Nowadays, the term "Parlor Guitar" is too often misused as a blanket term for any small guitar. True parlor guitars were designed for and used to play parlor music. It was an era when guitars played a different role in music, and these 12-fret neck, slotted headstock, axes supplied rich sound for fancy sitting rooms. Many are ladder-braced, and most have a small body that sounds great in smaller settings (e.g. a parlor room, whereas bigger bodies were designed for the "Auditorium").
Because they were intended to be played in someone's home–and because of the influence of 1920s opulence—many parlor guitars feature ornate and elaborate decoration. In the '30s, guitars became more streamlined, and they were built for the working man! But in the parlor era, guitars often showed a little flair and style.
This "The Vagabond" guitar was made by Harmony around 1930, toward the tail-end for the parlor era. It is constructed from a solid Spruce top and Birch back and sides. Its small body measures with 12-frets clear of the body, and the top is ladder-braced. It has an over-the-top pearloid peghead and matching pearloid pickguard, but what's most eye-catching is the elaborate pastoral scene painting/decal on the lower bout.
This Harmony Vagabond Parlor is in nice, playable shape for its age, and it would be a superlative blues or fingerstyle guitar. When played with a pick, it captures that has a "old timey" ladder-braced bark and character. Its bridge has been replaced, and the nut appears to be a replacement as well. At some point, the center seam of the top split and cracked, it suffered the classic pickguard crack, and the back was likely serrated in a few places. All of the repairs were done properly, and the guitar is structurally stable. Fortunately, none of the decal/painting was interrupted or damaged in any way.
This 1930s Harmony "The Vagabond" Parlor is a great example of a true parlor guitar. Its strong V neck profile is comfortable and provides an authentic prewar feel. The whacky pearloid fingerboard and elaborate decal/painting are sincere vestiges of a bygone era. You'll be impressed by the tone and playability of this old box. Chipboard case included.