The Maton F240 Supreme archtop acoustic was a successful model for Maton, being produced between 1953 and 1962 (with serial numbers ranging from 306 to 1691 in the period). This is the earliest F240 I have come across, probably dating from about 1956 - if not a little earlier - with its serial number of 598. We previously have sold serials 1007 (1958), 1154 (1959), and 1180 (1959), but this guitar pre-dates the cutaway body style, and has a substantially earlier serial number.
The guitar is in astoundingly good condition. So good, in fact, that when it arrived I was dismayed to assume it was restored, as there is no finish checking. However, the closest inspection leads me to believe the guitar is simply in museum condition, and definitely original. It came from South Australia, where the climatic conditions of its home for the past 53 years must have had very stable humidity and temperature. There is just some stable expansion/contraction cracks in the Mahogany sides where they meet at the neck join. I tried to photograph them (see last picture in the 'more pictures' link below), but they simply are too subtle to photograph! They are not structural, follow the grain of the timber (which is slightly angled, not parallel, at this location), and the neck join is firm and at the correct angle. Action is superb, as is neck straightness, and the guitar plays very nicely.
At the time of photography, the end pin was missing, but a replacement genuine Rosewood endpin has since been fitted.
This vintage archtop acoustic displays the barest amount of play or handling wear. Frets have never been dressed, and are like new, while the fretboard is pristine.
I doubt there would be a more original or healthier F240 Supreme in existence.
The sound is classic archtop, with plenty of volume and projection, with a distinct upper-mid prominence to the tone. Grouse! These have a solid, carved Spruce top, with solid Mahogany back, sides and neck. Classic guitar timbers for a classic guitar sound. The top on this guitar has a particularly beautiful figuring to it, which is difficult to adequately display in the photographs.
As is typical with these very early Matons, there is no case. Early cases were fibreboard (cardboard), and simply fall to bits over the years, which has doubtless happened in this instance when the previous owner had the guitar. It will, however, be shipped in an extremely strong and protective packing case to ensure it arrives to you in its present pristine condition. It's too lovely and rare to consider a cheaper or less thorough method.
Sold to Steve