8. VTG RESTORATION RECENTLY SOLD - SQUARE-NECK VINTAGE ACOUSTIC - STELLA H929 "HAWAIIAN" 1959 LAP SLIDE, BLUEGRASS, COUNTRY, BLUES, DOBRO GUITAR - VTG1539.
Great Character, Really Excellent Condition, Dobro/Lap-slide Action, Great Blues Tone & Volume!- currently "In the Workshop" for restoration & available to "pre-order".
SOLD
Intro
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Preliminary Announcement - Photos are of the guitar, after overhaul.

Update - 09/04/2019 - Sold immediately to Toby Wilson pro-musician & Online Session Player, from north Staffordshire!


I have a couple of other Square-Neck acoustics from the 1930s, an Oahu & a Bronson, both in the "Workshop Queue" and available to pre-order"

....I can forward a sound track Toby has made using his square-neck "Stella" & a Martin OOO-15.
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This is an ultra-rare guitar....a bit of an oddity really, a throwback, if you like, in that it was only produced by Harmony briefly in 1959, long, long after the Hawaiian guitar boom in the USA, mainly around the 1930s & 1940s, when many of these square-neck guitars were produced, by various makers, but probably the most prolific were those made for the "Oahu" brand of The Oahu Publishing Company, who would sell Guitar, Music & Tuition complete packages.

I have a couple more square-neck guitars, both from the 1930s, one branded "Bronson, Detroit", possible made by Kay, and the other an Oahu. Please enquire if you are interested in further details.

I am now finding that I regularly "pre-sell" my guitars, at the stage where I am still working on them, and although previously I had my doubts, this arrangement has now worked well in quite a number of cases, so I have decided to list some of the guitars coming through the workshop, in advance of them being fully ready, and welcome further enquiries.
Description
Stock Number: VTG1539.

I have sold many Harmony made Stellas over the years, made from the time of Harmony's acquisition of the Stella name, along with the Sovereign name and other assets from the collapsed Oscar Schmidt Company in New Jersey around 1939, up until Harmony's own collapse in Chicago in 1975. There are many variations of the same basic model.....both those under Harmony's own Stella name, and also the various branded versions of basically the same guitar, with different liveries, for the major Stores/Mail Order companies, including Sears' Silvertone brand, Montgomery Ward's Airline brand, and also under the Regal brand, by this time owned by Fender. If you take a look at my current listings and previous sales, you will find a number of these models. This model, the Stella H929 is the iconic original for them all! Built for a full quarter of a century, right through from 1945 to 1970, with really no basic change, just minor cosmetic adjustments through all those years.

Unfortunately the reference to this model variation in the Harmony Guitars Database, on the link below, is very limited, to the short sentence....."In 1959 a "Hawaiian" model exists, with a square neck, open head and metal bridge, for slide playing.", and a short series of 8 photo images, on the last line of photos on that page.

The H929 model identification ink stamp inside is identifiable, but not readable, so I'm afraid we are denied the exact dating, but it would certainly say pre-1954, because that is the latest date Stella on which I can recall a similar "V" neck, but it could indeed be earlier, as the guitar's other characteristics are of one from the late 1940s/early 1950s.

If you are an acoustic blues player and wonder why that top line guitar you bought doesn't sound authentic when you play blues like those of Blind Blake, Blind Willie McTell, or Blind Lemon Jefferson, I can tell you why it doesn't and never will! All of those guys and many others from the 30s through to the 60s played Birch bodied guitars, some of them with Spruce tops, some all Birch, but it is the Birch which gives that unmistakable sound. No guitar made today, American or otherwise can give you that sound, for Delta and Country Blues!

If you want a fully functioning, great sounding piece of American musical history, this is it - a really exceptional addition to any collection of Blues/Vintage Guitars.

Harmony Guitars Database page - Stella H929:-

http://harmony.demont.net/guitars/H929/239.htm
Condition
Excellent original condition....finish & colour in my view as good as any I've seen, whether from the '60s, 50s or '40s! - inevitably there is just a very little edge wear to the painted bindings and headstock, but otherwise virtually no finish loss, the very minimum of minor surface chips/scratches...really the minimum I have seen on a Stella of this type and age, and I've seen quite a few! I hope that you will agree that the photos show that this remains a handsome & characterful vintage guitar.

I have checked the guitar over in conjunction with the highly-respected luthier I work with, and completed the limited work identified as being needed. This has included re-gluing a slightly separated section of the top/side seam, and making & fitting new, tall, Ebony nut, similar to what should have been fitted as original, in place of a poorly fitted Bone nut, which itself was not original....the only part of the guitar not fully original.

Action, strings & cases
The guitar is set-up for lap-slide/dobro style playing, with string height approx. 6mm. at 1st. fret & 8mm. at 12th. fret.

Although designed for similar style play, with specialised metal bridge of a type utilized on square neck guitars from the 1930s, it was not considered wise to use the heavy gauge Dobro strings, designed for Resonator construction guitars, where the strings are anchored by a tailpiece. Accordingly, I have fitted Martin Retro Monel Light 12-54 gauge strings.

There is no case included....I can include a sound condition, modern, padded gigbag at no extra charge. I also have a collection of accessories, modern & vintage, including slides, tone bars, thumb picks, finger picks, straps etc......a limited number of which I may be able to include in the price, others available additionally.
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Delivery details
PLEASE SEE THE DETAILS ON UK & EUROPEAN DELIVERY OPTIONS, INTERNATIONAL SALES, FEEDBACK & TESTIMONIALS, OTHER GUITARS, PICKUP INSTALLATIONS, ETC. SECTIONS OF THE TWO "BOXES" AT THE HEAD OF PAGE 1.....HEADED "AVAILABLE GUITARS INVENTORY & ARCHIVE" AND "SALES & GENERAL ENQUIRIES".

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**** DIMENSIONS ****
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Sometimes these guitars are mistakenly described as three-quarter size - there is a three-quarter size version of the Stella H929 model (one of which I have in the workshop at present) which is much smaller, this being the full size model with standard Stella dimensions:-

Overall length - 36.25"/96cm., body width lower bout - 13.25"/33.5cm., upper bout - 9.5"/24.2cm., body length - 17.8"/45.2cm., body depth front - 3.25"/8.2cm., rear - 3.7"/9.3cm, with standard Stella/Harmony nut width of 1.75"/44.5mm., and a 24.25"/615mm scale....in other words, exactly the same body & other dimensions as the standard Stella H929 "roundneck" acoustic, but with the traditional square neck of the Dobro/Lap-slide guitar.

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**** YOUTUBE ****
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Can't find any of the Stella Hawaiian, but there are various demo clips of similar type Square-neck guitars, mainly from around the 1930s, and mainly Oahu brand you can see on YouTube....some have poor video or sound quality, but I have embedded & linked a couple of good ones......

"Oahu Square Neck Slide Guitar" by "Brad"....and..........

"Playing a 1930's Oahu slide guitar" by "Dan Howell".

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Video
Useful links
Harmony Guitars Database - Stella H929
YouTube clip - Playing a 1930's Oahu slide guitar by Dan Howell
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