January  2018

Late 1920s Oscar Schmidt "Sovereign" Grand Concert Size

What a beauty and a rare find too. One of the highest grade models Schmidt produced. It is in the larger grand concert size and in great condition. The guitar has it all, multicolor herringbone purfling, full binding,  fancy position markers,

long scale, etc. Let us look at it in detail.



The guitar has a beautiful spruce top with an inlaied pickguard. The back and the sides are quality mahagoni. The neck is made of mahagoni too.

The body has grand concert size. Body length is 51,5 cm (20,3"). The lower bout is 36,9 cm (14,53") and the upper bout 25,5 cm (10,04").



The top edge, the back edge, fingerboard and headplate are bound in white celluloide. You can find that nice multicolor purfling all around the top, the soundhole, the back and through the cent of back.


The ebony  fingerboard has fancy pearl position markers at the 5th,7th, 10th, 12th and 15th fret.


LIke seen on many Schmidt guitars with that inlaied pickguard, the top has 4 braces for more stability in the pickguard area.

 The scale length is like on many grand concert sized Stellas and Sovereigns 67,5 cm (26,6").

Solid spruce top, with multicolor purfling and celluloide binding.

Soundhole bindig and multicolor rossette

Solid mahagoni back and sides with purfling and bound

Body is  10,1 cm (4") deep at the lower bout

V-shaped mahagoni neck

Fancy mother of pearl position dots

Original rosewood bridge with new bone saddle

New bone nut. Nut wide is 44mm (1,73")

Original tuners

The Sound

A beautiful deep voiice, but  crisp too as a result of the stronger top braceing. Very clear, focused and balanced in the bass. The guitar produces a lot of nice trebles too. This all makes it  a great ragtime picker. I recorded Mississippi John Hurts "Richland Woman Blues". Which sounds quite unique on that guitar

John Hurt holding a OS Stella?

I think there is no more to tell about the great Mississippi John Hurt.

A great fingerpicker, songster and muscician, born on March 8, 1892 in

Teoc, Caroll County, Mississippi.


 He used probably a Stella for his 1920th recordings. I found that interesting picture above (dated much later of course). John Hurts guitar could be a Stella, according to the shape of the headplate, but first of all, because of the tuners. The tuners are reverse ones.  Schmidt used them very long, much longer than all the other companies.