This is #7 of the 100 made in this Limited Edition first issued in 2008. Here's the description: Madagascar rosewood back & sides, Adirondack spruce top, forward-shifted and scalloped X bracing, ivoroid binding, herringbone top trim, unique black pick guard is the same as the original made by Paul Bigsby and it echoes the peghead shape. Maple low profile neck with Bigsby headstock, walnut overlay and Bigsby pearl logo (Martin decal is on the back), 6-in-line tuners and card theme pearl position inlays at 3rd, 5th, 7th, & 9th frets (heart, club, diamond, spade) also echo the original Merle Travis D-28 modified by Bigsby. Nut and saddle are bone, bridge pins are bone with tortoise dots. Paper label is signed by Merle's son and super picker Thom Bresh, C. F. Martin IV (Chris), and Fred Gretsch (current president of Bigsby). This example is in superb and original condition throughout, showing only the slightest signs of playing wear.
When Merle Travis performed at the San Francisco State College Folk Festival in the late 1960s he was playing the original version of this guitar, and did all his usual stage tricks such as using the metal band of his wristwatch to play slide licks on the treble strings. He was wearing an impressive white suit and cowboy boots, by far the best-dressed performer on the stage that night, and sang "Sixteen Tons" to a rousing ovation. Travis was quite the showman, and in that context his D-28 with fancy headstock and pickguard was almost underdressed.