Ritz s/n 20044


Ritz s/n 20044 : pictures

The museum purchased the instrument September 2010 online from Chicago Music Exchange, Lincoln Ave. Chicago IL. The guitar appears in Fisch & Fred (page 237). Chicago Music Exchange wrote us:

“ Regarding the body woods on the Ritz, the back and sides are maple. I found some sources online that say the top is spruce and I found other sources that say the top is a kind of white Mahogany called Primavera. I checked with my partner here at the store. We can’t say with 100% certainty but we believe the top to be spruce.”

In 1943 the top finish of archtops changed to an opaque quality – in both sunburst and blonde finish instruments, the latter showing an “ivory opaque” top finish often yellowed today. I believe that the opaque finish was actually introduced to conceal the wood grain, because during the war years shortages in top quality spruce seem to have prompted Epiphone to use a different wood species for some carved tops – possibly birch or poplar(?). There are examples stripped of their originally opaque finish showing an unusual wood grain pattern. However so far I never had the opportunity to personally examine such an example. (Wiedler : close-up # 02)