D-21 Guitars

1969 Martin D-21

Rating: 9.00, Sold (ID# 00154)
Call to Inquire: (818) 222-4113

One of the Only D-21s Made of Indian Rosewood!

This 15 3/4-inch-wide Dreadnought guitar weighs just 4.70 lbs. and has a nice, fat nut width of 1 11/16 inches and a scale length of 25 3/4 inches. Indian rosewood back and sides with laminated spruce top, mahogany neck, and rosewood fretboard with 20 frets and inlaid pearl dot position markers. Five-ply (white/black/white/black/white) top binding. Single black binding on the back. Soundhole rings in one-nine-one grouping. Checkered backstripe inlay. Headstock with gold "C F Martin & Co./Est. 1833" decal. Individual Grover Roto-Matic tuners with half-moon metal buttons. Black plastic pickguard. White bone bridge on a rosewood base with Martin black pins with white dots. This guitar is exceptionally fine condition, with the absolute minimum of marking on the top. Housed in its original black hardshell case with purple plush lining (8.50).

In 1931, Martin began making its big Dreadnought guitars under its own name, adding the letter D to its model code. Only the D-18 and D-28 were offered at first, with the D-45 added shortly after. Introduced in 1955, the D-21 combined the looks of a D-18 with the rosewood sound of the D-28. The D-21 was discontinued in 1969. The last Brazilian rosewood Martin was serial number "254498" -- this guitar, with serial number "254519," is one of the last D-21s and one of the only ones made of Indian rosewood. "In 1969 Brazil put an embargo on rosewood logs, and guitar-quality wood was no longer available in quantity. That year Martin switched to Indian rosewood" (Walter Carter, The Martin Book, p. 56).

"Except for the ill-fated electric models of 1959, the D-21 was Martin's sole addition to its catalogs in the 1950s. As with other Style 21 models, it looked just like a D-18 except for the 28-style dot pattern on the fingerboard. Viewed from the back, however, it would be hard to miss the Brazilian rosewood and checkered-pattern backstrip that Style 21 shares with the more expensive Style 28" (Jim Washburn and Richard Johnston, Martin Guitars, p. 161).

The D-28, D-21, and D-18 Dreadnoughts are described in a late-1950s Martin catalog: "The extra wide and deep body produces a tone of great power and smoothness, especially fine for radio or television work." The D-28 ("Rosewood body, spruce top, ivoroid edges, mahogany neck with steel T-bar, ebony fingerboard and bridge, wide frets, ivory nut and saddle, highly polished") is listed at $250, the D-21 ("The same model with dark bindings, plainer inlays, rosewood fingerboard and bridge, black pins") is listed at $200, and the D-18 ("Same size, mahogany body, spruce top, mahogany neck with steel T-bar, rosewood fingerboard and bridge") is listed at $150. (Jim Washburn and Richard Johnston, Martin Guitars, p. 158).

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