When Epiphone introduced their Masterbilt archtop guitars in 1931, the De Luxe was offered in Grand Auditorium size and priced $ 275. It was the top of the Masterbilt line. The 1932 catalog states: catalog 1932. In the July 1953 pricelist the spelling “De Luxe” was changed to “DeLuxe” see picture.
Some cutaway De Luxes had an 18 inch body just like the Emperor. According to niceguitar some had bound f-holes, some were unbound (which is quite unusual).
Although Epiphone started to produce cutaway models as late as 1949, a few cutaway models named “Soloist” were produced in 1940. According to niceguitar.eu Epiphone only produced three Soloist Emperors and one Soloist De Luxe.
According to Wiedler Epiphone produced from 1931-’55 around 1700 De Luxes of which now 188 examples have been registered.
Metronome magazine ad 1934