The 100th Anniversary of Jimmie Rodgers year of birth saw one of Martin’s most inspired reissues, and they sent a couple of top guys down to the Jimmie Rodgers Museum in Mississippi to measure and document the real thing before starting the project. Although Martin announced a limited run of 100 would be built, the $25,000 list price, and the fact that it was a 12-fret 000-45 and not a Dreadnought, kept the total orders to only 52.
This #29 was ordered through Gryphon back in 1997 when Martin first announced the 000-45 JR at that year’s NAMM show. RJ called the original owner, a consummate lefty, from the show knowing he was both a fan of Jimmie Rodgers and of 12-fret 000 models. To our surprise, Martin accepted the order for a lefty version but also did it right by not only reversing the top bracing and the bridge and nut, they also ordered a special set of “Jimmie Rodgers” fingerboard inlays that read correctly when the guitar is played left-handed! Luckily Martin also gave this one-of-a-kind a really nice set of Brazilian rosewood and one of the nicest Adirondack tops we’ve seen from Martin.
As this guitar was part of an extensive collection it didn’t see much use. There’s a tiny bit of lacquer touch-up at one end of the bridge, but other than that it’s original and essentially untouched except for a few light scuffs. For the left-handed player, here’s a chance to have THE left-handed reissue of one of the most historically important Martin guitars of all time, and one that won’t be offered again. Here’s a link to Martin’s original press release from January 1997 on the 000-45 JR models.