This was the point I made in a note to the seller: ...so if the dulcimer said Martin with no first name, how could one be sure which brother had made it?
The seller was claiming Edsel had made it, but when I asked why he thought that, he didn't give me a straight answer--and then blocked me from bidding on it. He was saying the carving on the instrument said G erwin Martin, Swannanoa, NC, but said "That's how Edsel signed many of his" and said he got this information "from the web".
What it actually said, however--and I told him this--was "Genuine Martin", not "G erwin Martin". I wasn't questioning that it was made by one of the brothers, I just wanted to know why he was convinced that Edsel had made it.
I really don't think think there's anything out there on the web to support a signature of G erwin Martin, as he is claiming. I think he knew he had a Martin dulcimer and it would sell for the most money if it were touted as being made by Edsel. The outcome is that someone got a fine example of a dulcimer made--maybe--by one of the Martin brothers of Swannanoa, NC....
Oh--and those heads Fred carved on his? My understanding is that they were likenesses of relatives and other women in the community that he personally knew.
Jan Potts, Lexington, KY
"Use what talents you possess; the woods would be very silent if no birds sang there except those that sang best." Henry Van Dyke