Speaking Volutes

Headstock Joints and Volutes on Early C. F. Martin Guitars 

Early C. F. Martin guitars were built with a three piece black "ebonized" neck, with a separate headstock, neck, and heel, or a two piece cedar neck with a headstock joined to the one piece neck and heel.  The head and neck were usually joined with a visible "volute" protruding from the back of the headstock joint.
After Martin started building with a one piece mahogany neck, the volute remained on Styles 28 and higher, perhaps as a vestigal decorative element, perhaps to strengthen the transition from headstock to neck.

Stauffer c. 1820

Martin & Coupa Koa

Martin & Coupa Spanish

1840's Ivory Fingerboard Spanish Martin


The earliest necks with slotted headstocks were ebonized, or painted black, and had "ice cream" style heels.

1840's Spanish Style Martin

1896 Martin 0-42


1870's Martin 2 1/2 - 26



1885 Martin 0-34


1894 Martin 0-42

1896 Martin 4-42


Martin 1860 2-24

Martin 1870's 1-26


Martin 1870's 1-28


Martin 1893 2-27

Martin 1897 1-21


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