Vintage Instruments: Resonator & Steel Guitars

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1937 National Style 0

Perhaps made most famous through its appearance on the Dire Straits’ Money For Nothing album cover, the 14 fret National Style O remains one of the most iconic guitars of all time. With its etched Hawaiian scene, shiny nickel plated brass body, ‘chicken-foot’ coverplate and Deco headstock logo, National’s Style O is an instantly recognizable guitar.

For all you Knopfler fans out there, this example was built in 1937 (like Mark’s) and features the same build specs as the Dire Straits frontman’s famous Style O.

Nickel-plated brass body with ‘Diamonds and Arrows’ (AKA chickenfoot) coverplate. mahogany neck with sunburst finish and ivoroid bound ebony fingerboard, paddle headstock with pearloid National logo inlay. Chunky V-shaped neck carve with 1-3/4” nut width, and 25-1/8” scale. Original cone, tailpiece, nut, frets and tuners; neck properly reset, excellent fingerstyle / hybrid slide set up.

The guitar shows some corrosion where its original pickguard was once located. The celluloid used wasn’t very stable, and the pickguards on these guitars very rarely survive the years – this one is no exception. The finish is oxidized somewhat in parts of the back as well, and there are a few dents in the body’s edges but no seam separations or metal repairs to note. Frets show very little wear as the guitar was fitted with a Hawaiian style riser nut for most of its life. The guitar’s original cone is in good condition as well.

A sweet, bold, and pure voiced Style 0, this guitar has more life left it its cone and voice than many vintage Nationals you’ll encounter. It has nice definition through the bass without any compromise to its warmth, and its volume is strong across the strings.

With original chipboard case

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