Kay violin style sn 4

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Kay violin style : pictures

The museum purchased the instrument October 2012 from Empire Guitars, Providence, RI. Empire Guitars wrote us: “ It came to us from a supurb guitar and mandolin player in our area named Mark Davis who heads the Providence Mandolin Orchestra. He purchased it three or four years ago at a ukulele convention here in town. Unfortunately no history is known beyond that.”

Michael Wright wrote in Vintage Guitar Magazine:

“Which brings us to Kay’s fascinating Violin-Style guitars, “distinctively new and different style guitars” that were offered in 1937 and ’38, primarily through the distributors Tonk Brothers and Continental. Actually, what was new and different about these archtops was the use of “oversize” tops and backs that extended over the rims to provide a “lip” reminiscent of the protruding edges on a violin.

The guitars were made of laminated birch and maple veneer with a laminated spruce top that was, as always, pressed rather than carved. The 19-fret necks were set in and featured ebonized hardwood fingerboards. All were finished in a thin “antique violin” brown lacquer. Several variations in headstocks can be found. Some featured a flat, normal width head that ended in a round horizontal scroll similar to those found on some ’60s Baldwin Burns guitars. Others had a very narrow pointy headstock carved into something like a cello scroll head.”

References :
Jay Scott, ’50’s Cool Kay Guitars, 1992
Michael Wright, VG‘s Jan. ’07

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