This very early vintage Maton flat-top acoustic guitar has had just one owner all its life, from 1951 when the guitar was purchased from Alans Music Centre in Melbourne until purchased by Grouse Guitars in mid 2007. The original owner's name, Judy, is still evident inside the guitar where it was written in black ink.
Judy advised that "I have contacted Maton with regard to the guitar, and they tell me it is one of their rarer ones and find it hard to value. Quite a few years back I asked for a valuation and the following is an excerpt from their valuation letter. "The "HG25" Professional Model guitar was produced between 1950 and 1952. You particular guitar was made in 1951, being the third last guitar of this model made. The HG25 is extremely rare and therefore its very difficult to determine its exact value today. Really its value is what the market will bear. The HG25 became the HG100 in 1952 and continued to be produced until 1961. We do not have a catalogue for the HG25." That was signed by Neville Kitchen, Director." She also advised that "I did have a little work done on it years ago - by Maton. As I have said I have had the guitar for over 50 years so bit hard to remember."
My guess regarding the work done by Maton is that the bridge may have been shaved to correct the sagging neck set. I have left the guitar as-is in the interests of originality, but if the buyer wanted to use the guitar actively for playing, rather than being a display item, I would advise a neck reset and bridge replacement by a good luthier (I can organise this work at cost with the Grouse Guitars luthier of choice, Jim Cargill, should the buyer request it). Action at present measures 4mm at the 12th fret on the bass E string, and 3mm on the treble side. String clearance from the guitar's top at the bridge is 7mm.
The top is bookmatched solid Spruce, with the strutting being of the ladder variety, which gives the guitar a much different voicing to the later 'X' bracing. The top is still in very good, undistorted condition.
I am not sure whether the back (which has a pronounced arch) and sides are Mahogany, or are a very early example of experimentation with an Australian tonewood - it looks very much like Blackwood, which Judy reports was also suggested to her some time back. The back and sides are, like the top, solid timbers, with the back being bookmatched.
The neck is almost certainly Mahogany, and is very straight. The original frets and the Rosewood fingerboard display almost no wear at all, which backs up Judy's claim that the guitar was rarely played. The original finish has age checking, and the back shows some handling wear (see the detailed photos in the 'More Pictures' link below). As Judy said, "it has travelled a bit with our moving around."
The original case certainly shows the ravages of time and the 'moving around', and is included with the guitar in the interests of originality more than affording the guitar any protection.
This vintage Maton guitar is totally original, with the original tuners, finish, endpin and polished bakelite scratchplate still present.
Sold to Peter