Seville 4 Special s/n 407 : pictures
The museum purchased the Seville 4 Special s/n 407 May 2011 online from Folkway Music, Guelph, Ontario, Canada. No further history known. August 2023 the guitar was sold to Jim Miller and is now part of his Seville collection.
Folk Way wrote: ” Not much is known about the Epiphone # 4 and other numbered-models built in the very early 1930’s. We suspect the number series replaced the Recording models (A through E) that were built in the late 1920’s, but preceded the Masterbuilt models introduced shortly thereafter. There aren’t many of these instruments documented, and comparable guitars are hard to find, but through the study of this particular example it becomes evident that Epiphone was working on modernizing the steel string guitar, and this instrument represents a step in the process.
The guitar is completely refinished, has a few repaired top cracks and a plugged hole in the bass-side waist. The tuners were replaced a few times. It has a replaced nut, saddle, frets and bridgepins. The rosewood bridge is likely a replacement, but could be original with an original spruce bridge plate. “
Fisch & Fred, authors of the Epiphone book “The House of Stathopoulo”, mention this particular guitar on page 156 : “….. this number ‘4 Special’ has a carved spruce top and laminated arched back. It is 15 3/4 inch wide and has a fingerboard inlay like that of the earliest Triumphs and the Recording C.“
A small number of guitars looking similar to this example have kept surfacing over the years, some with this 15 1/2″ body, others with a smaller 13 1/2″ body. They all sport a “snakehead” headstock with “Epiphone” banner and a number between 0 and 4 – the higher the number, the fancier the appointments. The guitar appears to be an high end, auditorium size Seville Model 4 (or “No. S-4-A”), listed with a price of $125. The triangular-shape pickguard is gone on this example. However: What feature the designation “Special” on the headstock of this Seville 4 Auditorium – not present on any other documented example – is referring to, still remains a mystery. (Wiedler : Seville Special 4 s/n 407)
July 2023 the instrument was sold to Jim Miller who owns some other Seville models as well.