C.F. Martin & Co. has unveiled the 1.5 millionth Martin Guitar at the 2011 NAMM Show.
Dubbed "Da Vinci Unplugged," over the past year and a half, the parts of this milestone guitar were carefully crafted at the Martin factory in Nazareth, PA, and then sent to expert luthier and inlay artist Harvey Leach, who designed the Leonardo da Vinci-inspired Mona Lisa headstock, Last Supper pickguard and Vitruvian Man back. Scrimshaw artist Bob Hergert then added his expert touch, including intricately engraved illustrations - based on an array of da Vinci drawings - to Style 45 hexagons that were cut from fossilized mammoth ivory and inlaid into the fingerboard and bridge wings. The guitar was then returned to Nazareth for final assembly, delicate Style 45 perimeter inlay, and finishing.
"Since I became chairman and CEO of the company, I have been fortunate to have overseen the creation of several milestone guitars, including the company's 500,000th in 1990, 750,000th in 2000 and one millionth in 2004, and each of these accomplishments leaves me in awe," said Chris Martin IV. "The unveiling of the 1.5 millionth Martin Guitar marks the shortest period of time we have taken to produce a half-million Martins. This is testament not only to the demand for our guitars and the perfection expected from us, but also the quality of work, passion and skill of the craftsmen and women behind each hand-made instrument."
The 1.5 millionth Martin also features special gold tuning buttons engraved by Tira Mitchell, a case is crafted by TKL, and a strap hand-tooled and donated by leather artist Chuck Smith. For more information on the creation of "Da Vinci Unplugged" - including a first-person account from Mr. Leach - visit the Martin Guitar Blog.