The Style 45 was also built with a genuine elephant ivory bridge
This 1919 0-45 has a backstrip design which is not the typical for
Style 45, though 1919 saw many differences due to the huge growth
production and problems with meeting the demand.
The torch still appeared on slotted headstock Martins and a few
special order 14 fret guitars.
The torch was not produced by Martin, but was purchased from the
Jeorge H. Jones Co. of New York.
The Style 45 sits at the top of the Martin line, and original
Style 45's are the most desirable and collectable guitars to have
graced the Martin catalogues.
Longworth says of the 45: "This style had it's origin in
specially inlaid 42 models. The first was 00-42 #9372 which
special pearl trim
on the sides and back as well as the top. The
fingerboard had a vine on it, and there was a beautiful headstock
to match.... The year was 1902.
Two more 00-42 guitars with sides and
back inlay were made that same year. They were #9410 and
more "prototypes" were made in 1903.
Many claims have been made about style 45 prototypes. Hank
Risan has claimed that his 00-42S #9372 was actually the only one
made with pearl inlaid borders on the back and sides.
Christie's auction house has claimed 0-42S #9373, from the Richard
Gere Collection, to be a style 45 prototype. Longworth has
called 9372, 9410 and 9488 all to be "Style 45 prototypes".
A second 00-42S stamped 9372, a near twin, has also been called a
"Style 45 Prototype"
In fact, neither the second #9372, #9373, nor #9410 have pearl
inlaid borders on the back and sides. Of the two with pearl
borders on the back and sides, #9372 has a beautiful inlaid vine
on the fretboard and a fancy inlaid mandolin style tortoise
pickguard, features not found on the Style 45, while #9488, like
the first catalogued Style 45's, has inlaid snowflake inlays on
five frets, 5, 7, 9, 12 and 15, and no pickguard, making #9488 the
first and only true Style 45 prototype made by Martin in 1902.
As Gruhn Guitars has said, of the
six so-called prototypes, #9488 "ended up being the closest
became know as the style 45".
The pyramid style bridge is made of genuine ivory, as are the nut,
saddle, bridge pins, and end pins, and the binding on the top,
sides of the
body, and also the fingerboard. The "German
silver" tuning machines have buttons made of pearl. The
border inlaid on the top, back, and sides of the guitar is in
"Japan pearl". An
additonal connecting link of pearl is inlaid around the end
fingerboard, and abalone is also inlaid into the soundhole
as well as the ivory bridge pins, and end pin.
The German wood marquetry on the back of the guitar is of a design
which has become known as the "45 Style" backstripe.
The back and sides are French Polished Brazilian
Rosewood, and the top is most likely of German spruce.
ebony fingerboard on this protype has the "snowflake" inlays
have become distinctive to pearl inlayed Martin guitars.
inlays on frets 5, 7, 9, 12 and 15 would be standard on style 45
decade. In 1914, they remained on the style 42, and were
to three more frets on the style 45. This guitar has a
headstock and cedar neck with volute, and scalloped X style
This is believed to be the only prototype to have all of the
and inlays that would become standard on the early Style 45, and
minor modification, would become the hallmark of all Style 45
for many years to come.
Longworth says of the headstock design: "The first headstock
veneer for the style 45
guitars appears on the original prototype from 1902. It had
a veryintricate fern pattern.
This inlay is quite rare and is shown only in
the 1904 catalog."
The 00-45 is first catalogued in 1904, but only one 00-45 was made
year. Three were made in 1905, and none in 1906, with
onlyten more being made in the entire decade.
One 1-45 and two 0-45's were made in 1904, and only one 000,
grand total of 26 Style 45's of any size were made in the entire
As Walter Carter says, "Available in Sizes 0, 00, and eventually
Style 45 was not a great success at first. Not until the
opulent,carefree 1920's would sales of any Style 45 model top 10 a
The first of the "Style 45" headstock inlays to appear on a Martin
was seen on #9372, the first 00-42S, to have pearl inlaid on the
and side borders in 1902. This version was known as the "fern".
was followed by #9488, which had another version of the fern:
On Hank Risan's MOMI website, Mr. Risan mistakenly claims
#9372 is the only Style 45 prototype with pearl inlay on
the back and sides.
As you can see, this is not true.
In fact, #9488 is the closest of the early "Style 45 prototypes"
to what would become a production Style 45.
This is from Gruhn Guitars,
Robert, Here are some more shots of the 00-45 known as
00-42 Special order. This was a 45 style pro-type. Martin messed
with 6 different prototypes and this ended up being the closest
became know as the style 45. Let me know if you need more
As you can see from photos of Mr Risan's guitar in the first
Longworth, it was found with a non original belly bridge.
Apparently a new reproduction ivory bridge has been made
The fingerboard and pickguard inlays on #9372 are actually
the inlays that were standard on the higher grade Martin
Martin has made a reissue of the early Style
New Martin Guitars Limited
Limited Editions: 00-45S 1902
Home > Guitars > Choosing Your Martin
> Inactive Model > 00-45S 1902
List Price $8999.00
MODEL 00-45S 1902
CONSTRUCTION: Mahogany Blocks/Dovetail Neck
BODY SIZE: 00-12 Fret
TOP: Solid Adirondack Spruce
ROSETTE: Style 45- Maple/Black Fiber Inlays
TOP BRACING PATTERN: Standard
TOP BRACES: Solid Adirondack Spruce 1/4''
BACK MATERIAL: Solid Brazilian Rosewood
BACK PURFLING: Style 45 Golden Era
SIDE MATERIAL: Solid Brazilian Rosewood
ENDPIECE: Grained Ivoroid
ENDPIECE INLAY: Select Abalone with
BINDING: Grained Ivoroid
TOP INLAY STYLE: Style 42 with
SIDE INLAY: Abalone Pearl with
BACK INLAY: Abalone Pearl with Black/Maple
NECK MATERIAL: Select Hardwood
NECK SHAPE: Modified V
NUT MATERIAL: Fossilized Ivory
HEADSTOCK: Slotted/Square Slots/Long
HEADPLATE: Solid Brazilian Rosewood /Flower
Pot- Abalone Pearl Inlay
HEELCAP: Grained Ivoroid
FINGERBOARD MATERIAL: Solid Black Ebony
SCALE LENGTH: 24.9''
# OF FRETS CLEAR: 12
# OF FRETS TOTAL: 19
FINGERBOARD WIDTH AT NUT: 1-7/8''
FINGERBOARD WIDTH AT 12TH FRET: 2-5/16''
FINGERBOARD POSITION INLAYS: Tree Of Life-
FINGERBOARD BINDING: Grained Ivoroid
FINISH BACK & SIDES: Polished Gloss
FINISH TOP: Polished Gloss w/ Vintage Toner
FINISH NECK: Polished Gloss
BRIDGE MATERIAL: White Micarta
BRIDGE STYLE: Pyramid w/ Drop-in Saddle
BRIDGE STRING SPACING: 2-5/16''
SADDLE: 16'' Radius/Fossilized Ivory
TUNING MACHINES: Waverly/Sloane w/ Small
RECOMMENDED STRINGS: Martin MSP 4100 Light
BRIDGE & END PINS: Fossilized Ivory w/
Black Pearl Dots
PICKGUARD: Tortoise Color inlaid into Top
w/Abalone Pearl Inlay
CASE: 900 Hard Shell Coffin Case
INTERIOR LABEL: Signed by CFM IV, Numbered In
Sequence with Total (60)
OTHER OPTIONS: Available left-handed at no
OTHER COMMENTS: All prices &
specifications are subject to change without notice.
Article about #9488 from Vintage Guitar
1902 Martin 00-42 Special, preview of Style 45
Photo by Kelsey Vaughn, courtesy Gruhn Guitars
By George Gruhn and Walter Carter
It has all the appointments of a Martin 00-45, particularly the
pearl trim around all the borders of the body, but this guitar
entered into Martin’s books as a special-order 00-42. The reason
is simple: Martin did not yet have an official Style 45 when
guitar was made in 1902.
Abalone pearl trim was nothing new on a Martin in 1902, at least
the top border. Style 42 had been standardized by the late
its abalone pearl went all the way around the fingerboard
The soundhole, too, featured an abalone ring (as did all of the
30-something styles, as well as Style 27). An ivory bridge with
ends added a touch of elegance.
Beyond the top of the guitar, however, Style 42 was pretty
was a strip of wood marquetry down the center of the back.
inlays – initially, just three snowflakes – were a
relatively recent addition, introduced in the 1890s, and the
was unadorned except for the Martin brand-stamp on the back
In 1902, Martin made what went down in the books as a 00-42
that term hardly describes the “presentation” level of
ornamentation. The fingerboard and peghead featured an intricate
floral- or vine-pattern inlay. The guitar also had a pickguard –
which no Martin guitars of that period had – in the style of
bent-top, bowlback mandolins, with a symmetrical shape, situated
the strings. It, too, was heavily inlaid with the floral
good measure, an abalone border was added to the sides and back.
This “pearled-out” 00-sized guitar, serial number 9372, was
far too ornate to be a standard Martin catalog model, but it did
people thinking about taking Style 42 to the next level. Only 38
numbers later (which would be the same day today but probably
months later in 1902, a year in which Martin made only 218
Martin made another 00-42 Special (#9410), with the side and
trim but without the fancy fingerboard and pickguard inlay, and
guitars farther down the line, Martin made yet another – this
month’s feature (#9488).
Why not the larger 000 body size for these ultra-deluxe models?
the answer is simple. It didn’t exist yet, at least not in
Martin’s standard line. The 000 was still experimental in
1902, with only five 000 examples – all designated as specials
– made in that year.
Martin made more of these Style 42-plus guitars with
rims and back in 1903 and then in 1904 standardized the style,
it the number 45 and offering it in the catalog. Only four
logged into the books as Style 45s in that first official year
production, but they covered the most of the body sizes with a
two 0-45s and a 00-45. For the record, the first official Style
one of the 0-45s. The first 000-45 wasn’t made until in
The step up from Style 42 to the abalone body borders and
peghead inlay of Style 45 cost the buyer $30. On a 1-45
represented, coincidentally, a 42 percent increase from $70 to
The price went up $5 as the body sizes increased; the 0-42 was
the 00-42 was $80, but the upcharge for a Style 45 was still
the 0-45 was $105 and the 00-45 was $110.
This 1902 guitar features the first version of the Style 45
inlay, which is sometimes referred to as the “fern”
pattern. Martin pictured a Style 45 guitar with this inlay in
catalog and the same photo appeared as late as the 1909 catalog,
Martin had actually begun using a simpler pattern, known today
“torch,” by 1905, and that version lasted until about 1927.
A slightly simplified torch took over but only until the early
By that time Martin was switching to a 14-fret neck with a solid
peghead that allowed more room for a logo and/or ornamentation
slotted pegheads, and on Style 45 guitars (even those that
slotted peghead) the delicate torch was replaced with the bold,
all-caps, vertically oriented CF MARTIN inlay.
Style 45 got off to a slow start. It was 1919 before production
one model hit double digits, but Style 42 models weren’t selling
much better until the 1920s. In fact, it’s difficult to assess
whether guitarists preferred one style over the other because
preferences vary from one body size to the next.
The small Size 1 was becoming passé by the time Style 45
appeared, and Martin made only six 1-45s from 1904 to 1919, when
company stopped offering all the pearly styles in Size 1. In the
0-size, Style 42 outsold Style 45 through the 1920s; then both
and 0-45 virtually disappeared in the 1930s. In the 00-size,
was more popular than Style 45, and it remained strong in the
while production of 00-45s dropped to a total of 3 for the
the 000-size, however, Martin didn’t put a 000-42 on the price
list until 1918, so the fancier Style 45 dominated by default.
The initial designation – Style 42 special – understated
just how special Style 45 Martins would become. In the pre-World
years, it was only surpassed briefly by the OM-45 Deluxe
in 1930), which featured additional inlays in the pickguard and
In today’s vintage market, Style 45s follow the same pattern as
they did in their original listings. The larger the body, the
the value. The largest of the prewar models – the D-45 –
is, of course, the Holy Grail of vintage Martins.
Although Martin has offered models in recent years with higher
numbers than Style 45, along with many limited-edition,
or artist models with fancier appointments, Style 45 remains
it was when this “pre-45” guitar helped to get the Style 45
ball rolling in 1904 – simply Martin’s top style.
I believe there are two inaccuracies in this article.
"Only 38 serial numbers later (which would be the same day today
probably two months later in 1902, a year in which Martin made
guitars), Martin made another 00-42 Special (#9410), with the
back trim but without the fancy fingerboard and pickguard
78 guitars farther down the line, Martin made yet another – this
month’s feature (#9488)."
#9410, now in California, has the same presentation features as
#9488 is in fact the first 00-45 prototype with "standard"
45 features, and not designed as a presentation model.
"This 1902 guitar features the first version of the Style 45
inlay, which is sometimes referred to as the “fern” pattern."
#9488 has the first version inlay in the sense that it is a fern
as opposed to the later torch.
However, it is a second and quite different fern.
The inlays on #9372 have been copied on the reissue guitar.
However, the inlays on 9488 have been reproduce in recent years
numerous special edition guitars, and has become known as the
Fern pattern on #9372:
Style 45 Prototype inlays
You will also notice that the inlays on #9488 are slightly
than the inlays that would become standard on a style 45 when
were added to additional frets. Also, the originla inlays
produced from white pearl, while later fingerboard inlays were
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