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NMM 3604.  Mandolin by C. F. Martin & Co., Nazareth, Pennsylvania, 1902.
Style 4.   Serial number 1046.  Arne B. Larson Collection, 1979.

NMM 3604.  Mandolin by C. F. Martin and Co., Nazareth, Pennsylvania, 1902.

Mandolins were the most ornately decorated instruments produced by Martin. The mid-grade Style 4 from 1902 exhibits more extensive decoration than even the company’s top-of-the-line guitars or the NMM’s 1917 Style 6A mandolin (NMM 3852). When the market demanded it, Martin could supply sumptuous, beautifully executed decoration, but generally the company preferred a simpler, cleaner aesthetic. NMM 3604 is currently is currently on loan for the NMM-designed exhibition, "Ya Gotta Know the Territory:  The Musical Journey of Meredith Willson," at the Meredith Willson Museum, Mason City, Iowa.

Inscriptions:  Branded on neck block: [lettering curved downward at each end] C.F.MARTIN & Co / — ∙ — / NAZARETH, PA. / 1046
Stamped on tailpiece: PAT. MAY 15∙94

Body:  Soundboard: two-piece spruce. Bowl: 30 rosewood staves. Head: mahogany veneered with rosewood on front face; simplified broken pediment shape with two inward-facing scrolls. Neck: mahogany; integral with head.

Inlay:  Binding: ivory; abalone, black hardwood, and ivory purfling. Rosette: elliptical with abalone, black hardwood, and ivory purfling.

Trim:  Fingerboard: ebony bound in ivory; 20 nickel-silver frets; decorative mother-of-pearl abstract floral inlay behind 5th and 7th frets; mother-of-pearl Maltese cross between two lozenges behind 10th fret; single abalone lozenges behind 12th and 15th frets (one behind 12th fret slightly larger); imitation tortoise-shell plastic side dots behind 5th, 7th, 10th, and 12th frets Nut: ivory. Bridge: ebony; ebony lozenges on ends; ivory or bone saddle. Pegs: two sets of nickel-plated steel worm-gear machine tuners with mother-of-pearl heads. Pick guard: tortoise shell with festooned lower edge; mother-of-pearl and abalone floral and foliate inlay. Tailpiece: nickel silver with engraved, festooned cover. Varnish: slightly yellow.

Measurements:  Total mandolin length:  610 mm (24″)
Maximum body width:  203 mm (8″)
Maximum bowl height:  140 mm (5-1/2″)
Neck length (nut to ribs):  145 mm (5-11/16″)
Neck width, nut:  30 mm (1-3/16″)
Neck width, heel:  40 mm (1-9/16″)
Vibrating string length (nut to bridge edge):  336 mm (13-7/32″)

Literature:  Joseph R. Johnson, Mandolin Clubs and Orchestras in the United States (1880-1920): Their Origin, History and Instruments, M.M. Thesis (Vermillion: University of South Dakota, 1987), p. 158.

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