1929 National Style 2 Tricone Roundneck


  • Year: 1929
  • Manufacturer: National
  • Model: Style 2 Tricone Roundneck
  • Case: Original Hard
  • Color: nickel plated
  • Condition: Excellent
  • Description: Retrofret Stock # 5255. National Style 2 Tricone Roundneck Model Resophonic Guitar (1929), made in Los Angeles, serial # 0940, nickel plated finish, German silver body, mahogany neck with ebony fingerboard, original black hard shell case. One of the most original and distinctive guitar designs ever, the National Tricone "Silver Guitar" is widely considered the finest acoustic instrument ever created for slide playing, in the original lap Hawaiian style or open-tuned blues. The roundneck "Spanish" Tricone like this one is also an excellent and totally unique-sounding guitar for many other musical styles. The round neck Tricone like this is considerably rarer then the square neck "Hawaiian" variant and has long been sought after as the ultimate acoustic blues/slide guitar. The Tricone Design, as its name implies, used 3 small spun aluminum cones to amplify the strings, set inside a hollow metal body of "German silver" alloy. It was a product of a collaboration between inventor John Dopyera and Hawaiian guitarist George Beauchamp, who wanted a louder instrument for the vaudeville stage than existing wooden guitars. The project came out so well that in 1927 they attracted investors and went into production, with four styles of Tricone resonators ranging from a plain Deco™ Style 1 with no body decoration through the elaborately engraved Style 4. This particular Style 2 has a delicate rose-pattern hand engraved around the edge of the nickel-plated body and dates to sometime in 1929, just before the onset of the Depression. The Style 2 originally retailed for $145.00, a tremendous sum even at the height of the roaring '20's�after 1930 these fancy German Silver guitars would only be produced in very small numbers. All roundneck Tricones are fairly rare-most were squareneck Hawaiian lap guitars that are not playable for the "regular' style. An engraved roundneck like this one represents one of the most beautiful and interesting variations on the 20th Century American guitar.Overall length is 39 in. (99.1 cm.), 14 1/4 in. (36.2 cm.) wide at lower bout, and 3 1/4 in. (8.3 cm.) in depth, measured at side of rim. Scale length is 25 in. (635 mm.). Width of nut is 1 7/8 in. (48 mm.). Simply the nicest Tricone we have had, a lovely example with plating that is still quite shiny with only light surface wear. Original tuners, cones, tailpiece, decal fully intact-appears to have had an expert refret and set up but no other alterations. This rose-engraved beauty is a sight-and sound-from resonator heaven. Includes the original semi-hard case. Excellent + Condition.