12/18/2010

c.1940 Kay-made "Calvert" Archtop Guitar


While I have no idea who owned the "Calvert" brand, this guitar is undoubtedly made by Kay around 1940. It's a good quality guitar, with solid spruce top, solid maple sides and neck, and a flamed three-ply maple back. Work on this one included a neck set, fret dress, and setup.


It's entirely crack free, sports tortoise binding on the top, back, and fretboard, and has all of its original components -- super-cool lyre tailpiece, rosewood adjustable bridge, rosewood fretboard with dot and diamond inlay, finish in great glossy thin shape, bone nut, and original Kluson tuners with slightly deteriorating buttons.


Rosewood headstock veneer. Those tuners work great.


This is such a fantastic-looking period charmer. Has a heck of a lot of class to it.


It's also a tone monster with instantaneous response, loads of smooth snappy treble, and round but precise bass. Great sustain, too.




The white backing for the tortoise binding really pops the stuff out from the sides.



This is definitely the guitar to play if you'd like to get noticed on stage.



Neck profile is a bigger D shape but is quite fast. This has that old-Kay narrow-ish nut which makes it great for lead lines.




Curiously, though the neck is maple, they decided to paint faux-flame on its back under the finish.



Glorious deep amber/red/crimson-brown sunburst.




Original end pin, too.

3 comments:

Chuck said...

I have a Lord Calvert Guitar arch top. Great sound. I am guessing around 1940 This is the first place i have found any other Lord Calvert. Do you have more history on Lord calvert. Fort Wanyne Indiana

Antebellum Instruments said...

Chuck: Sorry -- Calvert just appears to be either a department store or catalog brand used on instruments -- in this case it's made by Kay in Chicago.

Jason Evans said...

I've got a restored Lord Calvert that I inherited from my grandfather, and this site is the first I've ever seen with others as well. He told me that he bought it used in Baltimore circa 1938. We had it restored in the early 1990s, and the folks who restored had never heard of it either. Sounds beautiful