In 1961, Guild's "Johnny Smith Artist" model was renamed the "Artist Award," and it remained the company's top of the line model through the end of the century. For Guild founder Al Dronge, this 17" archtop represented the pinnacle of the company's achievement.
Guild's most experienced and skilled craftsmen were chosen to work on the Artist Award. In the 40-year history of Guild, only 1,600 Artist Awards were made, making this fine instrument not only a great-sounding instrument, but a beautiful collector's guitar as well.
As Guild's flagship guitar, it was an acoustic archtop built of the finest materials. Its carved solid Spruce top, solid curly Maple back and sides, five-piece Maple neck with a select Ebony fretboard and distinctive inlays of natural abalone and mother of pearl make the Artist Award a work of art to both ear and eye.
The early '90s Artist Award is a refined archtop constructed in the tradition of NYC archtops. A floating pickup allows the Artist Award to be amplified without interfering with the true acoustic nature of this masterpiece. It is a sophisticated guitar for sophisticated guitarists—a jazz box that will please any player.
This 1993 Guild Artist Award was the 35th built (of 51 total) in the Westerly shop in 1993. It is in excellent condition and has been beautifully preserved over the years. The gold plating on the engraved tailpiece and Grover Imperial tuners still look brand new. All around, the guitar is free of severe bumps, bruises, repairs or issues. No smoke odor, no issues. Just a superb sounding-playing, premium, and gorgeous archtop instrument.
Only things to call out are some swishing and light scratches on the pickguard and body that you would expect of a guitar that has been lightly used, as well as some minor wearing away of the gold on the pickup cover. Pickup/electronics have been tested and are fully functional.
Some additional specs:
* gold hardware * Grover Rotomatic tuners with Imperial buttons * hand-carved select solid spruce top * carved Flamed Premium Maple body * multi-piece flamed maple neck * fully bound ebony fingerboard * fingerboard includes abalone triangles inside pearl block inlays * a stylish art deco headstock with multi-piece bindings * headstock includes signature abalone block inlay inset with a pearl logo nameplate * fully bound top and back with a multi-piece pattern similar to that on the headplate * bound tortoise pickguard * single floating humbucker pickup with a gold cover * single volume control * Ebony full contact, fitted bridge * 1 11/16" nut width * 25 1/2" scale length * Lower Bout Width 17″ * Body Depth 3.3125″ * Original case included, with Owner's booklet