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1938 Martin 00-21S Vintage Guitar 14 fret Rare Original

By February 22, 2017July 4th, 2020Vintage Guitar
1938 Martin 0021S original

Comparison of 1933 OM-18 vs 1938 OO-21S


1938 Martin 00-21S 14 fret

Here is a rare and much sought after 14-fret 00-21 from the 1930s.  Serial #71,667 rare special order 14 fret model, Brazilian rosewood, original finish, has a T bar, structurally sound, original open back Grover G-98 tuners (which appear to have never been off), original fretboard and frets etc, recent neck set, bridge has been replaced but bridge plate appears original
A total of eleven 00-21S guitars were sold between 1935 and 1938. All were sold to dealers in the Chicago area. Ten went to Lyon & Healy and one to William Lewis & Son., Four 0-21S guitars were made between 1930 and 1940. Beautiful tone, low action and plays so sweet.

Vintage 1930’s Martin 00-21

Almost all 00-21 guitars from the period were 12-fret models but between 1935 and 1938 a total of twelve 00-21 guitars were made with 14 fret necks, all were sold to dealers in Chicago but all but one was ordered by just one dealer. This particular guitar is the second last example made.

The S was added on the end of the 00-21 (00-21S) because it was a 1930’s special order Martin guitar.

Like all style 21 guitars it has a herringbone sound hole ring and herringbone back-stripe.

Back and sides: Brazilian rosewood

Top: Red spruce (Adirondack)

Not for sale, just for info purposes,

1933 Martin 00-21S

1938 Martin 00-21S  original G98 open back Grover tuners

1933 Martin 00-21S original

1938 Martin 00-21S  Brazilian rosewood back

1933 Martin 00-21S original

1938 Martin 00-21S

1938 Martin 00-21S original


  • David Wal says:

    Hello Mark. Just came across your webpage here. Wow, these are some amazing guitars! Are younm interested or would you ever entertain parting with any of them? What an honor to even see those! Thanks for sharing the info and beautiful pictures. Thanks! David

    • says:

      Thanks for the kind words David. Most of them are gone unfortunately. Still have a couple. You could always send me an email or call.

  • Tom Lester says:

    Mark- I’ve missed two of the 00-21s guitars. One, years ago that Jon Lundberg was selling at his shop in Berkeley Ca. back in the 60’s (I bought a ’31 shade top OM 28 instead. I also passed on a Martin 000-45 12 fret which at the time was around $5k, an astronomical price for a grad student back in the 60’s.

    And the second was for sale at Folkway music in Toronto several years back. They are simply magnificent guitars and as you say, exceedingly rare. That said, my ’31 |OM-28 ain’t too shabby.

    • says:

      Nice Tom! Love the 30’s 00-21s guitars. How bout that. Ive got a 33 OM-18. Very sweet instruments!

  • Tom Lester says:

    A few years back I bought a Larson Prairie State chocolate topped guitar. As it turns out, it was signed and dated inside by Augustus and Carl Larson (1/7/34) which made it the first known 14 fret, chocolate topped guitar the Larson Bros. made. I ended up trading it to Fred Oster for a shade top ’31 OM-18. Took it to my luthier in Vancouver where we compared it to another OM-18 from the same year (57,XXX). Mine had been well played and taken care of, the other had sat in a closet for years. My guitar sounded open with incredible sustain and resonance while the closeted OM sound closed and muted by comparison. Just goes to show you how environment and playing history can affect the overall sound of virtually identical guitars.

  • Tom Lester says:

    Question. Do you know whether the bracing on the 00-21s is 1/4″ or 5/16″?? Also, is it standard or forward shifted bracing (as was the case in some pre-war Martins)? Thanks in advance for your reply… Tom

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