On loan to The Met The Met accepts temporary loans of art both for short-term exhibitions and for long-term display in its galleries.

D-18 (serial no. 80221)

C. F. Martin & Co.
Elvis Presley American

Not on view

Elvis Presley was primarily a vocalist, but his instruments were an important part of his iconography in promotional photos and posters, and he also frequently played guitars like this Martin D-18. Early in his career, he sang with the lead guitarist Scotty Moore, whose creative solos influenced many subsequent players. In the legendary 1955 Sun Studios sessions, Elvis used this D-18 as a rhythm guitar, his aggressive strumming providing a strong accompaniment to Moore on electric guitar and Bill Black on bass.

Technical Description:
Flat spruce top with round sound hole; mahogany back, sides, and neck, rosewood fingerboard; 25½ in. scale; natural finish with white and black binding; set neck with abalone dot inlays; headstock with rosewood veneer and gold C.F. Martin & Co. logo decal; nickel-chrome tuners, rosewood bridge, celluloid tortoiseshell pickguard; metallic “ELVIS” stickers attached to body (missing “S”)

D-18 (serial no. 80221), C. F. Martin & Co., Spruce, mahogany, rosewood, metal, plastic

Due to rights restrictions, this image cannot be enlarged, viewed at full screen, or downloaded.

Open Access

As part of the Met's Open Access policy, you can freely copy, modify and distribute this image, even for commercial purposes.


Public domain data for this object can also be accessed using the Met's Open Access API.

Courtesy of Michael and Barbara Malone