The Martin D28 Authentic 1931 Acoustic Guitar with Case is a meticulous replica of the very first Martin D-28 built in 1931. That guitar (Serial #48326) was recently acquired by the Martin Museum from actor Richard Gere’s collection at a Christie’s auction. That historic instrument was carefully measured and closely replicated for this D-28 Authentic 1931 model.
It features a genuine mahogany 12-fret neck with slotted headstock and ebony truss rod, premium Adirondack “red spruce” top and scalloped X-bracing, faux tortoise pickguard under lacquer, grained ivoroid binding, and fine pattern herringbone top inlay. Due to scarcity and regulation, the back and sides of this stunning guitar are offered in solid Madagascar rosewood, a close and genuine rosewood cousin of the Brazilian variety used on all pre-1964 rosewood Martin guitars (and now rapidly becoming almost as rare). True to the original, this replica of the earliest version of the D-28 has no scroll decal on the headplate. The logo is instead embossed with the original stamp on the back of the headstock. Because of the large body cavity, the 12-fret Dreadnought delivers an immense power, warmth, and depth of tone, unrivaled by any other body size.
Style 28 guitars are one of the oldest Martin series, dating back to the mid 1800s. Interestingly enough, the “28” designation referred to the original price of the guitar back then! The Dreadnought or “D” size, however, did not emerge until 1916 as a Hawaiian style “bass” guitar and was produced by Martin exclusively for the Oliver Ditson Company of New York and Boston. After the Ditson Company was bankrupted following the stock market crash of 1929, Martin began experimenting with its large Dreadnought designs, and the D1 and D2 were born. The D1 would become the D-18. In 1931, after further refinement, the D2 was introduced as the D-28. Named after a large class of World War I British battleships, the D-28 Dreadnought has remained the most copied and influential steel string guitar design in history.