This 1940 D-28 is of the nicest pre-WWII Martin guitars Gryphon has offered, and one that's now awaiting its third owner. This guitar turned up at an Antiques Roadshow event in Grand Rapids, Michigan in 2008, and in the following months we flew back to Michigan to purchase it from the widow of the original owner (it's been with the second owner ever since). It comes with its original Harptone hardshell case and sales receipt from Grinnell Bros. in Detroit, plus a fine photo of the original owner playing it (with his hound in the foreground).
It has its original finish throughout, with original pickguard, bridge, and Grover G-111 tuning machines. (Martin only used these gears from 1939 to 1942) Frank Ford did the neck reset and refret in 2008 (original frets and nut were saved in the string pocket). There are two tight cracks in the top which are mirrored on the treble & bass sides, which have both been repaired and cleated. There is also a 2-inch hairline crack near the zipper backstrip in the vertical grain rosewood back. At some time in the past the bridge tips were bolted down, a common repair technique in the 1940s and 1950s. Happily, the bolts missed the X braces, and the ebony fills in the bridge with proper grain and color make these holes hard to detect now.
There is light wear to the top's finish, and some belt-buckle wear that goes through the finish on the back, as shown. Neck finish has wear but original coloring has survived and there are only a couple of noticeable dings. Great tone and volume, made even more enjoyable by excellent playability. A wonderful example of why Martin's pre-war D-28s have been given holy grail status for so many decades. The original bridge plate is intact but it has had a carbon fiber overlay added.