1932 National Triolian Polychrome

The National Triolian is without doubt the most popular and recognisable metal body resonator guitar, having been a mainstay in guitar music from the 1930's onwards, shaping the sound of the delta blues and going on to be used by blues and rock players throughout the decades to follow, all of whom looked for it's signature powerful, metallic sound. 

Triolian models were manufactured from 1928 through to 1938, and were produced as wood body models initially until changing to the more recognised metal body design towards the end of 1929. The Triolian was a mid priced model in the National catalogue and was very popular, remaining a go to choice for countless musicians over the years who have looked for its distinctive sound. Featuring a steel body with a round Maple neck and fingerboard, the Triolian has a bright and punchy sound with plenty of projection and clarity. Triolian models are based around the single cone biscuit bridge design, giving the more metallic sound that was popular with the delta blues players of the time. The fingerboard features a polychrome finish that matches that of the body, a feature only found on a small number of Triolian models manufactured in the early 1930s, after the majority changed to an ebonized fingerboard. This example also features flat cut 'F' holes, again only seen on Triolian models up until 1933.  

The real jewel in the crown of this resonator is its beautiful polychrome finish, having been excellently preserved over time for an instrument that is almost 100 years old and retaining much of its colour. The first polychrome Triolian models featured a flatter 'tan' finish, with some red or blue highlights. However, from 1930 you start to see Triolians sporting what is known as a 'Pea Green' finish, with a yellowed base that features highlights in a blue-green hue over the body. These finishes vary greatly from guitar to guitar, which can only be put down to the different people spraying them at the time. The best feature of these polychrome models is the ornate Hawaiian sunset scene stencilled on the back, perfectly showcasing the influence of Hawaiian guitar and Pacific Island culture that would sweep the west coast of the USA in the pre and post war period of the '30s & '40s.  

This 1932 National Triolian is a wonderful example of arguably the most popular National most model, and is in very good condition with only the most minor signs of play wear. It is particularly unusual to see a Polychrome model from this period that has retained as much of its blue/green finish hue as this one has. The instrument is completely original with the exception of a new Maple saddle made by our luthier Gerald at the Vintage Instrument Workshop, who also gave the guitar a full service including neck reset to ensure many more years of perfect playability.   

As with all our instruments, this guitar has been given a full service and appraisal by our luthiers at the Vintage Instrument Workshop, and includes a 3 year warranty. The original case is included.

 



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