When National and Dobro merged in 1932, the new company granted a license to Regal—a Chicago-based manufacturer and distributor—to start building instruments using Dobro resonators. Until 1937, many of the same resonator instruments were made concurrently by National-Dobro in California and by Regal in Chicago.
Offered from 1933 to 1936, the Regal Angelus—also known as the Dobro No. 19—is a straightforward wood-bodied resonator guitar. This Regal Angelus has stood the test of time and finds us in nice, playable condition with a throaty resonator sound. It has a 12-fret neck and a birch body. The Angelus is recognizable by the unique round holes punched into the resonator coverplate. It has segmented f-holes on the guitar's upper bout, and what looks like binding around the edges is actually paint.
The Angelus' resonator is the classic Dobro "spider bridge" design—essentially an inverted single cone. This design is what set Dobros apart from Nationals, which typically have either a single-cone biscuit resonator or the more-expensive tricone. The spider bridge design is a bowl-shaped resonator under a circular perforated metal cover plate with the bridge at its center, resting on an eight-legged aluminum "spider." This system was cheaper to build, and it produced more volume than National's tricone.
This 1930s Regal Angelus sports the brown-to-orange finish that appeared later in the model's history, so it was probably made in 1935 or 1936. It has a flat fingerboard that plays nicely, and although the action is fairly low at present, the flat feel is great for slide. The Regal decal on the peghead has worn and flaked a bit, so be careful with your Snark! Apart from that, this inexpensive birch resonator has been beuaitufllyp preserved over the decades. It includes a TKL molded plastic case.