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Looking for some help identifying this Gibson

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I’m looking for some help identifying this guitar. I think it dates back to the mid-1930s, but not sure. Inside the back of the guitar there appears to be an FON number (pictured below), but I can’t make it out. Any help would be greatly appreciated!

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947BD98A-3F34-4D7B-ADDA-E328874DD2F8.jpeg

66BE14C1-6F76-41E1-9E83-5E483578CBE0.jpeg

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If I had to guess,  I would say a later-1930s  early 1940s L-30.  If so though the tuners would not appear to be original to the guitar.   Then again, I am a babe in the woods when it comes to archtops.    

Edited by zombywoof

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Give us the measurement across the back at the widest point. It should be either 14.75" or 16".

Also, is the back more or less flat, or does it have a pronounced arch to it?

If it is a flat back and 14.75" wide, ZW's guess of  an L-30 from 1937-1943 is reasonable.

The tuners look original to me, but ZW would know when those particular tuners were in use.

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Doesn’t that look like an “A” at the end of the FON, just before the batch number (in red pencil)? My guess = 1935 L-50 

EDIT: Didn’t the gold headstock logo come later, into the 40s?

Edited by 62burst

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I'm scratching my head here on this combination of features. It also has the straight (rather than slanted) white silkscreen script logo. The combination of flat back, 16" body, plain dot fretboard inlays doesn't neatly tick all the boxes on any resource I have. 62burst may well be right, but I thought the L-50 had an arched back when they went to f-holes and the 16" body around 1935. There could well be transition pieces with both older and newer features, however, and L-50 from 1935 is not an unreasonable answer.

The only things you can say with confidence is that it is a lower-end model, and probably dates from the mid/late 1930s.

caveat: I do not pretend to be an expert on re-war Gibson archtops.

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3 hours ago, j45nick said:

The tuners look original to me, but ZW would know when those particular tuners were in use.

 The tuner on the D string is a Grover G98 Sta-Tite while the other are Grover clipped plates.   So something has been changed.  While I associate Grovers more with Martins than Gibsons, they did show up on Gibsons in the 1930s.    So you could very well be right about originality.  If the guitar were built a bit earlier I would expect to see Waverly strip turners.  If later in the decade  then Kluson strip tuners. 

 

 

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2 hours ago, j45nick said:

I'm scratching my head here on this combination of features. It also has the straight (rather than slanted) white silkscreen script logo. The combination of flat back, 16" body, plain dot fretboard inlays doesn't neatly tick all the boxes on any resource I have. 62burst may well be right, but I thought the L-50 had an arched back when they went to f-holes and the 16" body around 1935. There could well be transition pieces with both older and newer features, however, and L-50 from 1935 is not an unreasonable answer.

The only things you can say with confidence is that it is a lower-end model, and probably dates from the mid/late 1930s.

caveat: I do not pretend to be an expert on re-war Gibson archtops.

Hi Nick,

I am no expert either, but I do have a little relevant information about features.  This is a 1936 L-4.  The L-4 went to f holes and dot inlays in the early 30s.  Then in 1936,  a few of these appeared for awhile.  Round holes and Nick Lucas inlays.  IME, reasoning on dates and features with Gibson is like tap dancing in a mine field.

Best,

-Tom

l4fronts.jpg

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I had a 1948 L-48 with a braced & flat back like this one - but from the neck-joint up, this guitar looks more ‘30ish.  If the top is X-braced, it would confirm a late ‘30s build.

Edit:  Two things - The logo font is consistent with those seen on many ‘30s Gibson mandolins.  Also, re my flat-backed L-48, I have never seen another one with a braced & flat back - and I’ve looked at a lot of them.  The OP’s guitar may be similarly rare in it’s construction.

Edited by bobouz

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