This instrument represents the first generation of archtop electrics and is earlier than the "Memphis Minnie" model. On some the pickup is rotated 180 degrees, and the center 'tail' of the pickup sits under the bridge.
Earliest models have no tone control.
They are also seen with Dobro brand decals on the headstock. As far as I know both Dobro and National branded instruments are identical.
Michael Messer with this instrument - November 2000
This one has a later headstock design. It has also, I believe been refinished.
Although a very poor picture, this instrument went through ebay a few years back, it has the pickup reversed and sitting through the bridge. It had serial #N518.
I once saw a picture of George Barnes playing a Dobro branded version, I believe the picture was dated 1939. I'd love to have a copy to post here, so if you have one please get in touch!
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