Here is an exceptionally rare 1954 National Del Mar archtop electric guitar. If you are a National collector, this could be your only chance to get an intact one. All original and very clean. Just light finish wear on the first position and a couple light scratches as shown. This is the only original example we’ve been able to find in our extensive research. You simply will not find one of these because they were made for a very short period of time before they were dropped.
They were the top-of-the-line model back in 1954. The neck and headstock ornamentation is beautiful. The Kluson Sealfast tuners are great. Comes with the original hardshell case and case key as found with some very high-end archtops of the period (D’Angelico).
These were actually constructed with Gibson ES-350 bodies that National bought directly from Gibson. This one has the Gibson FON beginning with “X” which signifies 1954. These were $350 when new, which was actually more money than a Gibson ES-175, ES-295, and double the price of an L-4C! It was slightly less than an ES-350 which was $385 in 1954.
In 1954, National introduced the more common 1109 Bel Aire, an ES-175 body with two Valco pickups, block inlays, a symmetrical headstock, and other mid-level appointments; it sold for $225. The same year also saw the introduction of the 1103 Del Mar, an ES-350 body with two pickups, a bound, rosewood-veneered headstock and “butterfly” inlays that sold for $350 (in the same range as a L-7CESN). For whatever reason, National changed their minds by 1956 when both models were dropped from the catalog.
Weight: 6.6 lbs.