Museum: Martin Guitars

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1935 Martin D-28

It's a rare pleasure to offer a guitar of this calibre to our website faithful. A Martin D-28 doesn't get more exciting or desirable than one made in 1935. Martin introduced the 14 fret Dreadnought in 1934, and the first full year of production was 1935. The 14 fret D-28 didn't appear in Martin catalogues until July of '35; and as such, sales were slow through the first two years of production. We estimate this D-28 is among the first 100 built. It is about 400 guitar serial numbers younger than Tony Rice's famous D-28, and dates within the first quarter of 1935. A one-owner instrument for most of its lifetime, the guitar was played by Ford Rush Jr. Son of Opry member and radio star Ford Rush.

An incredibly loud D-28, with endless headroom under a hard right hand attack, the guitar is an exceptional flat-picker. Tonally, it eclipses every other D-28 in Folkway's collective memory (as it should), and has knocked every flatpicker who's visited of their feet since its arrival Folkway.

The guitar has been well played through its life, but remains in quite good condition today. There is playwear north of the pickguard and around the soundhole; the finish is completely worn from the back of the neck; there is light buckle wear on the back, and there are 80 years of minor dings, dents, and scratches all over the instrument. We've made no effort to clean the years of patina from the guitar's original finish, and it looks gorgeous as it sits. The finish is 100% original, and without any touch-ups.

The guitar has a minor repaired crack at the pickguard's outside margin, a nearly invisible repaired hairline crack on the upper bass side (repaired by us, no finish touch up), and no other cracks. The top's original bridgeplate and all braces are all unmodified and perfect, and the top shows no warping or bellying. The back braces have had their ends cleanly reglued in our shop, and the back is without cracks or repairs. The guitar has had a reset and a refret within the last few years, and the bridge is most likely a masterfully made replacement. Original Grover tuning machines, nut, and bridge pins. The end pin a modern replica. Set-up by us, the guitar plays perfectly with medium-gauge strings and an action of 5-7 64ths at the 12th fret. There is 3/32" of saddle above the bridge at the high E, and 5/64" at the low E; the bridge is full thickness. The neck measures 1-3/4" at the nut, string spread at the bridge is 2-5/16".

Included with this D-28 are photographs and copies of newspaper clippings of the guitar's owner (with D-28) from the 1930's and 1940's.

A truly exceptional instrument.

With original hardshell case.

Please contact Mark Stutman directly regarding this guitar. Further details, photographs, and pricing are available upon request. He can be emailed at

Click HERE for our hi-def video feature of this D-28. Thanks to Alan Jeffries for the fine playing!

Shipping into the USA?

Sending this guitar to a US address is easy to do, and there are no import fees, taxes, or duties to pay when it arrives. We take care of everything involved in shipping -- all you have to do unpackage the instrument when it arrives and play!

Questions? Email us anytime, or call us toll-free at 1-855-772-0424.

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