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New Yorker (18″). Ledger number 1744. Ex coll.: Mario Bagnoni, Erie, Pennsylvania.
Tony and Bonnie Vinatieri Family Trust, 2005.
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."
Click on image above to view larger image
Inscriptions: Inlaid in mother-of-pearl on headstock: D’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 peghead: NEW / 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 tailpiece: D’Angelico [in cursive lettering] / NEW YORK [on tail of "o"]Stamped (vertically) on tuner gear covers: GROVER
Signature and ledger number
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.
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.
Back of neck, fretboard (above), pick guard (right), and bridge (below).
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.
Close-up of engraved signature on tailpiece (top)
Neck heel and close-up of back
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.