward X-bracing. Very exceptional rare piece of a pre-war Martin flat-top and few shade-top’s were made in that time frame.

This one has a rare power and depth of a Dreadnought combined with the sweetness, sparkle and singing character of the best pre-war mahogany Martins. Compared to all that’s come down the pike since, this is still one of the finest performing or recording guitars imaginable.

Overall, this C.F. Martin is in a excellent original condition for its age with no crack repairs. Original pickguard, ivory nut, ebony bridge, maple bridge plate, open back individual Grover tuners units with metal buttons, original bridge pins and endpin. The honduras mahogany neck has an unbound ebony fingerboard decorated with discreet pearl dot inlay. The peghead is faced in rosewood with the gold “C.F. Martin & C.” decal at the top. The neck profile is round backed but with the slightest hint of a “V” profile.

At some point the guitar has been in very high humidity environment which caused a lot of finish checking and minor finish flakes spots. NO overspray or touch up at all, just 100% original finish that have been well preserved by luthier; Dennis Berck. Nearly 85  years old, this flat-top has been well preserved and has been in the hands of one of best respected luthiers in the world; Dennis Berck.

Comes with a newer hardshell case.

  • Scale length is 25 1/2 in. (648 mm.).
  • Width of nut is 1 3/4 in. (44 mm.).

All work done by luthier Dennis Berck. 

  • New frets
  • Shim under the original ivory nut.
  • Original maple bridge plate is preserved and reglued with hide glue.
  • The original ebony bridge is carefully re-worked and preserved.
  • New bone saddle.
  • Neck reset.

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