Before the electric guitar boom of the early 1950's, guitar building for performing musicians was all about volume. Guitar manufactures were constantly competing to get their instruments in the hands of the jazz & big band players of the time, and without amplification, natural acoustic volume would often be the deciding factor. This 1939 Epiphone Emperor is a perfect example of one such instrument. The top of the line arch top in the Epiphone catalog with the largest body shape design of the period, the Emperor went head to head with the Gibson Super 400 from its introduction in 1936.
The Emperor model was Epiphones top of the line arch top, with deluxe appointments and a powerful tone. With its 18 1/2" wide body, the Emperor was 1/2" bigger than its Gibson competitor, making it the largest arch top acoustic on the market at the time. Constructed from a Spruce top with Maple back and sides, this Emperor features a natural finish along with 7 ply top and back binding, 'V' block pearl fingerboard inlay, 'Vine Of Life' pearl headstock inlay and a gorgeous raised celluloid pick guard, making it suitably luxurious for a top of the range model. The Emperor is finished off with all gold plated hardware, including the unique 'Frequensator' tailpiece and gold Epiphone branded tuning machines. This 1939 Epiphone Emperor is an excellent example of one of the most sought after and heralded acoustic arch tops of its era, and a real collectors item.
This guitar is in excellent condition with only the most minor signs of play wear. It has previously had two small top cracks repaired and cleated around the lower bout 'F' hole, and one other small back crack repaired and cleated. The guitar has been given a full service and appraisal by our luthiers at the Vintage Instrument Workshop, and includes a 3 year warranty.