Martin's new Leonardo da Vinci model: one in 1.5 million

(John Gorbe | Posted 2011-01-18)

Martin's new  Leonardo da Vinci model: one in 1.5 million

What happens when you combine ivory, gold, Brazillian rosewood and abalone with elite luthiers and artists? A one-of-kind Martin guitar to commemorate the production of the company's 1,500,000th model. This model took a year and a half to complete and I promise you -- you haven’t seen anything like it.

The “Da Vinci Unplugged” was unveiled at the 2011 Winter NAMM Show in Anaheim, Ca.

The guitar was assembled at the Martin factory in Nazareth, Pa., after several artists collaborated on the historic design. Harvey Leach designed the Leonardo -inspired “Mona Lisa” headstock, “Last Supper” pickguard and “Vitruvian Man” back. Scrimshaw artist Bob Hergert added his expert touch, including intricately engraved illustrations based on a plethora of da Vinci drawings, to style 45 hexagons that were cut from fossilized mammoth ivory and inlaid on the fingerboard and bridge. It also features special gold tuning buttons designed by Tara Mitchell. Each tuning button took 25 hours to complete! The guitar is presented in a custom case by TKL, which features a strap hand-tooled by leather artist Chuck Smith.

The amount of materials used on this guitar and how they’re put together are nothing short of stunning. The pickguard is comprised of turquoise, sugulite, gaspeite, green recon, corian, spiny oyster, Bastogne walnut and dark ivory.

The “Mona Lisa” headstock is made of different color corian, green acrylic, spiny oyster, malachite, jade, Claro walnut, Bastogne walnut and recon stone.

All of these materials -- showcasing a variety of hues, textures and depth -- make you quickly realize that you’re looking at a guitar that was constructed with passion, dedication, teamwork and such an adoring love of craft that you simply can’t place a price on this guitar.

Chris Martin and the collaborating artists that worked on this model have outdone themselves and have taken guitar building to the next artistic level.

The "da Vinci Unplugged" will not be sold, but will have a place of honor in the company's museum in Nazareth.

More detailed pictures and a blog about how the guitar was produced can be found here.

From a press release.

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