Here we have a really lovely, early Duolian 14 fret steel bodied round (V) neck guitar. The serial number is on the top edge of the headstock and is 5439 & the Patent numbers are 1762617 / 1741458.
This old gal had been left alone in a garage for over 50 years when we rescued her & the Duco Frost finished body had suffered from some considerable oxidation, but was totally sound, as was the neck & all parts including the original spun cone & biscuit bridge. We had the option to either have her bead-blasted & completely refinished from head to toe, or to simply remove any progressive oxidation & machine wax her to prevent any further progression! We chose the latter & very glad we did, as we’ve since learnt that the Duco Frost finish is a very rare type of finish and much sought after! Also missing was the “National Duolian” decal from the peghead, but we decided to keep it all original & left it off, rather than replace it with a new waterslide. She looks really cool & full of mojo now in her true reliced state.
She features a Basswood (Or poss Maple!) neck and Rosewood (Or Gumwood) 10″ radius fingerboard, with 14 frets clear of the body (19 frets in total) The frets are in great shape, with little playwear. She has a steel body with rolled f-holes and ivoroid dot fingerboard inlays. The only replacement is the addition of a new hand carved bone nut. The neck has a totally acceptable, slight concave & the action at the 12th fret measures 4.5mm at the 1st ( High E) & 5mm at the 6th (Low E) The neck is substantial in feel, with a deep carve and V profile and a 45mm (1-3/4″) nut width. It has a solid headstock with open-geared tuners. The G (3rd string) tuner is a little bent, but totally functional. We did not attempt to straighten it because of the risk of breaking the brass shaft!
It is totally playable for slide & or fingerstyle, but if you like an ultra low action then due to the string break over the biscuit bridge being quite shallow, we would suggest considering having the neck reset, which is quite a common procedure on these old Nationals! She sleeps snuggly in a brand new, plush-lined Gator Dobro case.
All-in-all she is a great sounding resonator, with the darkness and expressiveness of its original cone & just needs to be re-homed & played.
1936 Duolian Model
Rolled ‘F’ Holes
Duco Frost Finish
14 Fret (Clear of the body) 19 Frets in total
Original Cone & Biscuit Bridge
Deep ‘V’ Profile Neck
Patent numbers:1762617 / 1741458
Serial Number: 5439
New Gator Vintage Style Plush-Lined Dobro Case
With its crystalline Duco finish, steel body and aggressive bluesy tone, the National Duolian is one of the most iconic vintage resonator guitar models. Originally built between 1930 and the onset of WWII, the Duolian was favoured by many of the blues players of the day. It was the least expensive guitar made by National upon its introduction and its combination of big volume, robust build, and low price made them attractive to street musicians all over North America. Blind Boy Fuller is likely the most well known 14 fret Duolian player, and Brownie McGhee, Son House, and Blind Arvella Gray are also associated with this model.
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We operate a 48hr approval period for on-line mail order purchases only. Customers who buy goods in the RGG showroom can fully evaluate them prior to making the payment, and as such do not have this return and refund option available to them. The 48hr mail order returns period offered is with regard to either a problem with the guitar upon receipt, IE, the goods appear to have a defect that was not outlined in the sale listing or clearly not sold as advertised. If the purchaser wishes to return the goods for any other reason, then there will be a re-stocking fee of 10% of the original sale value & return carriage must be paid by the purchaser, there are no exceptions to these rules.
If you want to return an item please make contact for a returns authorisation. You have 2 days to try the instrument. We offer a full refund minus our shipping costs (including our cost of free shipping if applicable) It is the purchaser’s responsibility to organise the return promptly to the company in the condition it was received, using the original packaging and with a copy of the sales receipt. (We recommend you insure the item in transit). The item must be shipped back via a service comparable with which it was delivered, within 24 hours (Excluding weekends) upon receipt of the return authorization. Goods that have been altered from their original condition in any way cannot be returned.
Any items returned after the 48hr agreed approval period, and not exceeding more than two weeks, are subject to a 10% re-stocking fee, based on of the original sale value of the goods. PayPal, Credit/Debit card refunds will be processed immediately upon receipt of the returned goods and normally take 3-5 working days to show on the customer’s account. Bank transfer and cash purchase payments will be refunded by Bank transfer to your nominated bank.