This gorgeous vintage John Grey & Sons London Archtop Acoustic Guitar is a very rare and unique instrument indeed. 

John Grey & Sons was the brand name of the Barnett Samuel & Sons company of London which was established in 1832. John Grey was not an actual person but a name used by Barnet Samuel & Sons for their musical instrument division. The John Grey & Sons brand was introduced in 1911 and they produced John Grey banjos, guitars and drums.  

In 1928, the John Grey and Sons part of Barnet Samuel & Sons was bought by Rose, Morris & Company. John Grey branded banjos were then available up until the 1960s as part of the Rose Morris company. 

There are unfortunately no surviving records of serial numbers for John Grey & Sons guitars, meaning that dating this guitar accurately is impossible. However, the logo on the headstock of this guitar was only used between 1945-1950 so that is the closest that we can come to dating it. 


This guitar is incredibly unique and interesting, showing many signs of its age and the journey it has taken through life. Please see as follows: 

  • It has been stripped of the original lacquer, back to the raw wood. In places this wood has been re-varnished. In other places there are patches of wear to the wood (the main one is on the back of the body so only you can see it!)
  • There are several cracks in the ivory binding around the edge.  
  • Two of the machine heads are bent (but fully functional and holding tuning perfectly) 
  • The fretboard is showing some definite signs of wear in places (but is still very smooth and comfortable to play). 
  • The darker wood on the headstock has aged and started to crack on the surface. This doesn’t affect the health of the wood or structural integrity of the instrument. 

We have tried to capture all of the above in the photos as we always aim to be as transparent and thorough as possible when describing the condition of our guitars. 


Due to the current lockdown in England, this item is available from our store in Exeter (Click & Collect only) or by post (at an additional cost of £40 due to weight, cost of packing materials and levels of required insurance). 

If postage is selected, it will be packed very carefully and sent via Parcelforce48. 

If you have any questions, please contact us before purchasing either by email or phone (both on our website).