A little history: the style 44 guitar was suggested by Vadah Olcott-Bickford, a prominent teacher and concert and recording artist of her time. Ms. Bickford and her husband Zarvah produced many recordings between 1919 and 1922, and had a considerable amount of sheet music published as well. The guitars made for her and her students were required to be of the highest quality wood and craftsmanship (i.e. grade "45"), but with minimal and conservative decoration; even the back stripe is of simple black and white lines. An interesting point is that these trimmings were apparently the prototype for what eventually became Martin's modern grade "28" styling for top bindings. Between 1913 and 1928 there were approximately 17 size "0" guitars made, but only 4 of the "00" size, of which this is the only one known to exist. The instrument is in all original condition, even down to the bridge and end pins, and has never had any repairs done to it, nor has it needed any. A most singular and rare piece. Close-up photos available upon request.
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