Martin Tenor Guitar
owned by her
According to the
Blue Book of Guitars: - similar to the Model 2-17 Second
Version, except in four-string tenor configuration and
two-per-side tuners, total production of 45 instruments, mfg.
Beautiful CF Martin
Tenor Guitar with the original chipboard case, original grover
tuners. The case definitely show signs of wear but still
protects the guitar. The top has signs of wear through the
finish which really gives it that antique look. It still looks
and plays great. Also on the back of the heel, there is a hole
where a strap button used to be. The neck is straight and the
frets have very little wear. The bridge was reglued before I got
the guitar and looks like a proper repair although there was a
couple of glue drops inside the body if you look way in under
the bridge. The tone is incredible. The serial number is 35872
which dates this guitar to 1928. There is some separation of the
back and side near the lower bout on the treble side that you
may want to reglue but I don't think it is worth doing at this
time. It is stamped martin on the back of the headstock and
inside of the guitar and the serial number is stamped on the
inside on the neck block. Serial Number 35872. Look it up for
yourself on the Martin site. There is a photo in the case
supposedly of the original owner whose name was Mimi Garneau who
was a sword swallower. VERY COOL!!!! Her name was written on the
case also on a Oceanic Steamship Company Label , with the name
of the ship "Mastonia" the destination "Honolulu, TH" and the
Stateroom number "31"
The previous owner
told me that he purchased this at an estate sale.
and Antiques in Micanopy, Florida. We just acquired a 1928
Martin tenor guitar (aka baritone uke) that belonged to Mimi
Garneau. In conducting some research on Mi Mi I found your
wonderful website. I was just wondering if you knew of any
collector's or family members that would be interested in
this. The guitar itself is very rare and very desirable to
guitar collectors, as only 45 of this model were ever
produced, but I wondered if sideshow collectors would be also
be interested. Below is a link to the listing for the guitar
as we are selling it immediately.
For more information,
was born as Hazel Jude Thomas in 1890 (also reported as 1894)
near Phillipsburg, PA. The young woman learned to swallow
swords and began performing under the name Jude by the late
1920s. She soon gained acclaim by becoming the first woman to
swallow a neon sword. By the early 1930s Jude met her
husband-to-be, Fred Garneau. It’s unknown why she eventually
adopted the first name Mimi.
Garneau’s early sword swallowing career included performances
with Ripley’s Believe It or Not, and with the Al G. Barnes,
Sells-Floto, and Ringling Brothers and Barnum & Bailey shows.
In addition to guzzling steel, she also occasionally operated
a flea circus and managed a sideshow.
The early 1940s proved to be
period for Garneau. Her husband died in ‘41, and her son from
a previous relationship, Billee Hamilton, was drafted into
World War Two and killed in Sicily.
Garneau persevered and continued performing for several
decades, and even made an appearance on The Tonight Show with
Steve Allen in 1961. Toward the end of the ‘60s she finally
hung up her swords. Garneau continued to perform with her flea
circus, complete with specially designed props and real fleas.
She traveled for several years with her talented parasites
before finally retiring in the mid-1970s.
Garneau spent her final years in Tampa, FL, where she passed
away on Feb. 22, 1986.
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