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National Estralita (ca. 1935) 

An extremely rare guitar, only 9 have been catalogued so far. This one has SN 079.


The following info was provided by British Reso expert Mark Makin:

The Estralita was made by Harmony as a 14 fret replacement for the El Trovador. The El Trovador was originally built by Kay, but was discontinued by that company in 1933. It was taken over by the Harmony company with slight differences - scale length, f hole position etc. The main difference was the addition of the fingerboard pattern with the various shapes and the star. This was devised by Harmony for use on their first archtop guitar made in 1933 - the Cremona. When, National shifted to 14 fret instruments in 1934, the El Trovador vanished and the Estralita was the result. They made a deep bodied instrument and added extra space at the bottom end to keep the large sounding 12 fret sound. It was devised as an 'Orchestra' model for dance bands.

There is some confusion over the name Estralida / Estralita. The first instruments have a black and gold logo with the name spelt as ESTRALIDA (or at least we think so because N005 and N017 have logos missing!!) Mine (N126) has the red logo like yours with the Correct?? spelling.
As I mentioned further back in this thread, mine has a chicken feet cover so it must be somewhere in late 1935/6. If they have only reached N126 by this time from 1934 - then there can't be many more than a couple of hundred at most.
They sold for $55 when they were new, a Duolian was $27 and a Style O was around $65.

Most people confuse them with Trojans but they are very rare. At present the list is:
N004 - black ESTRALIDA logo
N005
N017
N026 - red ESTRALITA logo
N041
N079 - red logo

N100 - red logo
N126 - red logo -Chicken feet plate
N141 - Chicken feet plate

 

                              

 

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