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Author Topic: stange woodbody resonator  (Read 3916 times)

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Offline Prof Scratchy

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stange woodbody resonator
« on: March 22, 2008, 08:07:05 AM »
This one may get an outing at WeenieGuernsey. Any ideas what it is???
http://michaelmesser.proboards7.com/index.cgi?board=notecannons&action=display&thread=1206197791

Offline Richard

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Re: stange woodbody resonator
« Reply #1 on: March 22, 2008, 08:16:14 AM »
Dunno.......... but how exciting so please bring it over  :P
(That's enough of that. Ed)

Offline Slack

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Re: stange woodbody resonator
« Reply #2 on: March 22, 2008, 08:17:16 AM »
It looks like a bastard child.

 :D

The cover plate looks national, but not much else does, the palm tree looks freshly painted compared to the rest of the guitar...?

How's it sound?

Offline Stuart

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Re: stange woodbody resonator
« Reply #3 on: March 22, 2008, 07:18:07 PM »
Strikes me as either a one-off or perhaps a prototype that never made it into production. If you could compare it in the flesh to other similar guitars of the era, you'd probably be able to get a little more info--and a little closer to knowing it's pedigree. But at this point, I'm just guessing from looking at the picture.

Offline GhostRider

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Re: stange woodbody resonator
« Reply #4 on: March 24, 2008, 08:18:38 AM »
Howdy:

It's a wood-bodied Tirolian.

Triolian vintage Resonator, 1928-1938.
Collectibility Rating: Metal body Squareneck: D-, Sunburst Metal body Roundneck: C, Polychrome Metal body Roundneck: C+ (At $45 new, it was fancier than the $32.50 Duolian, but still very common. And the maple neck doesn't sound as good as the mahogany neck Duolian.


Single cone resonator, round shoulder, upper F-holes, bound single layer fingerboard, dot fingerboard inlays.

Late 1928 Wood Body Triolian Introduction specs:

Wood body.
Maple fingerboard, no binding.
Round maple neck.
12 frets clear of the body.
Slotted peghead.
Flat fingerboard radius.
"National Triolian" decal on peghead.
Multi-hued Polychrome tan-yellow finish with pink & purple highlights.
Opaque neck & fingerboard finish same as body.
Decal on back was first a flower bouquet, then changed to a hula girl. Last few wood models have stenciled Hawaiian scene.

Alex

bighollowtwang

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Re: stange woodbody resonator
« Reply #5 on: March 24, 2008, 08:54:31 AM »
It's definitely NOT a wood-bodied Triolian.
The body shape and interior bracing is pretty radically different from National's construction.
Looks like someone attempted at converting a flattop into a resonator guitar.
The tailpiece on that guitar is pretty typical of 30s Harmony, and the interior bracing looks home made. National's wood bodied Triolians had some pretty rigid back bracing that don't have much in common with conventional guitar bracing.

Compare it to a real Triolian:


Offline Prof Scratchy

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Re: stange woodbody resonator
« Reply #6 on: March 24, 2008, 10:18:54 AM »
Whatever it is, it certainly arouses differing views! Gruhn goes with Ghostrider. Other National experts I've been in touch with tend towards Stuart's view. For want of a definitive opinion I thing a valid theory might be that when National toyed with the idea of outsourcing wooden bodies (e.g. maybe from Harmony, BHT) they had some prototypes made up by different suppliers, patterned on the Triolian? The tailpiece and the serial number certainly add to the mystery, along with the anomalous body shape. Somebody over at IGS thinks it's a Chinese copy made last week! If so they certainly did a good job on the distressing front, to the length of depositing seventy years' worth of dust inside the body! Sounds good though, and that's the main thing.

Offline Stuart

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Re: stange woodbody resonator
« Reply #7 on: March 24, 2008, 07:54:17 PM »
How does the scene on the back compare with that of other Nationals of the era? Or that of other labels? If it matches up then it probably passed through the shop, at least to use the stencil for the paint job. Just one of several possible explanations.

Offline waxwing

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Re: stange woodbody resonator
« Reply #8 on: March 24, 2008, 08:06:42 PM »
Scratch, I think the guy on IGS said it had a sililar body shape to Chinese made Fullertons which were based on Regals from the #0's so he thought it might be a vintage Regal.

I was thinking about comparing the stencils, too, Stuart.

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Offline Slack

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Re: stange woodbody resonator
« Reply #9 on: March 24, 2008, 08:26:16 PM »
There are some stencils on a metal body here, the link where Alex got his info.  The head stock also differs from the national.

http://www.provide.net/~cfh/triolian.html

bighollowtwang

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Re: stange woodbody resonator
« Reply #10 on: March 24, 2008, 09:46:21 PM »
It's fun to speculate, but consider the facts:

As far as the stencil on the mystery guitar is concerned, it doesn't look like something National would do. Looks like a poorly executed home made imitation.

 

Wood bodied Triolians didn't have back braces like the mystery guitar, which look to be conventional acoustic guitar back braces. There were several variations of bracing in the wood bodied Triolians, but the mystery guitar doesn't feature any of them.

 



Even the coverplate is not a National product. The handrest is not the same shape (looks a lot like what you see on modern asian copies - rounder and much broader) and the "sieve" holes are not in the same pattern - on a National the "missing" holes are in the middle of the pyramids, on the mystery guitar they are near the top.

 

I am not going to hazard a guess as to who made this guitar, or when, but I'm 99.9% certain that it has nothing to do with National.

« Last Edit: March 24, 2008, 10:22:41 PM by bighollowtwang »

Offline Stuart

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Re: stange woodbody resonator
« Reply #11 on: March 24, 2008, 11:12:10 PM »
Thanks for posting the photos, BHT. I agree that the differences strongly suggest that it was not made by National. The cover plate is interesting. From the photo, it doesn't look like a one-off, but a good tinbender could certainly turn one out. There's probably an interesting story behind this box and I'd love to know what it is. I'm always looking to add to my vast storehouse of virtually worthless knowledge about the bizarre and arcane. Anybody know the history of the production of Hawaiian stencil scenes?

Offline Prof Scratchy

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Re: stange woodbody resonator
« Reply #12 on: March 25, 2008, 11:33:11 AM »
All a bit of a mystery. Which is what I thought it would be! Undoubtedly the guitar is very old. I'm trying to imagine why someone, so many years ago, would have sought to copy a woodbody triolian (in superficial appearance though not in other crucial details like shape/coverplate etc)? Unless indeed they (being a manufacturer other than National) had been asked to 'run something up' as a possible prototype for future Nationals with outsourced bodies. The stencilling is clearly of a different order to the in-house produced designs - though they all appear to have differed, especially in relation to the positioning of the sun. Also, non-National tailpieces continued to appear on woodbody Nationals (viz pp. 97 to 99 of Bob Brozman's book). But the coverplate and handrest?? Who knows? I was kind of hoping that there would be somebody in internet land who would instantly recognise this instrument, know of another just like it somewhere in the world, recognise the odd serial number lettering, or otherwise know for certain of its provenance, National or non-National. Although people have committed in either direction, no-one seems to know for sure, and probably it'll just remain a mystery. One that I'm happy to get a chance  to play though!

Offline Rivers

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Re: stange woodbody resonator
« Reply #13 on: March 25, 2008, 06:08:11 PM »
How does it sound?

Re. Those Hawaiian scene stencils - stenciling was a bit of a mass market art and craft form, see the Dover Books catalog, Borders has a good selection. I used to do design for craft people long ago and Dover Books were a great resource. I wonder if someone copped a standard palm tree motif stencil from somewhere? Just a guess.

Offline Stuart

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Re: stange woodbody resonator
« Reply #14 on: March 25, 2008, 08:40:47 PM »
Thanks, Rivers. That's what I was getting at. I seem to recall the palm tree and setting sun scene stenciled on numerous pieces of summertime wicker furniture way back when in the New Jersey shore resort town that I grew up in. (They should have used pine trees, but that's another topic.) It crossed my mind that the scene on the back was the product of an off the shelf stencil set, and not necessarily limited to work done at a guitar factory.

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