Mark Twain's 1835 Martin Guitar Valued at Over $15 million
Mark Twain, the literary legend who left us with invaluable amazing stories, has left us his Martin 2 ½-17 guitar which is valued at over $15 Million.
If you could travel back in time to 1835, when C.F. Martin Sr. created these Martin 2 1/2-17 guitars, this $15 Million dollar Martin Guitar will only cost you $10 - brand new. But since you can't, you'll just have to imagine the background story of this historic guitar.
Mark Twain bought the 1835 Martin guitar used, shortly after the Civil War started around 1861. The date of the guitar's creation coincided not only with his birth, but also with Haley's Comet's appearance. And to add a chill to that little bit of information, Twain's death also coincided with the re-appearance of the same comet, 75 years later.
Mark Twain "gigged" with his 1835 Martin extensively as a singer guitarist, bringing it along to his many travels. Like the main protagonist of his popular novel: The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, Mark Twain traveled far and wide, often with only his 1835 Martin, paper and ink to accompany him.
Twain played his 1835 Martin guitar frequently for friends and fellow travelers. He entertained the miners of the infamous California's Gold Rush and the newspaper men of the Nevada Territories. He also rocked the joint with passengers aboard the clipper ship Ajax bound for the Hawaiian Islands. But as many guitarists would approve, Twain prefers to play his Martin guitar for the "willing women of the West."
Just before Twain died in 1910, the 1835 Martin guitar was entrusted to Colonel John Hancock III, who is the great grandson of American founding father John Hancock, who aside from being a U.S. Cavalryman and a horse breeder, he was a guitar collector. The guitar remained in the Hancock family for four generations until it was purchased by renowned guitar collector Hank Risan in the mid-nineties.
Risan then worked with UC Berkeley to authenticate the guitar and created the Mark Twain Project. The guitar came with it's original coffin case and had a genuine shipping label dated 1866, with "Mr. M. Twain, New York." written on it by the hands of the legendary novel writer himself. Risan also found an unpublished poem written by Mark Twain entitled "Genius". Risan then established the online exhibition "The Private Life of Mark Twain" at the Museum of Modern Instruments (MoMI) with both the guitar and poem showcased.
Now that is a little story you can brag to your non guitar toting friends about.
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