Prewar L50 model. Fon on the back is 608 C 39 which dates it to 1937.
Gibson offered occasional limited non-cataloged dealer specials in the late 30ties and on into the wartime period. This Special was available from 1937-40 and clearly was made to make a full sized archtop at an affordable price. This is a 16 inch guitar with a carved spruce top and a flat maple back with braces. Mahogany V shape neck, unbound Brazilian rosewood fingerboard. Original tuners that still work great.
It has a pre-war script non-inlayed (silkscreened) logo and notched tonebars (for ease of shaping into place) rather than solid, carved tonebars. This one is in nearly perfect condition and comes with the original Geib airline stripe tweed case!
And………….. it has been electrified by Daniel Slaman Guitars in 2016. Just like it was done in 1936………….. when Gibson assembled a batch of 10 test model Electric Spanish guitar. The body was basically that of the acoustic Gibson L-50. As was the practice for low-cost models, all of the test models were painted black. This allowed for the use of wood that was not cosmetically suited for the nicer sunburst finish instruments. There must have been some immediate discussions about the look of the new black $75 electric guitar not living up the Gibson standards; before all but a few of the black models left the factory, the new sunburst replacements were being shipped. Only 2 of the original batch of 10 are known to exist.
Daniel Slaman Guitars has installed a Charlie Christian pickup (British made with the large magnets), compensated for playing with a wound G-string for perfect balance between the strings, and a period correct diamond tailpiece with the jack output in the base. Volume and tone control with correct Bakelite knobs. Three partially loose braces have been re-glued on the back. Frets have been dressed and are original with minimal wear.
Some blister damage on the top probably occurred when the case and guitar were somewhat overheated by standing to close to a heat source. Otherwise perfect condition for it’s age.
The case is an airline stripe tweed Geib case from the second half of the thirties; all latches work, inside very clean, purple lining. At one point in it’s about 80 years life it was standing to close to a heat source…………… (hey, what’s that smell…………?) The tweed overheated and scorched but the case is still 100 % structurally sound. All original except replaced leather handle.
This guitar isSOLD
Restricted; cannot send this guitar outside the European Union (CITES regulations regarding all rosewood)