11/03/2019 - "Pre-ordered on Approval" by pro-musician based in Somerset, pending restoration completion in the next few days!
Update - 15/03/2019 - Restoration Completed! - new photos of the finished job now uploaded.
....and - 16/03/2019 - Sold to "Pre-ordered" customer who travelled up here to try & buy!
There is limited information to be found on the internet, either in respect of the "Marveltone" brand, or this particular design model, but it was clearly made by the Kay Company in Chicago.
However the Jedistar Guides website.....
http://jedistar.com/marveltone/......indicates that the brand name was owned by Tang & Dinner, musical merchandise distributor....http://jedistar.com/targ-and-dinner/
Many of these companies flourished during the inter-war years, and often had their branded instruments made by various of the established guitar makers in Chicago & elsewhere, including Kay, Harmony & Regal.
Further information is available from Jake Wildwood's splendid "Country Guitar Doctor" blog, where in the "Museum" section is a page detailing the identical model guitar that he worked on, but under a "Lyra" brand name....https://jakewildwood.blogspot.com/2010/04/c1940-kay-lyra-17-round-hole-archtop.html
Stock Number: VTG1248.
This is a rare, 17.25" (43.8mm. body width) jumbo, roundhole archtop, with longer 26"/660mm. scale, most definitely built by Kay in either the late 1930s or early 1940s. In truth it should be named an oval-hole archtop...something like a cross between a petite-bouche & grand bouche in Maccaferri/Selmer/Gypsy Jazz style guitars.
All original with a nice Spruce top, augmented ladder-style bracing, true Sunburst finish, original Kluson enclosed 3-on-a-plate machines, Rosewood floating & adjustable bridge of typical Kay design, nut appears original bone, original metal tailpiece. Fingerboard is Ebonised Maple....see "Condition" notes on re-levelling & re-colouring.
Comfortable "C" profile neck, a little slimmer than contemporary Harmony guitars, with their standard 1.75" nut width, and again a little narrower than the modern standard 43mm., measuring approx. 42mm., which is a bit of a puzzle as it converts to the rather odd imperial inch fraction of 1 & 21/32"? Radiused fingerboard may have around 12" radius.
As far as I can tell, this guitar is all original, and I have maintained this originality in the restoration process, except of course for new frets, and a couple of additional screw mountings needed to secure the pickguard. The overall condition is pretty good for a near 80 year old guitar. Inevitably there is cosmetic wear and ageing, including various scratches & knocks, but only a little in the way of loss of finish/colour. The original raised pickguard is intact, but has become slightly curved, and I have added a couple of further fixing screws/spacers, in order to both avoid it rattling on the body & to secure it so as not to obstruct playing.
Original floating adjustable Rosewood is intact and operational; the original metal tailpiece likewise, with just moderate surface disclouration commensurate with age. As have the original 3-on-a-plate enclosed Kluson Single-line Patent Applied tuners, which work fine, and although the buttons (possibly not the originals?) show some mis-shaping & one has a small split, they are otherwise intact & operational. I have fitted new, larger type, vintage bootlace type ferrules, to fit the larger shafts on the Klusons & aid their operation.
I have re-levelling the fingerboard....although the guitar actually played all the way up the fretboard as it was, but not only were there wear grooves in the open chord positions & flat, low & grooved frets, but the fingerboard did have a little more relief than it should. On completing this the Ebonised Maple fingerboard has been re-coloured and then re-fretted, so it should be as near as you can get to playing a new guitar. The original Bone Nut has been re-fitted & adjusted.
Following completion of the fingerboard re-levelling, re-fretting & set-up, the guitar now plays with excellent 12th. fret action of 2.5mm./2.75mm. on a straight fretboard.
I have replaced the strings with Newtone Master Class 11-50 gauge Phosphor Bronze strings....going down a gauge from the 12 gauge I usually fit, in response to the higher tension of the longer 26" scale.
The is no case included, but I do have an old, but useable Hiscox GJ/Jumbo size hardshell case....please enquire if this would be useful.