Epiphone Olympic | 1941 | Archtop Guitar
Here we have an Epiphone Olympic from 1941. Introduced first in the early 1930s, the Olympic was Epiphone's cheapest archtop model with a list price of $30. It had a carved spruce top with an arched back made of mahogany. During the 1930s, the body was upsized twice until it reached its final width of 15 1/4 inches by 1936.
Based on the serial number this Olympic was built in 1941, during the WW2 years. Due to government restrictions, some materials such as certain metal products and woods were not always available during this wartime period. This forced musical instrument manufacturers to use substitute materials for certain parts.
Below is the description of the Olympic found in Epiphone's Catalog V published early 1942. Image also found along the guitar images:
"The new OLYMPIC is now built in the auditorium size, 19 1/4 inches in length and 15 1/4 inches in width.
Built with hand carved top of finest spruce, selected mahogany back and sides, neck of hardwood cherry handsomely finished in EPIPHONE brown with high-lighted top.
The OLYMPIC has all the EPIPHONE features and is made by the same highly skilled workmen as the higher priced models.
Fitted with extension tailpiece, elevated pickguard, adjustable bridge and the EPIPHONE adjustable thrust rod.
20 frets and genuine mother of pearl position marks inlaid on selected rosewood fingerboard."
The Olympic model was later discontinued by the end of the war. Discontinued models were marked in the catalog with a blue stamp stating "Discontinued for the duration" as also seen on the catalogue image provided.
This guitar is found in brilliant playable and collectable condition. Its brilliant for Blues, Slide or Jazz; its got that particular rare thin beautiful tone.
Its carved spruce top shows a restoration of what apparently were two knobs in which had been drilled in to hook it up with a pickup; As seen it has been professionally restored to its former original look. The pickguard got lost and the bridge, tailpiece and tuners all look to be original. The headstock is plain except for the Epiphone script logo inlaid in pearl ( design introduced in 1939).
Serial number date checker retrieved the following:
Your guitar was made at the
New York Plant (Epiphone), USA
Production Number: 16311
Also comes along with a hard case, which is not its original although fits perfectly!