The label shows it was made in 1981 and is signed by Stuart Mossman, toward the end of Mossman's business. It's a three piece back of beautiful Brazilian rosewood, spruce top, double pickguards (which was Bob's signature thing), Tree Of Life inlay on the ebony finger board, ebony bridge, gold plated Grover tuners, ebony bridge, book matched Brazilian peghead overlay with Mother Of Pearl inlay, and Mother of Pearl inlay on top. There is a mother of pearl triangle inlay on the back of the headstock denoting the Kingston Trio's 25th anniversary.
Also, as if this guitar wasn't special enough, it has as very unusual feature, something we've never seen on any other guitar. At the fifteenth fret, there is a mother or pearl block inlay with Bob Shane's name engraved on it. If you gently lift the inlay, it comes off, being held in place by Velcro and two small posts, underneath the there are two holes drilled that are big enough to hold two glass vials. Possibly, these contained Goody's Headache Powders which is not available everywhere, or some other substance...possibly an illegal substance. Oh, let's get real, it was a place to stash coke (I told you that word would pop up). This was a design Bob and Stuart Mossman came up with. We have paperwork from Scott Baxendale, who helped finish the guitar while he was working at Mossman, and Bob Shane that confirms the secret compartment was made to hold cocaine vials. It is so well done, we'll even throw in a couple of vials..but they only have flour in them now :)
It plays and looks great although it does shows some wear that you would expect from three years of use by Bob in concerts. If you look in the light at just the right angle, you can see the slight impression Bob's signature on the top where he placed a paper or program and signed an autograph. There is one repaired crack. It has a LR Baggs pickup with a soundhole volume control.
This video is from 1983. The glimpses are fleeting, but it's clear he's playing this guitar. Judy Collins, Kingston Trio, Mary Travers – “All My Life’s a Circle”
The guitar comes with: A letter of authentication from Bob Shane on Kingston Trio letterhead. Documentation from Scott Baxendale. A photo of Bob playing it in his home. A Stuart Mossman DVD and a Kingston Trio DVD. Martin hardshell case.