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NMM 13565.  Guitar by Tony W. Vines, Nashville, 2000.
Joe Carter Signature Model (15-1/2″). Serial No. M001-41.
Ex coll.: Joe Carter, Maces Springs, Virginia.
André and Kay Marcum Larson Fund, 2008.

Note: Click on any image below to see a larger image.

NMM 13565.  Guitar by Tony Vines, Nashville, 2000
Bass side view of Vines guitar
Treble side view of Vines guitar
Back of Vines guitar

This dreadnought guitar was built in honor of A. P. (Alvin Pleasant) Carter (1891-1960), patriarch of the famed country music family. Tennessee luthier, Tony Vines, met and befriended A. P.'s son Joe (1927-2005) in 2000, at which time the design of this commemorative guitar was conceived. Joe wanted a guitar made with mulberry-wood back and sides to emulate a violin he had once heard played in the Carter Family Fold in Hiltons, Virginia. Although not a copy of an historical example, this instrument was based on A. P.'s Martin dreadnought with twelve frets (rather than the fourteen frets later adopted by Martin). This configuration pushed the bridge closer to the sweet spot, according to Vines, resulting in a better lower-end sound. Other custom features include lignum vitae used for the nut and bridge saddle, a bridge design by Joe Carter, and an eagle inlay on the front of the head in honor of Joe's song, "Through the Eyes of an Eagle." Other instruments at the NMM representing the musical legacy of the Carter family include June Carter Cash's Hummingbird guitar and Johnny Cash's Bon Aqua guitar.

Joe Carter and Tony Vines

Joe Carter and Tony Vines, ca. 2000


Label on inside of back

Printed on glossy paper label in black and dark-orange ink, with image of Joe Carter, on inside of back: Fine Handcrafted / VINES / Acoustic Guitars / JOE CARTER / SIGNATURE MODEL / Joe D. Carter [signed in black ink] / JOE D. CARTER

Printed on glossy paper label in black, magenta, and dark-orange ink, with image of Joe Carter, on neck block: Fine Handcrafted / VINES / Acoustic Guitars / JOE CARTER / SIGNATURE / MODEL / M001-41— [handwritten] / SERIAL NUMBER

Label on neck block Detail of label on inside of back

Brand on back graft

Branded on back graft with single line border: HAND CRAFTED BY / TONY W. VINES / LUTHIER

Front, Back, and Side Views of Guitar Body

Front of body Bass side of body Treble side of body Back of body

Body:  Soundboard:  two-piece Adirondack spruce, wide grain. Back:  two-piece, quarter-cut mulberry (not book matched); rosewood back stripe. Ribs:  two-piece, quarter-cut mulberry. Back stripe:  rosewood.

Front, Back, and Sides of Peghead

Front of peghead Bass side of peghead Treble side of peghead Back of peghead

Head and neck:  mahogany; veneered on face with ebony bound in imitation-tortoise-shell celluloid with very narrow light and dark hardwood purfling trim; inlaid with mother-of-pearl eagle head with black and transparent yellow painted detail; brass-plated steel strap button. Tuners:  six Waverly, copper-plated-steel, worm-gear machine tuners with copper-plated steel heads and decoratively cut plate outlines.

Fretboard and Neck Views

Bass side of neck
Treble side of neck
Back of neck

Neck Heel

Neck heel

Fingerboard and Neck:  ebony bound with imitation-tortoise-shell celluloid with single strip of narrow light- and dark-hardwood trim on edges and two strips of narrow light- and dark-hardwood trim on top; 20 heavy-gauge nickel-silver frets; single abalone slotted diamonds behind 3rd, 5th, and 9th frets; two abalone-slotted diamonds behind 7th and 12th frets. Nut:  lignum vitae. Heel cap:  ebony. Stringing: six steel strings.

Soundhole and Pickguard


Inlay:  Binding:  imitation tortoise-shell celluloid with two-ply strips of white and black celluloid trim on ribs; light and dark hardwood purfling trim on back; abalone trim on top surrounded on each side by light- and dark-hardwood purfling. Rosette:  two layers of light hardwood, dyed pink, brown-red, and black hardwood angled and checkerboard trim with white celluloid binding on inside edge of soundhole. Pick guard:  photolaminate plastic pickguard with printed tortoise-shell design. Lacquer:  clear.

Bridge and Bottom Rib


Bottom rib

Trim:  Bridge:  ebony; angled lignum vitae saddle; black plastic bridge pins with abalone eyes; inlaid treble clef in lower part of bridge constructed from bent, narrow light- and dark-hardwood purfling strips Endpin:  black plastic with abalone eye.

Interior:  Linings:  kerfed maple. Neck block:  mahogany. End block:  two-piece mahogany; rounded corners. Top bracing:  X-bracing, the central joint reinforced with white cloth; scalloped finger braces; spruce bridge plate. Back braces:  spruce back graft; four maple back braces with tapered ends.

Measurements:  Total guitar length:  1055 mm (39-9/16″)
Back length:  526 mm (20-11/16″)
Upper bout width:  394 mm (15-1/2″)
Waist width:  285 mm (11-7/32″)
Lower bout width:  406 mm (16-1/16″)
Rib height (including edging) at heel:  103mm (4-1/16″)
Rib height, at waist:  116 mm (4-9/16″)
Rib height, at end block:  128 mm (5-1/32″)
Head length:  156 mm (6-1/8″)
Head width, top:  72 mm (2-13/16″)
Head width, bottom:  58 mm (2-1/4″)
Neck length (nut to ribs):  321 mm (12-5/8″)
Neck width, nut:  44 mm (1-23/32″)
Neck width, heel:  54 mm (2-1/8″)
Soundhole diameter:  101 mm (3-31/32″)
Vibrating string length (nut to bridge edge):  high E:  645 mm (25-3/8″); low E:  648 mm (25-1/2″)

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Most recent update: March 24, 2014

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