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Press Release
August 08 2005
For Immediate Release
Media Contact: Christopher Guerin, Vice President of Corporate Communications, (800) 222-4700 ext. 1030
 
Rare Instruments on Display at Sweetwater
 
When you first see it, you canít decide where to focus your eyes. Itís a glittering baroque riot of cherubs, angels, inlaid diamonds, rubies, abalone, and gold. A piece of royal headwear? A serendipitous find on Antiques Roadshow? No, itís a very special guitar. In fact, itís C.F. Martin & Co.ís one-millionth guitar, and it is a sight to behold.

Guitar aficionados and art lovers alike can view this priceless instrument along with other rare commemorative Martin models Friday, August 19 from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m. at Sweetwater, 5335 Bass Road. Martin officials have announced that this is the final public display of these instruments. Following the Sweetwater showcase the guitars will be placed in permanent storage at Martinís Nazareth, Penn. headquarters.

The instrumentís ornate design was executed by California craftsman Larry Robinson, who followed sixth-generation Martin CEO Chris Martinís directive to ďgo crazy with the look of classic European decorative art.Ē As much a work of art as a musical instrument, the guitar boasts 141 gemstones, including 65 diamonds. Other materials used include fossilized ivory, copper, silver, and yellow and white gold. Robinson and Martin luthiers worked on the guitar for two years, handcrafting more than 2,000 individual pieces to create the intricate figures.

The top of the guitar is dazzling, but it is almost eclipsed by the Victorian-influenced vine-and-arbor design on the back. Mother of pearl and abalone inlays include several nods to the companyís past, including a portrait of founder C.F. Martin and representations of Martin instruments from the companyís 172-year history, surrounded by angels and cherubs.

The elaborate design of millionth guitar is in stark contrast to Martinís traditional form-follows-function simplicity. However, the company has produced other one-of-a-kind instruments, including the Chinese Dragon (serial number 700,000) and the Art Nouveau. These commemorative models will also be on display at the August 19 showcase, along with other Martins valued at up to $100,000. The value of the millionth guitar? Martin wonít say, simply stating that it is ďpriceless.Ē

The Martin Guitar Showcase is free to the public. Interested persons can pre-register at www.sweetwater.com/events to be included in a drawing for a free Backpacker guitar or a box of Martin strings.
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