CONVERSION PRICE: $186,700
LOT 16 CHRISTIE’S 2004
EST: $20,000 - $30,000
Serial No: 208511
Body: Rosewood back and sides, spruce top, ivoroid binding with pearl purfling, natural finish
Neck: Mahogany, 20 frets, bound ebony fingerboard with ‘snowflake’ inlays
Headstock: Ivoroid binding, vertical ‘C.F.Martin’ logo inlaid in pearl
Bridge: Ebony ‘belly’ pin bridge, dot inlays
Soundhole: Pearl inlaid rosette
Pickguard: Imitation tortoiseshell
Label: ‘This instrument inlayed by Custom Pearl Inlay Service, 200 Hemphill Avenue, Chattanooga Tenn. 37411, work performed 000-28-45 No 67 April 11, 1966, Mike Longworth’
Case: Later hardshell case with adhesive tape inscribed ‘Longworth/Martin: 000-28-45 #208511’
ERIC: "The Martin thing started with having seen pictures and footage of Big Bill Broonzy playing a 000-28 – the narrow-waisted acoustic guitar. When I started to hang out in London at the folk clubs all those guys wanted the big country guitar with the dreadnought body. I thought that shape was lovely but I was still drawn to the Big Bill Broonzy image and the sound he got too.
"The Longworth is the first serious Martin that I ever bought. I got it from GTR when I was doing The Johnny Cash Show in 1970. It’s a great guitar, a star guitar. It has all the Bakelite and mother-of-pearl inlays. After this guitar I was kind of easy game for anything vintage from Martin. But of course it would have to play well.
"This guitar has a deep association for me. It’s as important to me as the Rodeo Man guitar (page 136). In fact, much more so. I used this all through the Seventies on stage, from the time that I was doing 461 Ocean Boulevard and taking that material on stage. It was incredibly well used. After the Dominos, when I went on tour billed simply as Eric Clapton, I actually went onstage starting with an acoustic set. I did three or four songs with the Martin acoustic – and then got into some rock and roll and a few blues."