Liberty Tree Guitar -Special Exhibition 6/23 – 7/12/11


Flag from the USS Cole Flies over the Liberty Tree Guitar in Raynham

In honor of Independence Day, we are hosting a special exhibition of the “Taylor Liberty Tree Guitar.” This rare instrument was made from the wood of the last surviving Liberty Tree which holds a significant place in American History. Words spoken under this sparked activities that lead to the birth and development of our new nation as Patriots like Samuel Chase gave impassioned speeches and led rebels in singing protest songs.

Each of the original American Colonies had Liberty Trees (or, in some cases, Liberty Poles) under which the Colonists rallied to exchange information and plan tactics for their quest for independence from Great Britain. The budding patriots met under these trees because it gave them a clear view of anyone approaching so they could be wary of spies.

Each tree was highly respected as symbol of Liberty and Democracy. Some were destroyed in an attempt to squash the American Revolution but most continued to act living witnesses to other historical events and ceremonies until one by one they were lost to natural causes, time, disease and storms.

This last surviving Liberty Tree – a lovely tulip popular – towered over the grounds of St. John’s College (originally King William’s School), where it stood sentinel in Annapolis, Maryland for 400 years until it sustained fatal injuries by Hurricane Floyd in 1999.

Bob Taylor of Taylor Guitars, an avid history lover, eagerly sought to purchase the wood from this historical tree as soon as he learned about it. Out of reverence for the historical significance of this wood, the project of bringing it through wood preparation and guitar design took nearly a year. Taylor made 400 limited edition Liberty Tree Guitars, one for every living year of the tree.

The Taylor Liberty Tree Guitar is a stunner. A Grand Concert body with back and sides of chocolate-and-vanilla-colored tulip poplar, with an abalone-edged top of Sitka spruce. A laser-etched, burly maple inlay of a scrolled Declaration of Independence extends from the fingerboard onto the guitar’s top. The rosette combines a crescent of 13 stars (one for each of the original Colonies) around one half of the soundhole, opposite an early battle pennant that flew during the Revolution, rendered in bloodwood and dyed maple. A depiction of the first post-Revolution American flag is inlaid in dyed maple on the peghead.

The Liberty Tree Guitar will be on display in our Raynham Store from Tuesday, June 26th through Tuesday, July 12th. Flying high over the guitar is an American Flag which from the American Naval Destroyer, the USS Cole. This flag was flown on the USS Cole about two years preceding the now infamous bombing attack in Yemen which claimed 17 American lives and wounded 39 more.

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