1937 National Tricone Style 35

The National String Instrument Corporation was founded by John Doypera in California on August 16th, 1926. The new company made “resonator” instruments, which used thin aluminium amplifying cones to produce greater volume than conventional acoustic instruments.

Very popular in the late 1920s and early 1930s, National tricone resonators appealed to Hawaiian-style performers and are now highly sought after by collectors, with the Roundneck models being especially rare. Generally tricone resonators have a sweeter, warmer tone compared to their louder, punchy single cone counterparts.

This beautiful example from 1937 is one of only two Roundneck tricones ever produced by National with the “Exploding Palm Tree” engraved decoration. It is brass bodied and fitted with a wooden round neck and ebony fingerboard, finished in a metallic grey prismatic paint. It features a highly figured grey plastic pearl overlay on the headstock with an impressed Art Deco National logo infilled with gilt.

by Alex Blain