Vintage Gibson Style O – USA 1907
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Gibson’s first true standard guitar model, the Style O, may not be quite as exotic as the hand-carved instruments that Orville Gibson himself was making only a few years earlier, but the basic overall shape, major design features, and look are quite similar.
Made just one year before a major re-design of the Style O guitar which was to feature a pronounced upper bout body scroll, this instrument features a broad body and wide, oval soundhole.
As seen on this example, the size of the body was reduced from 18 to 16 inches, and the oval-shaped soundhole became smaller, as did the peghead, which is more streamlined than the bulky rounded paddle shape found on guitars produced only a few years prior. Interior bracing is also minimal.
The size and shape of this instrument, which was very large for the period, combined with the introduction of instruments with the upper rib at the 14th fret, rather than the 12th, meant that instruments such as this were soon to be replaced by Gibson’s Style O Artist and the newly developed dreadnoughts. Nevertheless, the sleek black finish, the carved, arched top, and oval soundhole are signature early Gibson features.
Arched spruce top
Wood inlay rosette
Walnut or Birch back & sides
Mahogany neck with walnut centre strip
12/20-fret bound pointed ebony fingerboard with pearl dot inlays
Rosewood bridge & trapeze tailpiece
Bound blackface headstock with pearl logo inlay
Engraved three-on-a-plate open gear with white plastic buttons
Available in Black Top finish
This guitar was bought privately from its collector owner in USA many years ago. It has not had any changes or work done on it since it came to Australia in exactly this condition – which is exceptional for a guitar over 110 years old.
About this Style O –
Finish is original with light overspray to top & back to preserve lacquer
Tuners appear to be original and hold tuning well
There are some expected small dings, dents and superficial blemishes on this instrument which in our opinion simply adds to the unique vintage vibe of this old girl.
Neck binding has been professionally repaired in places – see pics
The guitar still retains its original paper label
One bridge pin is missing
Nut with is 1-11/16''
String width at bridge is 2-1/4''
Lower bout with is 16'' wide
Scale length is 24-3/4''
Amazingly for an instrument of this age, it is structurally sound with no cracks, splits or repairs. It plays well with a wide, deep neck that has held its strength without a truss rod after all these years. The neck is super clean and straight, the ebony fingerboard is in great shape and the original frets show very little wear.
The sound is woody, dry and most musical. It is a tone that you can only find on old instruments handbuilt with care long ago. While it’s possible to make new electric guitars sound ‘vintage’ with the right pickups and hardware, there’s something about the tone of 110-year-old timber that cannot be replicated.
This Style O is a wonderful vintage gem with stories to tell and another century of life left in her.
Comes in what we think could be its original hard shell case in fabulous condition.
Video demo same model 1907 Style O - https://youtu.be/hPtnDugzmmY