Here we have a stunning Levin Model 3 Royal, made in Sweden.
The Levin company of Sweden was founded by luthier Herman Karlsson Levin in 1900, and the first guitar and mandolin factory was set up in Gothenburg, Sweden. Prior to establishing the factory, Levin had a shop in Manhattan.
Levin was purchased in the early 1970s by the Martin Guitar company. The last of the original Levin guitars were made in 1977 (the name has been revived for a new line of guitars, as can be seen on their current website here).
The Royal was one of the most fancy archtop models in the Levin line of that era. It has a 16 3/4 inch hand carved solid Spruce top, hand carved solid Walnut back, solid Walnut sides, and a Mahogany neck with an Ebony fingerboard. All super quality tonewoods! Serial number stamped on the top edge of the headstock is 309354, indicating a 1954 production. Serial numbers that year ran from 303552 to 321200.
This extremely genuine guitar still has its original multi-bound celluloid floating pickguard, which is becoming brittle and starting to suffer the usual decomposition, mainly at the two mounting points. However, with careful cleaning and use, it should continue to last for many years, and give the guitar its beautiful aged patina.
The guitar has been fully set up and serviced by Jim Cargill, and plays great with a straight neck and low action. I also got Jim to install my favourite Archtop bridge/pickup assembly ((Fishman) and endpin jack, to enable the guitar to be used either acoustically or amplified. It is simply stunning in both modes! The original bridge is inside the case (also the original case).
This guitar is a stunner, and plays and sounds as good as it looks. With its wild, over-the-top yet still stylish and tasteful headstock, this guitar has stage presence like no other.
The original case shows some wear and battle scars from its more than half a century of protecting the guitar, but is still perfectly serviceable. Inside are the 'tassle' type guitar strap and some vintage sheet music, just as it came to us.
Sold to Martin