This 1943 Epiphone Blackstone was built during World War 2 and as such is expected to have some variations from standard specs. See below for a discussion of the specs of this guitar. The important thing to know is that this guitar is a little cannon. It's powerful and punchy, as is typical of Epiphone acoustic archtops. The playability is excellent and the guitar has no cracks.
The tops of war era Epiphones have often been described as "poplar", rather than the usual spruce. Poplar leaves a lot of room for several different species. Interestingly this guitars top from the inside does not look like other war era Epiphones I've seen. This one has a tight grained, quarter sawn top as can be seen in the internal pic. I'm not sure what the species of the wood is, but is well carved and is beautifully resonant. The guitar's sound is certainly comparable to one with a finely carved spruce top. I would put the tone of this guitar high on the scale of Blackstones I've had the opportunity to play.
The backs of Blackstones are typically pressed, laminated maple. While I believe that to be the case with this guitar, the inside wood appears to match the outside, making me question if it is actually solid maple (see internal pic). That back is highly flamed, inside and out. The bridge and pickguard look correct and original to the guitar. While I normally would guess the tuners and tailpiece to be replacements, the war era guitars sometimes have unusual parts. There isn't any identifiable evidence of different tuners being on the guitar, and the same is true for the tailpiece. This leads me to believe they are original to the guitar, but just vary a bit from non-wartime specs, as they were using what parts were available.
The guitar comes with an era correct case which shows a fair amount of wear and has a shoestring "handle" in place of the original. The case looks rough, but the latches and hinges work well and the structure is solid.
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