By Tom Beaujour
For those who thought it impossible for Martin to top the ornate beauty of its millionth guitar in 2004, the company unveiled at NAMM its new 1.5 millionth instrument, a tribute to Leonardo da Vinci and a work of art in its own right.
Dubbed “da Vinci Unplugged,” the instrument features Brazilian rosewood back and sides and an Adirondack spruce top. And then there’s the magnificent inlay work, which includes a Mona Lisa headstock, Last Supper pickguard composed of hundreds of individual pieces, and a Vitruvian Man on the guitar’s back, all painstakingly designed by luthier and inlay artist Harvey Leach. Further da Vinci-influenced inlays, contributed by scrimshaw artist Bob Hergert and metal engraver Tira Mitchell, adorn the fretboard and tuning machine buttons.
The 1.5 millionth Martin will eventually make its way back to the company’s headquarters in Nazareth, PA, where it will be on display at the Martin Museum. But for those interested in an in-depth look at its creation, head over to Martin’s tumblr page.