Woman unearths dusty old acoustic guitar in her back room – and discovers it’s a Martin from the 1870s

1870s Size 2 Style 34 Martin acoustic
(Image credit: Studio 1 Vintage)

For around 60 years, an 85-year-old woman based in New Zealand lived with a dusty Martin acoustic guitar that she purchased from an old music teacher in the 1960s – before finding out earlier this year that the small-scale six-string was worth $15,000.

Margaret Simpson, who first bought the guitar for a trivial sum from the head of music at Motueka High School, initially took the old acoustic to a vintage instruments dealer in a bid to raise money for her 51-year-old daughter, Jo, who is undergoing chemotherapy treatment for terminal breast cancer.

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Matt Owen
Senior Staff Writer, GuitarWorld.com

Matt is a Senior Staff Writer, writing for Guitar World, Guitarist and Total Guitar. He has a Masters in the guitar, a degree in history, and has spent the last 16 years playing everything from blues and jazz to indie and pop. When he’s not combining his passion for writing and music during his day job, Matt records for a number of UK-based bands and songwriters as a session musician.