When he invented the original National Tricone all the way back in 1927, John Dopyera was seeking to create a louder guitar with internal amplification — but he also insisted that the guitar’s tone be absolutely clear. His groundbreaking design, patented in 1927, with three resonating cones projected the guitar’s sound so it could be over the sound of dancers and cut through a band or orchestra. As John rightly boasted, “The Tricone guitar flowed like a river,” and the company’s early ads proclaimed it “The Greatest Musical Sensation of the Age.”
Even now, 96 years later, Tricones are still revered by musicians for that special sound. Introduced near the height of the art deco period in the United States, the National Tricone featured the bold, geometric, rectilinear design that was capturing the imagination of the design world of the time. To some, the Style 2 Tricone, with its ornately engraved German silver body, lattice soundholes, austere look, and function-following form design epitomises classic art deco principles.
This is a wonderful original 1931 National Style 2 Tricone. It features a brass body and coverplate, is nickel plated, featuring stunning “Wild Rose” design engravings and polished to a mirror-like shine. It has an ebony fingerboard, and a mahogany neck on this Spanish roundneck model.
This fabulous example has the low serial number of S2293 and was built in late 1931. It is in remarkable, completely original condition with its original cones. The guitar has had a neck reset. It has never worn a pickup and has no extra holes or modifications of any kind. This vintage National sounds exceptional, looks stunning, and plays cleanly. There is some light tarnishing of the metal in places, which is to be expected of a 92-year old instrument. There are slight dings around the edges, but no damage to or missing finish anywhere on its body & do not affect the playing or structural integrity of the guitar. Its a truly excellent & collectible example & that is what any serious National collector wants. She comes complete in its original Black gator/purple lined hard case.