The Bluesbox Collection

Mid 1930's Washburn Deluxe round hole arch top (by Regal)

The ebony faced slotted headstock sports an inlaid mother-of-pearl 5 pointed star.

I originally assumed that this guitar was a Vega (because of the star on the headstock), but after showing a photo to George Gruhn, he pointed me toward Regal. Using that clue I then found several Regal models that closely resembled this instrument. The Regal Style 10 was exactly like this except that it had a mahogany body. I recently found a Washburn of the same era (which was made by Regal after the Tonk Brothers bought the Washburn brand) which was the same shape and had a maple back and sides. So my guess is that this guitar was made at the Regal factory for sale under the Washburn brand.

As is obvious from the photos, this guitar has been expertly refinished. I would guess from the slight finish checking on the back that it was done sometime in the last 20 years. My suspicion is that this instrument has been kept in a case in a closet for many years because at first glance it looks brand new.

Here is an interesting photo I happened across. That fellow on the right is Big Bill Broonzy, author of such blues classics as "Keys to the Highway" and "Outskirts of Town". Next to him is legendary blues pianist, Memphis Slim, and to the left is a little known guitar player named Honey Hill, who happens to be playing a mid-thirties Regal round hole archtop exactly like the one described here!

(My thanks to George Gruhn for helping me to identify this guitar.)

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