NOTE: These are not our guitars; just saving the images for history and showcasing what's out there.

Monday, July 15, 2013

PRE-WAR 1940 EPIPHONE EMPEROR GUITAR

via this auction

"This incredible find is nothing short of amazing! This rare Epiphone acoustic archtop (we couldn't find another pre-war example ANYWHERE) was manufactured in New York, before the company's move to Kalamazoo, Michigan, and has the appropriate and original label inside the guitar with the serial number "14621". Guitars like this rarely come up for sale, and we're willing to bet that many of the ones that do still exist are all tucked away in private collections or various museum archives.

For a guitar 73 years old, this Epiphone is in MAGNIFICENT condition. The "official" grade would have to be VERY GOOD to EXCELLENT, though we have seem many archtops and other guitars not as old in much worse condition. This guitar could almost be considered a true "closet" find.

Amazingly enough, the nitrocellulose lacquer finish on this Epiphone is nearly completely intact, with very little evidence of any checking - if any! There are areas on the guitar where the lacquer has worn off, most noticeably the back of the neck, but for the most part the lacquer finish on this rare archtop is intact and in fine condition. Even the body and F-hole bindings on this archtop are almost entirely intact - which is an amazingly rare aspect in itself. Most of the guitars that exist of this age have fairly severe binding issues, and many have had the binding either replaced entirely or repaired where possible. This Epiphone, however, has had only very minor areas of concern with the binding, and if look closely at the pictures below you will see all of them quite clearly. You will see that the binding is starting to separate - NOT break - around the curves of the upper and lower bouts of the instrument, and you will see where there are some cracks along the binding around both the top and back of the archtop. There are, however, NO missing pieces of binding anywhere on this guitar.

Another amazing aspect of this rare archtop is that there are only four very minor cracks in the guitar. Two of them are located near the F-holes of the upper and lower bout of the guitar. The first one is located in the middle of the upper bout along the very edge of the top and directly underneath the binding, and the second one is located in the same location along the lower bout. Both of these cracks are approximately two inches in length. Another very minor crack is a hair smaller in length and also runs nearly parallel to the top, extending from the end of the F-hole on the upper bout. The last very minor crack extends approximately two inches from the very end of the instrument, directly underneath the tailpiece. We are happy to report that there are no others cracks, breaks, or repairs of any kind on this wonderful instrument, including NOTHING on its beautiful backside. Everything else on this rare Epiphone archtop is intact and completely original, including the tuners, bridge, tailpiece, pickguard, and the case, which is another amazing aspect of this incredible find.

The true beauty of this instrument, however, lies in the wood. The Spruce top and the flame Maple back and sides are simply stunning, and must be seen in person to truly be appreciated. We have tried to capture the flame of the Maple back and sides as best as possible, but the flame of the Maple grain is just unbelievable, and changes at almost every angle and under different levels of light. Even the color, form and features of the original mother of pearl inlays is stunning, including the very rare triangle inlay at the base of the peghead - which is a very rare feature of any Epiphone archtop model..."



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