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NMM 10827.  Guitar by John D’Angelico, New York, 1947.
New Yorker (18″).  Ledger number 1744.  Ex coll.:  Mario Bagnoni, Erie, Pennsylvania.
Tony and Bonnie Vinatieri Family Trust, 2005.

NMM 10827.  Guitar by John D'Angelico, New York, 1947.

John D’Angelico’s New Yorker model is famous for its sumptuous Art Moderne styling. It features gold-plated Grover Imperial tuners with chevron-shaped heads and D’Angelico’s signature "stairstep" tailpiece. This guitar, number 1744, has a natural finish that highlights the beautifully quilted maple back. In 1947, a young man, Mario Bagnoni (1922-2005), commissioned this custom-made guitar from D’Angelico. Bagnoni traveled on the road performing in hotels (see photo below), though after he joined the Erie Police Department in 1949, his career as a professional musician began to take a back seat to public life. Bagnoni went on to become an Erie City Councilman, serving for thirty-two consecutive years, until his retirement in early 2004. In an interview with Michael Feldman on public radio in 2001, Bagnoni called his years as a professional musician "a great joy in my life."

Mario Bagnoni plays his D'Angelico guitar, ca. 1948
Click on image above to view larger image


Inscriptions:  Inlaid in mother-of-pearl on headstockD’Angelico / NEW YORK [incised on tail of "o" and filled with black ink]

Incised and filled with black ink on white celluloid geometric inlay on pegheadNEW / YORKER

Branded on inside of back:  D’Angelico [in cursive lettering] / NEW YORK [on tail of "o"] / 1744 / D’Angelico [in cursive lettering] / NEW YORK [on tail of "o"]

Engraved on tailpieceD’Angelico [in cursive lettering] / NEW YORK [on tail of "o"]

Stamped (vertically) on tuner gear coversGROVER

Signature and ledger number
branded on inside of back
(as seen through f-hole)

Signature branded inside back

Ledger number stamped inside back


Front of D'Angelico guitar Treble side of D'Angelico guitar Bass side of D'Angelico guitar Back of D'Angelico guitar

Body:  Stringing:  six steel strings. Soundboard:  arched, two-piece, quarter-cut spruce; wide grain. Back:  two-piece, slab-cut maple with quilted figure and pith flecks; wooden pin through back into neck block on treble side of center joint; wooden pin through back into end block on bass side of center joint. Ribs:  two-piece, slab-cut maple with irregular, narrow curl. Head:  four-piece maple with black-stained maple veneer. Neck:  maple with medium curl; integral with head; brown-stained maple strip of inlay along center line.


Front of D'Angelico guitar peghead
New Yorker logo

Inlay:  Head:  white celluloid binding with eight-ply (black-white-black-white-black-white-black-white) celluloid purfling trim; two pieces of geometric white celluloid inlay; mother-of-pearl D’Angelico / NEW YORK inlay. Binding:  white celluloid; trim comprised of eight-ply (black-white-black-white-black-white-black-white) celluloid purfling strips on top and back and two-ply (black-white) celluloid purfling strips on ribs. Soundholes:  f-holes bound in white ivoroid with single black and white celluloid purfling strip trim.

Front of D'Angelico guitar F-hole on D'Angelico guitar

Front of guitar and close-up of bass f-hole


Back of neckD'Angelico guitar fretboard

Back of neck, fretboard (above), pick guard (right), and bridge (below).

Pick guard on D'Angelico guitar
Bridge on D'Angelico guitar

Trim:  Heel cap:  two layers of white celluloid separated with thin black-white-black-white celluloid layers. Fingerboard:  ebony bound in white celluloid with single black and white celluloid purfling strips on each side; end terminating in a point, with rounded edges on the sides; 20 nickel-silver frets; mother-of-pearl block behind 17th fret; split mother-of-pearl blocks behind 1st, 5th, 9th, and 15th frets; double-split mother-of-pearl blocks behind 3rd, 7th, and 12th frets; imitation tortoise-shell celluloid side dots behind 3rd, 5th, 7th, 9th, 12th, 15th, and 17th frets. Nut:  bone. Bridge:  two-piece ebony (compensated) with brass screws for height adjustment; rectangular mother-of-pearl inlays on each bridge foot. Pick guard:  translucent dark red-brown celluloid with alternating lighter and darker bands, bound in white ivoroid with eight-ply (black-white-black-white-black-white-black-white) celluloid purfling strip trim, mounted on guitar with gold-plated brass bracket and three gold-plated steel screws. Lacquer:  golden.

"Stairstep" Tailpiece and Endpin

D'Angelico guitar tailpiece

"Stairstep" tailpiece

Signature on D'Angelico guitar tailpiece

End pin

Close-up of engraved signature on tailpiece (top)
and white celluloid endpin (above and below).

Bottom rib and end pin

Bottom rib and endpin

Tuners, Neck Heel, and Back

Back of peghead Grover tuning peg

Pegs:  six Grover Imperial gold-over-nickel-plate worm-gear machine tuners with chevron-shaped heads.

Neck heel and close-up of back

Neck heel

Back of D'Angelico guitar

Interior:  Linings:  kerfed maple. Neck block:  mahogany; chamfered corners. End block:  mahogany; chamfered corners. Top bracing:  spruce X-brace. Grafts:  spruce block grafts with beveled edges on inside of back near neck and end blocks; spruce block graft with beveled edges on inside of top near end block.

Measurements (actual):  Total guitar length:  1094 mm (43-1/16″)
Back length:  542 mm (21-11/32″)
Upper bout width:  358 mm (14-3/32″)
Waist width:  303 mm (11-15/16″)
Lower bout width:  467 mm (18-3/8″)
Rib height (including edging) at heel:  86 mm (3-3/8″)
Rib height, at waist:  85 mm (3-11/32″)
Rib height, at end block:  83 mm (3-1/4″)
Head length:  203 mm (8″)
Head width, top:  107 mm 4-7/32″)
Head width, bottom:  84 mm (3-5/16″)
Neck length (nut to ribs):  356 mm (14″)
Neck width, nut:  42 mm (1-21/32″)
Neck width, heel:  54 mm (2-1/8″)
Soundhole length:  173 mm (6-13/16″)
Vibrating string length (nut to bridge edge):  high E:  644 mm (25-11/32″); low E:  646 mm (25-7/16″)

Accessories:  Original plywood case covered in black imitation-lizard-skin-texture canvas with burgundy plush lining, brass-plated steel hardware, and steel handle covered in black imitation-burlap-texture vinyl. Case key. Chrome-plated steel wing nut. Six black plastic picks branded: MILTON GWOLF. [sic] / QUALITY / SUPREME. White plastic pick with Mia and bakersfield [sic] in raised lettering. Imitation-tortoise-shell celluloid pick stamped Fender / HEAVY in white ink. Black plastic pick stamped PEAVEY / ® / T in silver ink. Black rubber-coated pickup cable with nickel-plated brass plug. Silver pickup cable stamped BELDEN 6411 with nickel-plated brass plug. Three D’Merle/D’Angelico "Rock and Roll" electric guitar string packages. Five D’Merle/D’Angelico acoustic guitar string packages. Twelve Black Diamond string packages. One Gibson Mona-Steel G-string in package. Two Gibson Bronze string packages. Two Esquire string packages. Six strings on guitar:  steel E and B; copper-overspun steel G, D, A, and E.

Literature:  Mario Bagnoni, "Erie, Pennsylvania," Interview by Michael Feldman. Whad’Ya Know, National Public Radio (February 17, 2001).

John Guerriero, "Politics, Music Mix at National Museum," Erie Times-News (June 9, 2005), pp. 1 and 4A.

Alan Greenwood, Gil Hembree, The Official Vintage Guitar Magazine Price Guide 2010 (Bismark, ND: Vintage Guitar Books, 2009), p.34.

Return to Checklist of D'Angelico Guitars and Mandolins

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Most recent update: April 24, 2014

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