Epiphone Emperor Archtop guitar – U.S.A. – 1936

Epiphone Emperor 1936 - The Guitar Database


Acoustic Hollow Body Archtop guitar


Spruce top, maple back and sides, maple and walnut neck

Ebony fretboard


The Emperor made his debut in 1936 and was the flagship of the Epiphone brand in the Stathopoulo-era. The instrument has a body of 47cm/18.5 inches. The Emperor remained in production until 1954 and was a deluxe instrument with a solid spruce top and flamed or quilted maple back and sides. The bindings were finished with seven layers of Pyralin celluloid. The fingerboard was made of ebony and inlaid with V-shaped mother of pearl. The metal parts of the head were gold plated and the raised pickguard was made of turtle shell.
The 1941 Soloist Emperor met jazz musicians’ demand for better accessibility to the upper registers. This instrument had a cutaway, which made the 22nd fret easier for the guitarist to play. Many Emperors from this time were later equipped with a pickup. Epiphone introduced the Zephyr Emperor Varitone with three pickups in 1951, later the great Zephyr Emperor Regent (1952-1953) and finally the Emperor Electric (1954-1957).
The pre-war Emperors are among the most expensive archtop models manufactured by this company and are most loved by collectors.

Last updated on 27 April 2020
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