Christian Frederick Martin Guitar

  • Maker: Christian Frederick Martin (Markneukirchen, Saxony 1796–1873 Nazareth, Pennsylvania)
  • Date: ca. 1838
  • Geography: New York, New York, United States
  • Culture: American
  • Medium: Wood, maple, spruce, abalone, ebony, metal, brass, ivory
  • Dimensions: Height: 36 13/16 in. (93.5 cm) Width: 11 11/16 in. (29.7 cm) Depth: 3 1/4 in. (8.3 cm)


Christian Frederick Martin was born in Markneukirchen, Saxony, Germany in 1796. He is known to have studied guitar building in Vienna, working for Karl Kuhle, whose daughter Otillia Kuhle Martin would marry. Martin also claimed to have worked in the shop of Johann George Stauffer whose designs he closely followed in examples such as this instrument. Such features as the scroll-shaped headstock and metal machine tuners, the body outline, and the pin bridge, were all based on the Stauffer design. In 1833, Martin immigrated to New York City where he opened a music store and built guitars, like this one, based on the Viennese style guitars he had learned to build in Germany.

Within a few years, Martin would design a distinctly American form of the guitar that would shape all subsequent acoustic guitar making in the United States. His company, C. F. Martin & Co., would become one of the most influential musical instrument companies in the world and continues manufacturing acoustic guitars in Nazareth, Pennsylvania.

Something to think about

These are the standards we should be aiming for, no routers, no cnc, no table saws, no bandsaws just pure hand work.  I can’t help but wonder about this statement which is true by the way “Time is money.”  Time was also money then and before then and before then.  The only difference between us and them, they had skill, and knew how to work fast and maintain accuracy while we don’t.  We can blame machinery all we like, we can blame mass production and advertising and the guys who convinced us that we’re just not good enough, so we need machinery to produce outstanding work.  But the truth is, the blame solely rests on us.  Don’t you think we’ve been sheep long enough.  Don’t you think it’s time we break these shackles of modernisation and embrace what is truly free.

Handwork brings true freedom, it only takes effort on your part.

They weren’t super humans, they were ordinary people like us and we human beings are an extraordinary creation, who can achieve unbelievable things if we set our minds to it. We can also produce sh*t, this we’ve proven over and over again, we live it and we see it everyday, isn’t it time we said enough.


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