Above the top of the line?
1951 Martin 2-30 Mandolin
© Frank Ford, 1999; Photos by FF
Martin made precious few carved mandolins, first in the oval hole design, starting in late 1920s, and later in the f-hole configuration. The problem is that Martin decided to get on the carved mandolin bandwagon about a decade after that parade had left town.
Nonetheless, they made some fine carved instruments. F-hole mandolins were made in styles 2-15, 2-20 and 2-30, of which the latter was the most deluxe. The instrument in these photographs is a style 2-30, but because it was made by a Martin employee in his spare time, it has no serial number, and also has a few extra decorative mother of pearl inlays. It happens to be in perfect condition and makes a great subject for photographs, because its maker obviously spent some time selecting really well matched highly figured maple for the back, sides and neck.
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