Jump to content
Gibson Brands Forums

'36 Old Kraftsman and '34 Jumbo at Gryphon


Recommended Posts

Anne and I went by Gryphon in Palo Alto on Saturday, partly because it was hosting a Martin Traveling Show of fancy stuff from NAMM. While there, we wound up buying a very cool old Gibson-built archtop, a 1936 Old Kraftsman (which was a Spiegel mail order company house name). You can see photos at Gryphon's website until they get around to updating it. (We'll probably take some more after they're done converting it to a lefty.) Pretty rare guitar -- when Gruhn had it, they described it as "the only one we have ever seen" -- but quite reasonably priced, as a result of saying "Old Kraftsman" rather than "Gibson" on the headstock. My guess is that Anne will be bringing it to the Homecoming.


The second new old Gibson might be of more general interest, since we didn't actually buy it. They just got a '34 Jumbo for sale on consignment, once an extremely minor key crack has been repaired and the funky saddle has been replaced. (I'd never have noticed the crack if it hadn't been pointed out to me.) It's in outstanding condition -- some crazing and scratches and minor play wear, naturally, but nothing serious and no apparent previous repairs. It looks like the bridge has never been off, there's no sign of any work having been done on the interior, and the neck has not been reset. (The neck angle is okay, but sub-optimal, so it'll be left to the buyer to decide whether to reset or not. If it were me, I wouldn't bother.) All original, I believe, except for the saddle, at least one of the bridge pins, and (I think) the tuner buttons.


I gave it a nice long tryout, and it's definitely a fine sounding guitar. I'm not much good at describing tone, but we both noted a strong similarity to my '37-ish L-0 in the mid- and treble-range, but with a huge, percussive bass thrown in. (Anne said it sounded like the L-0 "all grown up".) Anyone interested might want to let Gryphon know, because this beauty will sell more or less instantaneously when it becomes available, if not before. Price is TBD, but $20K might be a reasonable guess.


-- Bob R

Link to comment
Share on other sites


This topic is now archived and is closed to further replies.

  • Create New...