Martin Style 2-30 Mandolin (1936)

IN LATE 1929 MARTIN ENTERED, rather belately, the carved-top mandolin competition by introducing two round-hole models, style 15 and style 20 (used in performance and on recordings by Bill Bolick of the Blue Sky Boys). In 1936, three new models were introduced with f-holes and sunburst finish: 2-15, 2-20, and the top-of-the-line 2-30. With two symmetrical body points, and highly flamed maple back and sides, these instruments were very attractive, but couldn’t compete in volume with the Gibson models, probably because of their ultra-heavy bracing. The 2-30 was discountinued in 1941, leaving a total of only 65 in existence, making it a much rarer collectible than the highly sought-after pre-war Martin D-45 guitar.

Track 11: Wildwood Flower
(from Tone Poems CD booklet, used by permission)

Photography by Eric Harger