Style 17 Martin guitars used mahogany for their top, back and sides, with a fan-braced top.
Years of Production: 1922 - 1938
Body Style: Concert/Parlor
Wood Composition: Mahogany back and sides, Mahogany top, Rosewood fingerboard
Design Elements: Square bridge, three-ply back binding, slotted headstock, 12-frets clear of body, small dot inlays, fan bracing
This is a lovely little Martin 2-17 from the mid 1920s. Very hard to date exactly, but it’s before 1929 when some design elements changed.
It’s all mahogany, with a dark rosewood fingerboard which we think is Brazilian according to our research.
We say this is a restoration project because while the guitar actually plays quite nicely up to the 7th fret, it definitely needs a neck reset. While the original frets appear with little wear, a refret is often required once the neck has been reset.
It has some surface cracks which have been repaired, and there are some cosmetic scratches on the top – see pics.
It also has a significant crack in the bridge, so our advice would be to replace the bridge as well. And we can feel that under the bridge there has been a piece of wood glued to the underside of the top in order to shore up the bridge, and this should probably be removed.
All that said, the original tuners are intact and hold tune well, the bracing appears to be in good shape, there appear to be no other cracks in the top, back & sides which need to be repaired.
And most importantly – even with all of the above taken into consideration, this is a sweet sounding small guitar, and surprising easy to play, even in its current presentation.
These 1920s Martin 2-17 parlour guitars sell for AUD $2500 - $4500 when in good condition, or rebuilt, as this one should be.
It would a most satisfying exercise for a new owner to restore this one to its former glory.
Comes with a modern case in new condition.