I've made no deliberate secret of the fact that between mid-June and July of this year I was very busily employed writing a book about guitars (yes, it was a very tight deadline, imposed by the publishers), which is why Bertram was looking after this blog almost single-handedly during that period. However, this may have escaped your attention as I haven't been harping on about the book mainly because I was waiting for it to be published in December before making a big noise about it.
Anyway, you know the kind of book it is. Lots of pictures and descriptions of guitars and basses, old and new, classics and modern innovative designs, the weird and wacky, etc. In fact, it's a lot like a book version of this blog.
The first job I had to do was to come up with a list of 500 different guitars. I needed a fair representation of everything. As well as the guitars everyone expects to see, I wanted to include a fair selection of oddities, and hopefully some that aren't in all the other guitar books. I think I suceeded fairly well, but you'll have to decide for yourselves in December when the book is released.
The reason I mention this all now, is that occasionally - as happened last night - I'm trawling eBay looking for an interesting guitar to feature on this blog, and I see something like this Old Kraftsman square acoustic guitar which makes me want to kick myself that I hadn's seen it earlier and included it in the book.
I have to confess, though, that I know nearly nothing about this guitar and had I needed to write about it I would have been scratching my head for a fair while trying to think of something to say, which isn't good when you're on a tight deadline.
What I do know is that Old Kraftsman is a brand name for the Spiegal department store and that the guitars were built by the Kay guitar company.
The design of this square guitar is quite unusual. It has a art deco feel to it, especially with the radiogram-styled soundholes, and the smooth contoured edges give it the appearance of having been built from bakelite. However, the close-up photos on the eBay listing show cracking in what must be a wooden body.
I have no idea what it would sound like, and confess that I can't get the idea out of my head that it must sound "boxy", however corny that comment might sound.
Note also that the body is not a geometrically precise rectangle and that it is tapered. The body shape is reminiscent of, although it pre-dates, the classic Steinberger bass and guitar from the early 80s.