Epiphone DeLuxe Model Arch Top Acoustic Guitar (1941), made in New York City, Blonde lacquer finish, flame maple back and sides, spruce top; laminated maple neck with rosewood fingerboard, period brown hard shell case.
The DeLuxe had been Epiphone's original top-line guitar, until the Emperor was introduced in 1936. This enlarged 17 3/8" version of the DeLuxe was developed at the same time as a response to arch-rival Gibson's "Advanced" arch-top line. This DeLuxe dates to early 1940, likely from the first batch made that year. It is a very early example of the new natural finish model which had just been introduced sometime in 1939, which was the hot trend in orchestra guitars at the time.
The 17 3/8" wide body is bound in 5-ply celluloid and the finish is a ambered natural lacquer showing off some fairly deep curl on the maple back. The tailpiece is Epiphone's patented "Frequensator" with separate tines for the bass and treble strings. The pickguard is an extended bound celluloid piece shared with the Emperor, secured by a simple gold-plated bracket.
These original high-end arch-top Epiphone guitars were quite popular among professional users when new, but nice examples are surprisingly hard to find today. The sound is both rich and powerful, still retaining the definition old Epiphones are known for. We are always pleased to offer top-line New York Epiphones, especially pre-war ones. They are not only great guitars, but a huge part of our local NY musical heritage.