This unique guitar was made, we believe as a 6 string in 1933, and was then returned to the National Factory in 1936 to have the 12 string neck fitted. (NB Now known to be untrue, the 12 string neck is origional, see below for information on this and about its identical twin, S4872 !)
The first owner was Matthew Olivera who played in Portuguese bands at local feshtas (festivals). His son Matthew Olivera jr also played in these bands.
I think I have seen this coverplate before, but have no knowledge now of where or when. Mark Schoenberger of National guitar repair says while he was working with Don Young at National Resophonic they refurbished a 12 string style 0, but recalls that it had a standard coverplate, so are there two 12 string 0's out there?
An update... Don Young writes this about the instrument:-- "The Coverplate. This was not some proto-type banged out by Rudy D. in the back room. These parts were formed on complex and very expensive hard-tooling. A lot of design time was put into this , so why only one example? I don't know.
I do remember Ed ( Emil ) Dopyera telling me about the move to Chicago , snow,bad weather etc... back in 1972. He did mention that in the move , some very valuable tooling was lost, never to be seen again.
Were the stamping / forming dies for this coverplate amongst the Lost Tooling ?"
Thanks to Matt Alves for the pictures and information.
If you have any information on the coverplate or, indeed, any other 12 string Nationals, we would love to hear from you!
I just received pictures of another 12 string style 0 guitar! Serial S4872
It is identical to S4259 except the headstock engraving says FOF, the instrument I picture above.
The owner tells me "This was my grandfathers guitar, there was two made the other is on your website. They were not 6 strings made later into 12 strings they were custom made my grandfather was teaching jr, and jr's father had them made for his son and my grandfather"
I'll try to find out the names behind the initials
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