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Help Identifying Vintage Acoustic


JonAllen356
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I could really use some help identifying an old Gibson for a friend. His elderly aunt said this was he fathers guitar and it has been sitting in their basement. He doesn’t have it in-hand yet, so we don’t have detailed info about the condition. However, her son sent this picture. It sure looks to me like an old J-45, but I don’t know what year. The tuners look interesting, but the real distinguishing feature is the one-piece double-sided pickguard. I’ve never seen one like it and can’t even find a picture online of something similar.

My friend isn’t looking to sell it, I’m just helping him get some info so he knows what he has and can insure it, if necessary.

Thanks in advance!

7BCAF3B7-AC63-4F2B-ADE0-7D9868FC489C.jpeg

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The pickguard is not stock Gibson which would explain why you have not seen another like it.   Looking at the photo,  19 frets and no center back strip (that I can see)  would add up to a  pre-1955 LG-1.  Easiest  way to know when you get the guitar is to measure the lower bout and  see if it is X or ladder braced.   There should be an FON stamped inside the guitar on the neck block which will give you the year built. .  If it is not there or you cannot make it out, the Gibson logo and tuners are generally helpful for narrowing a build period down.

Edited by zombywoof
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It looks like an LG-1 (one-piece back with no centerline cleat), most likely from the early 1950's (19-fret neck, slot-through saddle). The slot-through bridge has had additional fastenings added at some point, and may or may not be original.

The pickguard is not original, and what we can see of the tuners says those are not original either. The white trussrod cover on the headstock is not original, either. It woul dhave been black, not white.

This was Gibson's entry-level flat top in this period.

If you look inside the soundhole, towards the neck block just forward of the soundhole, it may have an ink-stamped factory order number, which probably would have been four digits, followed by a space, followed by another digit (or maybe two digits). The FON might also have a letter prefix.

Only a first-hand inspection can authenticate it, but the underlying configuration looks correct.

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Double and oversized surround the soundhole pickguards certainly seem have become fashionable  in the 1960s.  

Been there myself.  Our 1960 J200 had acquired a second pickguard by the time we snagged it.   And then there is  my 1955/56 Epiphone FT79 as I found it.  In my case, as I had no sentimental attachment to either guitar, what had once gone wrong  was set right.   Very different situation though when you are talking abut a guitar which had been played by your father.

Epi-FT79-3.jpg

Edited by zombywoof
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  • 2 weeks later...

His wife picked up the guitar today, but he hasn’t laid eyes on it. She gave him the number from inside and I ran it through the Gibson serial number decoder. It checks back to a 1936 model made in Kalamazoo. Will probably have it authenticated by a pro to be sure. Certainly may have had aftermarket work through the years. Thanks for the help!

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I am going to guess your friend read or entered the FON incorrectly.   The guitar in the photo appears to have a gold block letter logo (which granted is not all that easy to make out in the photo).  If so. that feature would  date it no earlier than 1947 .  Earlier Gibsons had a script logo.  As 1946 and 1947 Gibsons rarely had FONs, everything points to the guitar being a 1948 - 1954  (possibly early-1955) LG-1.

The logo on my 1932 L1

IMG-0439-1.jpg

Here is the logo on a 1946 LG-2.

LG-2-Headstock.jpg

 

Edited by zombywoof
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8 hours ago, zombywoof said:

I am going to guess your friend read or entered the FON incorrectly.   The guitar in the photo appears to have a gold block letter logo (which granted is not all that easy to make out in the photo).  If so. that feature would  date it no earlier than 1947 .  Earlier Gibsons had a script logo.  As 1946 and 1947 Gibsons rarely had FONs, everything points to the guitar being a 1948 - 1954  (possibly early-1955) LG-1.

The logo on my 1932 L1

IMG-0439-1.jpg

Here is the logo on a 1946 LG-2.

LG-2-Headstock.jpg

 

 

It's definitely a block logo (1947 or later) on the headstock of the OP's guitar. There were also similar FON's in the late 1930's an early post-war periods. There is nothing I see in the photo--body shape, details--that suggests this is a pre-war guitar.

If the OP would give us the FON/serial number, we can pin it down better. We all know that the online daters do not accommodate the years when Gibson used duplicate serial numbers.

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