Monteleone 1979 Mini 12-String #109
John Monteleone is widely considered to be one of the world's preeminent builders of archtop guitars. Having started his career as a repairman for the famous (and now defunct) Mandolin Brothers on Staten Island, Monteleone quickly garnered a reputation for quality and design. Some of his work was featured in the Metropolitan Museum of Art, on loan from Rudy Pensa himself.
This mini 12-string archtop was the 9th guitar that John Monteleone ever made. It was commissioned for someone who wanted a companion instrument to his 1931 Gibson L-5. Solid carved spruce top, flame maple back and sides, gold Schaller tuners, and ebony fingerboard, bridge and tailpiece. This little beauty has the same dark-edge sunburst as its older L-5 twin, as well as a gorgeous abalone headstock inlay that is reminiscent of that of the L-5, but has been extended to accommodate the longer 12-string headstock.
Serial #109. Comes with deluxe hardshell case.
Check out the fascinating 2021 documentary on the luthier called "John Monteleone: The Chisels Are Calling," available from various sources online. Rudy appears in the film, too, along with a star-studded list of guitarists including Mark Knopfler, Ben Harper, David Grisman, Mike Marshall, Julian Lage, Anthony Wilson, Woody Mann, and others.