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1949 gibson guitar identification help

#1 User is offline   bugman68 

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Posted 24 December 2011 - 05:06 PM

hello,
original owner said he bought this guitar in 1949. Overall length 40". 16 1/8" width. Looks like spruce top and rest is mahogany. Pick guard has beveled edge. There is no identification numbers or names that i can see inside. truss rod cover is white shape of bell. Gibson at the top. Tuning knobs do not look original to me. Everything else including the finish is original. Could you help me identify this guitar with possibly some links or more information about it. Photos below.Posted ImagePosted ImagePosted ImagePosted ImagePosted Image

#2 User is offline   zombywoof 

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Posted 24 December 2011 - 05:17 PM

While I can't help you with the model, the script logo indicates a guitar built earlier than 1949. The script logo would date the guitar to 1946 or 1947. The white truss rod cover is strange - I have never seen one on a Gibson.
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#3 User is offline   onewilyfool 

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Posted 24 December 2011 - 05:41 PM

I just love these old Gibby archtops.....tuners are not original.....looks to be in good condition!!! See if you can read a number on the neck block, that could tell you the exact year.....
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#4 User is offline   slimt 

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Posted 24 December 2011 - 05:47 PM

Nice Archtop.... It looks like a L48.. But with a L50 Pickguard, Trussrod cover Could of been from a banjo... Ive seen the early White Covers before.. Im just guessing on the Model of the Guitar..

#5 User is offline   bugman68 

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Posted 24 December 2011 - 06:10 PM

i thought L48 also, and the same exact thing about the pick guard, but ive seen that pickguard on a 1949 L4C, a 1950 L-5c, a L10, a L12, a 1949 L50, and a 1947 L7 at a guitar forum called Vintage Guitars Info's LINK Everytime I think I have the right model number theres something off like dots on the fretboard instead of squares etc.., or the pickguard is different, or the trussguard cover is white instead of black. (my opinion the white truss rod cover is original but i could be wrong)

#6 User is offline   L5Larry 

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Posted 24 December 2011 - 06:38 PM

The guitar pictured has all the characteristics of a '36-'50ish L-50.

The silk-screened type logo on "budget" models does not follow the date patterns and changes as the "inlayed" headstock logos, so the logo itself does not lend any information as to date of manufacture, although the '46/'47 date previously suggested does fall into the possible date range.

Gibson instruments built during WWII and up to sometime in 1949 may not bear any serial number or factory order number, so the absence of any numbers would put in that range.

If the original owner says he bought it "new" in 1949, it could have very well been made in '48-'49.

#7 User is offline   zombywoof 

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Posted 24 December 2011 - 07:01 PM

It is also common for lower end guitars like the LG-2 made in '46 or '47 to not have any FON numbers.
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#8 User is offline   zombywoof 

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Posted 24 December 2011 - 08:09 PM

While I sure ain't an expert on Gibson archtops, about the only two I can think of that had a 16" lower bout, dot inlays and a headstock adorned by only a silkscreen logo would be the L-48 and L-50. Take the mahogany into consideration and, as others have said, it leaves you with the L-48. The simple trapeze tailpiece with the single raised diamond is very cool. I have seen those on guitars ranging from the mid-1930s well into the later 1940s.
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#9 User is offline   j45nick 

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Posted 24 December 2011 - 08:44 PM

View PostL5Larry, on 24 December 2011 - 06:38 PM, said:

The guitar pictured has all the characteristics of a '36-'50ish L-50.

The silk-screened type logo on "budget" models does not follow the date patterns and changes as the "inlayed" headstock logos, so the logo itself does not lend any information as to date of manufacture, although the '46/'47 date previously suggested does fall into the possible date range.

Gibson instruments built during WWII and up to sometime in 1949 may not bear any serial number or factory order number, so the absence of any numbers would put in that range.

If the original owner says he bought it "new" in 1949, it could have very well been made in '48-'49.


L-5 Larry is the resident archtop expert here. It looks to me like an L-48, probably immediate post-war. A post-war L-50 should have block inlays on the fretboard, rather than dots. The tuners may be original, although the lack of screwholes into the back of the headstock suggests otherwise. I'd remove the tuners on one side to see if there is the imprint of another tuner type underneath this one.

The trussrod cover may not be original.

If there were any identifying number, it would almost certainly be ink-stamped inside the upper F-hole.

#10 User is offline   L5Larry 

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Posted 25 December 2011 - 09:37 AM

View Postj45nick, on 24 December 2011 - 08:44 PM, said:

A post-war L-50 should have block inlays on the fretboard, rather than dots.


The L-50 was introduced with dot inlays. The best info I can find shows it changing over to trapezoids in the '50-'52 era.

I don't have much info on the L-48, and it seems there is a very fine line between the two models of the immediate "post-war" period.

#11 User is offline   pfox14 

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Posted 25 December 2011 - 10:16 AM

I'd say defintely an L-50, but the pickguard looks too new and might be a replacement. Script logo could be mid-40's, but hard to date it exactly without any FON (factory order number). Not unusual for an L-50 not to have an FON or serial # from this era.

#12 User is offline   drathbun 

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Posted 27 December 2011 - 03:00 PM

The L-48 (1946-1971) 16" acoustic archtop, single-bound body, mahogany sides, sunburst. '46-'49 $1200-$1400.

The L-50 (1932-1971) 14 3/4" wide acoustic archtop ('34-'43 16" body), flat or arched back, round soundhole or f-holes, pearl logo pre-war, decal logo post-war, maple sides, sunburst.

From the VG Price Guide 2011.
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#13 User is offline   L5Larry 

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Posted 27 December 2011 - 04:15 PM

View Postdrathbun, on 27 December 2011 - 03:00 PM, said:

The L-50 (1932-1971) 14 3/4" wide acoustic archtop ('34-'43 16" body), flat or arched back, round soundhole or f-holes, pearl logo pre-war, decal logo post-war, maple sides, sunburst.

From the VG Price Guide 2011.


This information is incorrect, or at least "misleading" at best. The L-50 changed to a 16" wide body in 1936, and remained that way until it was discontinued.

#14 User is offline   cunningham26 

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Posted 28 December 2011 - 04:25 PM

I have one almost identical:
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From what I know it's a 46-early 47 L48. The gold script logo without the banner was only on 46-47 until they switched to the block logo, not to be confused with the white script logo on 30s archtops. looks like the tabs on the tuners and pickguard have been replaced, but not too recently. the machines themselves look original and the white plastic tabs were known to corrode. mine got a p90 at the neck before i got it, so it's like an early version of an es125.

Value-wise, you're probably peaking out about $750, at least in my area. At that price it's better to hold onto, get a slide, and make authentic blues noises.

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