October 2002

Dragon Magic

David's Guitar We all could use a little magic in our lives. Special events call for some Dragon Magic. To celebrate his 50th birthday, David decided to treat himself to his dream guitar with all the trimmings. His plan started with a Series I guitar in Coco Bolo. But to really qualify for his dream guitar, David ordered our Classic Alembic Dragon inlay on the fingerboard. This Susan Wickersham design dates from the mid seventies.
To keep the original vision of the guitar, we used our Small Standard template from 1973 which has a flatter bottom and slightly more curled horns than the current version. David also had us include a relatively new feature for our neck through instruments, a bookmatched to center top and back. This woodworking detail conceals the neck from view and shows off the Coco Bolo even more. The symmetry of the grain is really accentuated when we bookmatch to center.

Dragon head

“Puff” as he is affectionately known to his new family is comprised of 187 pieces. The body is made from Mother of Pearl, each scale is Abalone. The ridge down the back of the dragon is made from sterling silver. The belly of the dragon is brass and the legs are copper. The teeth and claws are made from reclaimed antique ivory from piano keys. The tongue is made from Pink Ivory, a rare wood from Africa. The breath of the dragon is made from brass filings set in optically clear epoxy. Finally, the eyes are pink sapphires. It took James countless hours to cut out and inlay each piece.

Logo inlay

The logo on David's guitar is made from a jeweller's casting in bronze, buffed to a nice shiny finish. Behind the cloud of the logo is white Mother of Pearl, and in the circle formed by the dragon is red Abalone. The logo is inlaid before all the clear finish is applied. When we're all done, you can't even feel the logo when you slide your fingers across it.


One of the features David really liked was the polished brass hardware. Even though it will require regular cleaning and polishing, it's a bit less showy than goldplating the hardware, and doesn't compete with the inlay on the fingerboard.
This bridge is our newer concealed hardware style, so each intonation screw is accessed through a small hole on the tailpiece side of the rail. The tailpiece shape is our classic bird design.

inlay upper frets inlay mid frets upview entire guitar
Inlay Detail Inlay Detail Inlay Detail Entire Guitar

Front Back


  • 6-string Series I guitar
  • Ebony fingerboard
  • Coco Bolo top and back
  • Flame Maple accent laminates
  • High gloss polyester finish
  • Alembic Classic Dragon inlay
  • 5-piece Maple and Purpleheart neck
  • Concealed hardware bridge
  • Inlaid logo with shell

Price available on request.

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