Martin 1959 D18E Acoustic Guitar with DeArmond Pick Ups – Rare – Kurt Cobain MTV Unplugged Model – SOLD


Here for sale is a 1959 Martin D18E in natural finish. Ultra rare and all original. Very limited 1 to 2 year total production run of 302 instruments, dreadnought body, solid spruce top, mahogany sides and back, 2 factory installed DeArmond pick ups, kluson tuners, great condition for age, action is fine. Famously used by Kurt Cobain on tour and on Nirvana’s famous MTV unplugged in New York appearance. This is the last model guitar Kurt ever played and part of Frances Bean Cobain lawsuit with Isiah Silva. Sounds exactly like the unplugged album, a truly beautiful sounding rare guitar. The guitar comes with it’s original case which is in decent condition. The guitar has it’s fair share of play wear, dings, scratches and the like but remains an absolute joy to play and hear it’s exquisite tones. Each one of these illustrious Martin’s is slightly different. The main differences between this one and another one we have had in the shop was the pick ups were set the opposite way around and different tone knobs which just adds to its individual and hand made character. The tone selector is the orange tipped one used on these models where the down position is the bridge only pick up, the middle position is both pick ups together and the up position is the bridge only. The first tone knob closest to the sound hole controls the tone of the neck pick up, the middle is the overall volume control and the tone knob to the the right controls the tone of the bridge pick up, giving the guitar great tonal variety and projecting the acoustic depth and range of the guitar.

This guitar also has some interesting history as it was once owned by famed custom guitar maker Thomas Harvey (1920-1987) who put his stamp inside the guitar and led an active and multi-faceted life as a musician, a machinist, a businessman — and a notoriously fun-loving prankster. But it was his role as the luthier responsible for building an array of eye-popping and unforgettable electric guitars in the 1960s and 1970s that remains his claim to fame. The Thomas Custom Guitars line of instruments, which he created in his workshop in the Kent/Midway area of King County, included such mind-boggling units as a pink-fur-covered guitar; a cuckoo-clock guitar; a shotgun guitar; a hand-carved, sculptural, naked-lady guitar; a battle-axe guitar; a truly wicked-looking guillotine-blade guitar; toilet-seat guitars; swastika guitars; and iconic iron-cross-shaped guitars. Although Thomas’s core circle of musical friends were mainstays of the Northwest’s country/western scene, it was the up-and-coming teenage musicians of the 1960s rock ‘n’ roll scene who really helped establish Thomas Custom Guitars in the area. You can read more about him here:

Serial Number: 170126

CEM Martin & Co – Nazareth. Ray Stamped Inside

Case is by Lifton “Built Like A Fortress” and is period correct and came with the guitar.

The guitar can be posted out or collected from my shop by appointment only at:
Guitarsmiths, 2nd Floor Above Cotters Shoes, 48 Westgate Street, Gloucester GL1 2NF 
Call/ Text 0044 (0)7900123408 to arrange a viewing/ play the instrument. If collecting in person cash is preferred.
Please note all guitars are sold as seen. We try our best to show the guitars condition in the photos but this is not always possible to every detail. Each guitar is set up to the shop standard playing style and as we all know; each player is different. If it is not set up to your liking this is not a cause for complaint, as is finding some kind of imperfection that we may or may not have mentioned. We sell used guitars not museum pieces and we do not accept returns unless they have been damaged in transit. If you are looking for a perfect guitar that you will worry about damaging and hang on the wall we advise you to buy new! So be rock n roll! lml

Additional information

Weight 6.8 kg


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