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FrontRunners: Strum Thing Special

Sheila J. Gibson

C.R. Martin & Co. (610.759.2837) wanted something special to mark the creation of the 750,000th Martin guitar, so it commissioned inlay artist Larry Robinson to enhance the instrument. The result is the $400,000 D-45 Peacock. Robinson spent more than a year inlaying each of the guitar’s 2,000-plus decorative pieces.

The peacock is the dominant motif in Robinson’s design. The regal birds appear on the peghead and the neck of the guitar. The peacock on the back, framed by a Moorish arch, is made from green abalone, mother-of-pearl, and estate ivory, and it has a diamond for an eye.

Robinson describes his guitars as “art objects that happen to be playable,” though the D-45 Peacock is being treated more as fine art than as a musical instrument—it resides in the company’s corporate museum in Nazareth, Pennsylvania.

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Courtesy of Shakespeare and Company - Paul Foster Books - the NY Antiquarian Book Fair
Photo courtesy of Klein Sun Gallery, New York; Li Hongbo