1947 National 1140 Archtop – £1249
ON HOLD Most famous for building resonator guitars, National also made archtop guitars in the 40’s and 50’s. This was because there was a dip in the resonator market, so they decided to enter the acoustic and electric world. However, they did not have their own woodshop, so to make acoustic flat top and archtop guitars they ordered unfinished bodies from Gibson (J-50 and LG-2 bodies for flat tops, and L-5 and L-7 bodies for archtops), and then added their own necks and finished the guitars in their shops. By the 50’s they got their bodies from fellow Chicago company Kay. But this 1947 example has a Gibson L-5 body. The guitar has a chunky neck which feels really substantial in the left hand, and also features very cool enclosed tuners and the iconic headstock badge. The guitar plays and sounds great, handling anything from blues to jazz. The guitar’s in good condition, with one noticeable wear patch below the treble strings, and comes in a non original hard case.