Of the pearl inlaid Style 45 guitars made by the C.F. Martin and Company prior to World War II, the OM-45 Deluxe is one of the rarest and considered among many collectors the most coveted. The "OM" or "Orchestra Model" as it was officially called when introduced in 1929, featured a 000-size body that was shortened so that the neck would have 14 frets clear of the body. This, combined with a scale length of 25.4 inches, a slimmer neck profile, a solid headstock and a pickguard glued to the top, was the prototype that would define the American steel-string flattop guitar design for decades to come. Although first marketed to plectrum guitarists, the OM would eventually prove itself equally serviceable to finger-style guitarists as well. OM's were made in Martin's styles 18, 28, 42 and 45. The OM-45 Deluxe differentiated itself from the standard Style 45 with its pearl inlaid bridge, the elaborate floral pearl inlaid pickguard and engraved gold plated tuners with pearl buttons.
Until now, it was traditionally believed that only 14 OM-45 Deluxe's were manufactured in 1930. This guitar, and the resulting research by archivist and author John Woodland, has brought to light that the C.F. Martin and Company in fact manufactured 15 of these instruments. Bearing the serial number 42125, this guitar was the first example produced and was shipped by Frank Henry Martin on May 29, 1930 to the San Francisco firm of Sherman Clay.
Sold with a letter outlining the archival research used in dating and attribution, John Woodland and Richard Johnston, Minneapolis, MN, February 17, 2009