Oscar Schmidt Grand Concert Decalcomania c. 1930 | $1250
A Grand Concert-size Stella is automatically considered a pretty rare find; the addition of the deluxe fingerboard makes it rarer still. The Decalcomania ornamented instruments appeared in the 1920s, and were pretty typical on the Oscar Schmidt production line once the depression was in full swing. The ornamentation on cheaper birch was a more economical way to build a guitar than it was to use quality hard woods, and the decalcomania appeared flashier on the sales floor and in the catalogs.
The grand concert Stellas measured 14 3/4" across at the lower bout and featured a long scale .. the scale length on this example is 26 1/2", and often tuned down a step for a deeper and darker sound. The fingerboard measures a generous 1 15/16". The body is slab-sawn birch, and the neck is likely poplar. The bridge is the typical 'floating' type, with a fret wire saddle, and a tailpiece. One tuner strip was replaced. A lyre-shaped floral decal adorns the top, and the back has a decal center strip. The finish is original to the guitar but has flaked a good bit on the sides, specifically, probably from either green wood or storage in a moist environment. 'Stella' is embossed on the head stock.
Recent repairs include a neck set, fret dress, and the removal of a large chunk of wood that was glued under the fingerboard extension likely to support the top. The back was removed to facilitate this work.
The action is set at ~ 5/64", and the guitar plays easily and produces a woody, boxy tone, with good sustain and punch in the mid and low notes. Check out the sound clip.
Comes with a soft case.