UNRESERVED. Serial#: 2053. Born into a New York Italian family, noted luthier John D’Angelico began his career apprenticing under his great-uncle, Raffaele Ciani, where he learned to make violins, mandolins, and flat-top guitars. D’Angelico supervised Ciani’s workshop after his great-uncle’s death, but by 1932 he had a shop of his own where he begin to formulate some of his iconic designs and innovations.
The Excel features a 17-inch wide body, distinctive straight f-holes, large block inlays, a stairstep pick guard, and an oversize headstock with an elaborate broken pediment and cupola design. It also is a highly desirable cutaway model. Thanks to its looks, D’Angelico’s Excel was an instant hit with performers seeking an eye-catching instrument for the stage; more importantly, however, was the guitar’s bright, vibrant tone and impressive output that matched its luxury with opulence.