Restoration in Progress Listing - fully restored the price will be £529.00 - meantime showing photos of actual guitar, prior to commencement of work
Photos of this particular guitar, rather than library photos, show this very attractive Silvertone - Similar to the iconic Harmony H162 model, retaining the Solid Woods throughout, but with Birch back and sides, rather than Mahogany, to the Spruce top - a real Bluesman's combination!
Apart from the finish colour, this is identical to the earlier 1960s Silvertone S621 I restored some time ago, for a customer, except that the colour on that one was much darker - similar S1217 versions I have also sold have had a sort of faded Cherry Burst colouring, whereas this one has the lightness of colour, without the Cherry, and I think looks very good. Overhaul work has atarted, as detailed in the "Condition" section below.
Stock Number: VTG1407.
A classic Harmony built Flattop Acoustic Guitar, made in Chicago, from all solid woods, with Spruce Top and Birch Back and Sides - along with the All Birch Stellas, the classic Bluesman's choice! Original inside ink date stamp reads S-69, indicating that it was made in one the 1969 production runs, when Harmony was just about to revise it's model range leading into that last 5 year period of the long-running and vast USA production, before it ceased in 1975. The guitar retains the traditional Silvertone logo, shortly to be replaced by the "SR" Hologram, or "Atomic" Logo Badge, representing the last of the Sears and Roebuck Brand identities used for their guitars, which both the Harmony and Kay Companies, amongst some others, produced for them over many years - earlier brands being "Supertone", before 1940, followed by "Silvertone" up to 1969.
The lineage of this S1214, and essentially identical S1217 models I have also sold, includes the again virtually identical Silvertone S621 model, made from 1963, but it's roots are with the iconic Harmony H162, made for over three decades from 1940, this having the same Solid Spruce Top, but with Solid Birch Back and Sides, rather than the Mahogany in the H162, and part of the "family" of Harmony models, which also includes the all Mahogany H165, OM size or "Grand Concert", as Harmony labelled them, beloved of many bluesmen of the time, for there sound quality and sheer playability, including Lightnin' Hopkins on the same type, but all Mahogany H165. The Birch back and sides may give this guitar's sound a bit more of a Bluesman's rasp.
Solid Spruce Top and Solid Birch Back and Sides both have Cream Bindings, top and back, and the soundhole has neat Cream/Black Multi-Binding, together with original Cream scratchplate. So many of the great Bluesmen created their sound on these All Solid Birch or Spruce Topped Birch Guitars, that you really should not be surprised that your top-of-the-line acoustic does not really cut it as a Blues Machine! This is what you need - a Ladder Braced, Authentic USA Made, All Solid Spruce/ Birch Blues Guitar, offering really great sound and volume! Ideal for blues, but also other styles. I have had great feedback from Guitarists I have sold various of the Harmony Made OM/GC models to, including H162s and similar but all Mahogany H165s.
I am very enthusiastic about this family of Harmony guitars, which I think rival many far more exalted and expensive USA made acoustics in terms of tone, volume and sheer playability. You will find various Youtube clips including Lightnin' Hopkins playing a H165, if you want to check them out.
On top of all the history background described above, this guitar really looks the part - I don't think you could find more authentic looking light Brown faded Sunburst finish than this! Yes, a few chips, to edges and elsewhere bits of finish loss and small scratches, including two on the top, bass side lower bout, which I have simply cleaned without any touch-up attempt, and about three lighter top scratches, together with a few surface/finish cracks, which clearly this type of finish on these guitars from this particular period, is prone to, as the similar age/type guitars I've had previously have had the same - just a few finish only hairlines, nothing structural or detrimental, and in the finish only.
The guitar is essentially original, apart from the odd tuner fixing screw, possibly one or two of the original tuner ferrules, which may have been replaced, together with the replaced new nut and saddle, and frets. Some overhaul and minor repairs have already been carried out, including making and fitting new Bone Nut, and the fingerboard has been levelled, following which i will re-fret the guitar. It appears that prior to it coming to me the bridge had been refixed, and probably slimmed down a bit, but is secure, including the original factory fitted bolts....I just need to purpose-make & fit new bone saddle, for which i will re-rout the nut housing slot a little deeper/wider.
Before I can do that, however, I will need to take the back off to deal with the detached back braces, which will be thoroughly cleaned off to remove all old glue etc., before re-gluing/clamping the braces back n place, similarly cleaning off all the linings etc to glue the back & binding back on.
The tuners show just a little age-related discolouration, but work fine, fitted with ferrules from new, which were not fitted on earlier models. Following the fingerboard levelling and re-fret, I think that the next owner of this one will have an exceptional vintage guitar, without any ongoing structural issues...a really characterful blues guitar, and what a fabulous colour! I hope that the photos do it justice and that you will agree that it remains a characterful and very handsome guitar!
It played well, prior to the start of the work, with the usual comfortable Harmony "C" profile neck, nice 12" radius fingerboard, and I will be expecting to set it up with a comfortable action of around 2.75mm./3mm. This should give scope for both fretted and Bottleneck playing, although a nut riser can be bought for a few pounds, if you wish to use the guitar for lap/slide playing. It has the standard Harmony 1.75"/44.5mm. width Nut, and 642mm./25.25" scale length. It will be strung with a set of Martin Bronze Light 12-54 strings.
The is no case included, but I may be able to offer additional options of period or modern hardshell cases (including Hiscox Liteflite), or a gigbag, and the guitar will be packed securely for postage.