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Help identifying year and model.


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Can anyone help identify the year and model of this guitar?  It was given to me by a widow that was disposing her deceased husband's personal property.  She believes it's from the early 1950s. Scratch guard is missing. Otherwise in very good condition.1825485262_PXL_20210220_1920588722.thumb.jpg.f379071cff03dadf3dc3c4db5eae0eb2.jpg

PXL_20210220_191621140~2.jpg

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Welcome.

Measure across the widest part of the body. It should be about 16".  If it is, this is probably an L-48 from the early to mid 1950s.

It looks like that might be a mahogany top, which was characteristic of the L-48 during several different periods.

The frets look fairly fat, which might suggest a little later in the 50s.

It looks to be in very nice condition.

Take a small flashlight, and inspect the inside back carefully through the f-holes. It is possible you will find an ink-stamped factory order number in there. It might be quite faint.

Edited by j45nick
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Thanks so much.  I've searched inside for an order number and can't see one.  No trace whatsoever.   

Any idea where I could get an original pick guard and the metal bracket that holds it to the side of the guitar?   The screws are still on the guitar.  Any help appreciated.   

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I haven't bought vintage archtop parts in a few years, but they are out there, and readily available. take your time, to make sure you get the right ones.

Search for photos of vintage L-48s.  I believe some used cast brackets attached to the side of the guitar, but other may have used bent metal brackets.

The pickguards themselves were plain.

When I get a chance I'll try to do some research for you, but you can do a lot just by internet searches.  Vintage parts suppliers come and go.

I just did a quick search for "vintage Gibson archtop guitar replacement pickguards and parts", and a huge variety of photos and sources came up.

If you come up with something and want to know if it is a correct part, post it here and we'll try to help you. You are only missing a couple of parts, and they are replaceable. Any screw holes in the side and the top nest to the fingerboard are clues to the original pickguard and bracket.

Even though this isn't a particularly valuable guitar, take the time to find the correct parts.

Just did another quick search for "vintage Gibson L-48 archtop", and a bunch of photos of your guitar with the correct parts came up.

It looks like the bent metal brackt on the side of the guitar is correct for your guitar, and the pickguard may just screw into the top next to the fretboard.

It is possible that the pickguard had a small celluloid spacer glued on the underside of the guard next to the fingerboard to hold the guard clear of the top, but on the L-48, it may just be screwed straight on.

Edited by j45nick
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Thanks so much.  I'll see what I can find.

I think you're right about how the pick guard connects.  I've looked at pictures of other, similar guitars and concluded that it's held in place by just two screws, which are still attached to this guitar: one at the fretboard and on the side through the bent bracket.  If I find a replacement, it should be obvious if it's the right one.  

 

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This, or something very similar to it, will be the correct bracket:

pickguard bracket

This general style was used on a number of Gibsons over the years

Here is the correct pickguard style. The original would not be bound, and would be of a more uniform dark red/brown tortoise celluloid.  These guys can probably make you exactly the right one, since they obviously have the correct shape template.

L-48 pickguard

Edited by j45nick
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