SOLD - Vintage Gibson L-1 - USA 1920
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‘The Gibson L-1 acoustic guitar was first sold by the Gibson Guitar Corporation in the early 20th century. The L-1 model was introduced first as an archtop (1902), and later as a flat top in 1926. The model is famously associated with the legendary bluesman Robert Johnson.’
Colour: Brown Walnut
Finish Style: Gloss
Series: Gibson Pre-War Era
This Vintage Gibson L-1 is a remarkable piece of American history, being owned by the same family since the year it was purchased in Chicago for $68.65 in 1920 from Gibson in Kalamazoo, Michigan. The guitar comes with its original sales receipt with every detail of the purchase, some of which is hand-written, still in incredible condition. It is rare to have original receipts in this sort of condition come with the sale of a vintage instrument, so this is something particularly special.
The guitar is in very good condition considering it is over 100 years old. There are the expected signs of wear throughout-various scratches, dents, dings, nicks, and scuffs, along with visible wear in the top from different bridge placement over the years. The chunky one-piece V-shaped solid mahogany neck with bound dark ebony fingerboard hardly has a mark on it and plays very nicely. The back has separated slightly from the sides right at the base of the lower bout as shown in the photographs.
There is a repair receipt that comes with the sale from 1990 from ‘The Guitar Works’ in Evanston, Illinois, where there was a repair of ‘loose rim and back’, along with an ‘action and neck check’. Another little slice of this guitar’s life journey.
This Gibson L-1 has beautiful hand inlaid pearl designs on the headstock and fretboard. Its spruce top is hand-carved and shows wonderful contours demonstrating the elite craftmanship of the time. There is a small nail coming out of the bottom side of the fretboard, believed to be for a pickguard.
The guitar plays remarkably well and has rich low-end tones, a result of the age and quality of the timbers used in its construction. It has great natural volume, resonance and balance and feels great in the hand.
A wonderful instrument with bucketloads of unique and original history!
Comes with its original hardshell case in moderate condition.