Isolde with her sister and the Martin Guitar

1899 Martin 0-42 acoustic guitar, made in USA, ser. no. 8xx2, the open head stamped ‘Martin’ to the back, ebony fretboard with pearl position markers to the 5th, 7th and 9th fret, Brazilian rosewood back and sides, andirondack spruce top, stamped to the inner back and to the heel of the neck, condition: please enquire

The serial number of this guitar can be found on the Martin ledger as a 0-42 model dating to 1899. The style 42 in 1899 was Martin’s highest level of ornamentation, with pearl around the perimeter of the body and also following the fretboard. In 1898 Martin also added three pearl position markers to the fretboard at the 5th, 7th and 9th frets.

Provenance – This guitar was originally owned by the Spanish guitar virtuoso, Signor Alberto Obregon. Isolde Radclyffe, the vendors
mother in law and one of Obregon’s pupils, purchased the guitar from him in 1901. She went on to have a successful musical career, one of the highlights being a Royal Command performance at Windsor castle, given by Queen Alexandra to celebrate the birthday of Princess Mary and the wedding anniversary of King George V. She also performed for the Grand Duke Michael of Russia. Later, in 1946 Isolde had her own programs on BBC Radio.

Isolde, later married Ronald Lidstone, the vendors father in law. Together they did and extraordinary adagio act. Whilst Ronald played the Martin, Isolde played her mandolin and the pair would dance continually, displaying daring lifts and balancing feats. They were known as Isolde and Alexis and performed all around the world.

Obregon with Isolde and her sisters

After all the joy the instrument had given to thousands of people, it’s remained in the family ever since its last performance. To this day it is still in remarkable condition.

Alberto Obregon, born 1872 – died 1922
‘Married and English lady’ Performer and teacher. Conductor of a mandolin and guitar band. Commanded to perform on several occasions before His Majesty King Edward and Queen Alexandra. Composed “A Ma Mia”. His works, about 30 were published by Schott, Dallas
(Taken from ‘Guitar and Mandolin’ – Philip J. Bone – 1st Edition 1914)

Estimate £7,000 – 10,000

Sold for £7000 (16th March 2017)