C. Bruno & Sons "The Vernon" c 1920 | $1850 | C. Bruno & Sons were ninteenth and twentieth century 'jobbers' who purchased instruments from various makers and resold them through different retail outlets such as catalogs and music stores. The Vernon was a particular line of Bruno-labeled instruments during the first quarter of the twentieth century.
Its difficult to date this example. It's most certainly from the first quarter of the twentieth century. Early Vernon labeled instruments appear to have a round white label. The dark blue paper label seems to appear after the white one, so we're guessing circa 1920.
It's also difficult to pinpoint the maker, although some would say Regal, and that could be accurate. Close comparison with a labeled Regal instrument from the late 20s, however, reveals distinct differences in construction details and materials .. so who knows?
What is certain, are the quality of materials and construction details. The guitar is, overall, very well crafted with attention to fit and finish details. It doesn't show the typical mass production signs of a 'knock it out fast and cheap' guitar. Fit and finish is on par with Lyon & Healy/Washburn instruments of the period.
The body measures 13" across at the lower bout. The scale length is 24 1/4". The fingerboard measures 1 3/4" across at the nut, and string spacing is 2 1/2" at the saddle. The neck appears to be Spanish cedar and is carved into a 'V'. The finger board appears ebonized maple, inlaid with three pearl position dots. The head stock has a Brazilian rosewood overlay. The back and sides are book-matched Brazilian rosewood. The back is inlaid with an attractive marquetry strip. The ladder-braced top and the sound hole both sport the same marquetry trim, and top, back and sound hole are bound in white celluloid. The flat-pyramid bridge is original, and made from dyed maple. The tuners are original and very clean.
Overall, the guitar is in excellent, original condition .. almost as new. The neck was recently reset; two small bolts were removed from the bridge and the holes filled; a crack along the center seam was glued and cleated; the end pin is missing and the Brazilian shows a crack across the end pin hole; the frets were leveled and dressed; the saddle was replaced and the nut appears original.
The action is set at 6/64" and, coupled with its short scale, the guitar plays easily. And like many quality guitars from this era, the sound it produces is much fuller than one would expect. A set of silk and steel strings produce sweet, ringing tones with nice sustain. It's one of those guitars that's hard to put down once you pick it up and strum a few chords.
Comes with a soft case.
Check the demo mp3 and video.
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Forty-eight hour test drive on all instruments..if not to your liking, return for refund minus shipping costs.