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1931 National Duolian Roundneck

1931 National Duolian Roundneck

Regular price $5,995.00
Regular price Sale price $5,995.00
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An excellent sounding single-owner 1931 National Duolian purchased in 1934 in the quiet Ballard fishing community in North Seattle. Comes complete with two photos of the original owner holding the guitar and the original purchase receipt from Gerke's Music House. This round-neck plays great and has an impeccable worn-in aesthetic with a well-weathered patina that clearly shows how much this instrument was loved and played! This is a really cool piece of Seattle's history and an incredible-sounding/playing instrument. Includes modern hardshell case.

Check out the feature from our luthier Tyler in the ECG Newsletter:

"It’s unfortunate that resonators are so unanimously typecast as blues and country instruments. Prior to the second World War, they were a serious contender to succeed the archtop as the loudest and most desirable guitar for use in popular live music. I would even go so far as to submit that, if not for WWII, the resonator would have been a much more tenured and dominant force in midcentury American music. In the end, however, the Aluminum cone simply lost out to the mighty electron, spurred on to victory by the inevitable advancements of a nation at war. 

Albeit brief, the “Resophonic” guitar had its time in the sun, and this 1931 example could be considered a product of its golden age. First developed by the Dopyera brothers in the mid 1920s, the design moved steadily to maturity by the start of the following decade. Retailing at $32.50, the Duolian was the company’s most affordable offering and while many were made, a tremendous number of them have been destroyed, mistreated, or simply recycled over the years. To find an original example that has survived free of abuse is a rarity, and to find one with provenance is almost unheard of. 

This particular Duolian is an early-production model from 1931, but the original sales receipt (included with the guitar) indicates that it was not originally sold until 1934. Perhaps most astonishingly, this one-owner example also comes accompanied by a photograph of the original owner posing with the instrument, taken sometime shortly after acquiring the guitar in the mid-30s. Even the original rope strap from the photo remains attached and functional. A tidy neck reset and some correct replacement tuners were all that was needed to bring this amazing National back up to speed. We received this remarkable package directly from the son of the original owner, and it is truly the most well-documented and interesting vintage resonator I have ever seen." 

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