Dubbed “Da Vinci Unplugged,” over the past year and a half, the parts of this milestone guitar were carefully crafted at the Martin factory in Nazareth, PA, and then sent to expert luthier and inlay artist Harvey Leach, who designed the Leonardo da Vinci-inspired Mona Lisa headstock, Last Supper pickguard and Vitruvian Man back. Scrimshaw artist Bob Hergert then added his expert touch, including intricately engraved illustrations – based on an array of da Vinci drawings – to Style 45 hexagons that were cut from fossilized mammoth ivory and inlaid into the fingerboard and bridge wings. The guitar was then returned to Nazareth for final assembly, delicate Style 45 perimeter inlay, and finishing.
“Since I became chairman and CEO of the company, I have been fortunate to have overseen the creation of several milestone guitars, including the company’s 500,000th in 1990, 750,000th in 2000 and one millionth in 2004, and each of these accomplishments leaves me in awe,” said Chris Martin IV. “The unveiling of the 1.5 millionth Martin Guitar marks the shortest period of time we have taken to produce a half-million Martins. This is testament not only to the demand for our guitars and the perfection expected from us, but also the quality of work, passion and skill of the craftsmen and women behind each hand-made instrument.”
The 1.5 millionth Martin also features special gold tuning buttons engraved by Tara Mitchell, a case is crafted by TKL, and a strap hand-tooled and donated by leather artist Chuck Smith. For more information on the creation of “Da Vinci Unplugged” – including a first-person account from Mr. Leach – visit the Martin Guitar Blog at martinguitar.tumblr.com/tagged/1.5_millionth_Martin.
About Martin Guitar:
Founded over 175 years ago in 1833 by Christian Frederick Martin, C. F. Martin & Co. has been continuously family owned and operated for six generations. The oldest surviving acoustic instrument maker in the world and largest producer of acoustic guitars in the U.S., Martin guitars are hand-made by skilled craftsmen and women, many still using the design and techniques introduced by the company founder in the 1830s. The privately held manufacturer is highly regarded for creating some of the finest instruments and introducing innovations that have become industry standards in the music products industry including the now-standard X-bracing, the 14-fret guitar and the “Dreadnought” size. Current Chairman and CEO Christian Frederick Martin, IV, took the helm of the company in 1986.