Retrofret Stock # 7174. C. F. Martin Style A-K Model Flat Back, Bent Top Mandolin, labeled Beltone (1922), made in Nazareth, PA, natural finish, koa back and sides, mahogany neck with ebony fingerboard, black hard shell case. This A-K mandolin is a fairly standard Martin instrument of its era but has one distinct oddity. Instead of the company stamp this mandolin carries an unusual tradename: Beltone, a New York brand not often associated with the Pennsylvania firm. In the early 1920's Martin was building fairly large quantities of custom-brand-instruments for a number of wholesale and retail accounts. In 1922 the company briefly entered into an agreement to provide higher-end instruments for New York jobber Perberg & Halpin's Beltone line. The contract period seems to have been very brief; only 15 guitars, 12 ukuleles and 10 mandolins were listed as shipped-this is one of those! It appears generally as a standard Style A-K with koa wood body and plain wood trim; a mahogany neck, rosewood headstock veneer and ebony fingerboard. The only difference from Martin's standard issue is the name "Beltone" is stamped on the back of the headstock and on the backstrip under the soundhole; there are no Martin markings. Company records indicate this one was shipped July 29 1922; this is not only a cool Martin rarity but a fine player's instrument as well.Overall length is 23 3/4 in. (60.3 cm.), 9 5/8 in. (24.4 cm.) width, and 2 3/4 in. (7 cm.) in depth at side, taken at the end block. Scale length is 13 in. (330 mm.). Width of nut is 1 3/16 in. (30 mm.). This mandolin is structurally very solid and a good player but has had some work performed over the years. The back seam has been re-sealed; the work is fairly clean but the seam can be felt. The top and back appear to have had some French polish added, and the original celluloid pickguard is simply missing-the slightly indented area it was originally inlaid into is finished slightly darker, resulting in a sort of "mock-pickguard" effect. Original tuners, tailpiece and bridgeRare and cool, not absolutely original but a fine playing and sounding Martin koa A with an unusual pedigree! Includes a modern HSC and the original canvas bag. Very Good + Condition.
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Retrofret has been shipping instruments throughout the USA and worldwide for nearly 20 years. We have yet to experience a single instance of damage (...I hope this doesn't jinx our perfect record). Retrofret's shipping department can send parcels via UPS, Fedex, USPS, BAX, DHL and DSV Air and Yusen Air Cargo. We ship instruments and other items on a 48 hour approval basis once we received payment in full. Shipping charges and taxes are not included in the prices listed. Mail order shipments within New York are subject to sales tax of 8.875%. Shipments out of state are not subject to NY city and state tax, although the buyer assumes all other tax requirements of their municipality. Before sending payment, please call to confirm the instrument's availability and the cost of shipment.
If you decide not to keep an instrument shipped to you, notify us by telephone, fax or email within 48 hours of receiving it. We'll take note to expect the return. Please ship it in the same carton via UPS, insured for its full value. We will refund the price of the instrument as soon as we receive it, provided it arrives in the condition in which it left the shop. The customer is responsible for all shipping charges.