This is one of the rarest finds of my guitar career - a pre-war D-18 in the even more rare "shade top" factory sunburst. Thus, we have taken a vast amount of photos to document this amazing instrument.
The guitar is surprisingly free of cracks, a nearly impossible to find trait. The original frets are present and in very reasonably good condition. The neck does need a re-set, however the guitar is playable as-is - and yes, it sounds absolutely amazing. It is my intent to allow the next owner to choose the luthier to perform the neck reset.
The original bridge has been re-glued. The bridge plate has unfortunately been replaced, however it was done somewhat well in that it is tucked under the top braces as it should be, and though it is oversized and made of spruce (yes, spruce), it is executed in a less than ham-handed way. I discussed yesterday the condition under the bridge with the last person who has viewed the situation beneath it. He said that is "looked as though he was the first one under there". The guitar had made its way to him with the bridge pulling up. He freed it up, cleaned it and re-glued it and did not see a top patch or any evidence of negative/harmful repairs. The top is stable and there doesn't appear to be any issues where the bridge and bridge plate work was performed. The nut, saddle and tuners are all original. While there has been some feedback received that the bridgeplate is very oversized, a discussion with one of the top US restoration experts centered on this area. I mentioned the feedback I had received, and he seemed to feel that it was not grossly oversized and gave me feedback along the lines of my bridge plate discussion above.
All finish is original and correct, showing wear as stated, but without the standard cracks, pickguard shrinkage or other common issues present on older acoustic guitars. It does appear that at least some care was taken throughout the guitar's life to keep it humidified.
The guitar came through a friend who obtained it from the original owner's granddaughter. A hand written letter from her, depicting her known history on the guitar, is included.
I've said it several times - being in the presence of this guitar is pretty amazing. Playing it and hearing its beautiful voice is sublime!
I am in search of an original case. For now, it is stored in a Gator molded case, which feels right for storage as it is foam lined and likely provides some regularity to the guitar's environment. We are humidifying it properly while it is in our care.
Call for more info. 530-570-1525