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Vintage L-5 collectability

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Hey guys: I'm still casually looking at vintage Gibsons and have run across some really great looking L-5's from the late twenties to mid-thirties. Can any expert chime in here about the collectacbility of these guitars versus other Gibson models and what reasonable price range I should be considering?




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20's models w/original dot inlay boards will be most valuable, followed by block inlay 16" wide models, then 17" models.


post Loar dot inlaid models start around 20K and can top 30K.

block inlay 16" models run from 9-15K

17" models from the 30s on run around 7-10K w/ natural finish bringing more

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Those dot neck 16" L-5s are about the prettiest archtops I have ever seen. Brings Mother Maybelle Carter to mind. If I recall, the Loar models have hand shaped solid tone bar braces. But you will pay a premium for his signature. Then again, I know more than a few who prefer the 17" guitars with those large, curvaceous f-holes. They seem to go for both the X braced and parallel braced versions.


Have you considered Epiphone at all - something like the Zephyr or Deluxe. After trying out more Gibson archtops than I can recall, I ended up with an early 1950s Epiphone Triumph Regent.

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