Here's a rare, very cool, treat of a guitar. This was made by Regal around c.1930-1935 or so and sports a solid spruce top, maple neck, and solid mahogany back and sides. The guitar's lines are patterned on a Martin 12-fret 00 size instrument, with almost exactly the same dimensions throughout, save that it has a much thicker v-shaped neck. I'm almost certain this was built for lap-style Hawaiian playing to begin with as it has no end pin (a clear mark on guitars of the time that they were probably intended as Hawaiian guitars, especially if the "theme" of the instrument is Hawaiian-informed).
That makes this sort of a 00-18H copy, except that the fretboard is a wild bit of gold-sparkle and black celluloid with crazy lions, floral, and geometric fret markers. Oh, and it also has that super-cool hand-painted "Diamond Head, Honolulu" scene on the lower bout.
Another departure from the Martin reference is that the top is ladder braced in typical, extremely light, Regal fashion. This gives it an open, up-front, sweet and warm tonality, with singing sustain on the high notes and a crisp bass.
When I got the guitar it needed a neck reset and fret dress. In addition it had a floating bridge and tailpiece setup. I did the neck set, reglued a couple braces, some loose binding, and a back hairline crack... then installed this new rosewood belly bridge with slightly longer wings than normal. I find that these types of bridges really improve the stability of a ladder-braced top vs. the smaller, rectangular bridges.
The bone nut came with the guitar (it's newer), though I did reshape it a bit for a better fit and setup. What's nice about this guitar is that it sounds and plays fantastic as a fingerpicker/flatpicker, then you can pop a raised nut on it (one of those "convertible" metal nuts) and it becomes a prime Hawaiian guitar.
Super cool gold-sparkle and black celluloid fretboard.
Waves, sunset, palm trees, seagulls, and Diamond Head. Heck yes.
At some point it'd be nice to lose the plastic pins, but otherwise I'm quite happy with this.
Typical Regal-style binding from the '30s on their medium and higher-end flattops.
Nice mahogany on the back and sides, too. This guitar is light as a feather and feels great in the lap.
Tuners look original to me, though there are extra holes underneath the plates for screws. I'm thinking maybe they were flipped over at one point (with swapped sides) to give better access for lap tuning.
It's a sweetie!