Nuts on C. F. Martin Guitars



Ebony Nuts

While the nuts on most Martin guitars were made of ivory, many were made of ebony, especially on Style 15 and 17 guitars, but also on many Style 18 guitars including the OM-18.

It is less known that the many of the earliest and finest guitars made by C.F. Martin himself were made with ebony nuts.

Stauffer  c. 1820

1837 Hudson Street Martin

1840's koa Martin & Coupa

1922 Martin 2-17

Martin 1930 2-17

1935 Martin 0-17

1941 Martin 0-15 with Tortoise Headstock Veneer.

  Many Style 18 guitars from the war years had ebony nuts.

1943 000-18

Nickel Silver Nuts

The nickel silver nut is a typical feature of 1840's Spanish Style Martin guitars.

1840's Martin Alternative X Spanish Guitar


Many Martin and Martin & Coupa guitars from the 1840's had nickel silver nuts, which I've noticed came in three different thicknesses, measured from the end of the fretboard to the headstock:

Early Spanish Martin & Coupa

11/64" metal nut

Hybrid X 1-28 

9/64" metal nut

Pearl Rosette zig zag border size 1

11/64" metal nut

Pearl Rosette 1-28 

1/8" metal nut

Ivory Nuts

All standard rosewood Martin models have ivory nuts.

Many of the ivory nuts on 19th century Martins were quite thin.

1870's Martin 2 1/2 - 26

Martin 1870's 1-28

1874 Martin 1-28

1894 Martin 0-42

The shapes of nuts varied quite a bit over the years, but tended to become more rounded and angled.

Martin 1897 1-21

Martin 1907 1-28

1913 Martin Foden Special Style E

1917 Martin 0-30

By the late teens, Martin nuts were thicker, finding the form they would continue with through later years.

1919 Martin 0-45

1926 Martin 0-28

To See Robert Corwin's Classic Photography of Folk and Roots Musicians, visit:
For Information on Photography for
Exhibition, Publication, CD's, Promotion, Web Pages, Tour Books,
to Purchase Photographic Prints, or

If You Have Questions or Suggestions About This Web Site or Vintage Martin Guitars:
e-mail: Robert Corwin
entire site copyright ©1998 through 2010 Robert Corwin/Photo-Arts. All rights reserved.