James Ashborn Guitars

 
James Ashborn produced the first "factory built" guitars in America, producing a far greater number of guitars in his Connecticut factory than the Martin Company produced.






From 1841 to 1864, Ashborn's guitars were sold by Firth, Hall & Pond stores in New York City, or their various successors, and bear the name not of Ashborn, but of the stores.


1832
Firth, Hall & Pond created.

1841
Ashborn created.
Firth, Hall & Pond sell Ashborns.

1847
Firth, Hall & Pond divides.
Wm. Hall & Sons and Firth, Pond & Co. both sell Ashborns.

1855
Wm. Hall & Sons sell Ashborns exclusively.

1860
Wm. Hall & Sons and Firth, Pond & Co. both sell Ashborns.

1863
Firth, Pond & Co. divides.
Firth, Son & Co., Wm A. Pond & Co., and Wm. Hall & Sons all sell Ashborns.

1864
Ashborn closes



Just a few years ago, only two examples of the Ashborn 6, the highest grade guitar James Ashborn produced, were known to exist. 
Since acquiring one of two more examples found by David Gansz, I have discovered two more examples, bringing the total to six.

This sixth example has trim produced with four colors.


Ashborn #6 for Firth Pond & Co.

No Serial number

Made before 1863






The #6 is a great example of Ashborn's ability to mass produce guitars with fine features.

Each Ashborn 6 found so far has had a unique design, but each has been constructed of the same elements, with varying designs created by the use of different colors.

Rosettes are all constructed with alternating kite shapes surrounded by an inner and outer ring of small triangles.

Top borders are all created using alternating "up and down" triangles of differing colors.




 









This is perhaps the most intricate of the known examples, with the first examples found having a somewhat more stark and geometric design in only two colors.



Ashborn #6 for William Hall & Son

Serial Number 4216








  This fifth example found has the same top border as the last, a variation of the rosette design, and a simpler variation of the end design.

Ashborn #6 for William Hall & Son

Serial Number 3721






















Ashborn 1



Ashborn 2




 
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