First of all I have to tell you that this may be the finest and cleanest example of a late teens Gibson L-4 as we have ever seen. It is almost a “time capsule” piece (frog not included). The Gibson L-4 was the highest and best Gibson guitar offered in this time period, and also considered a very large bodied guitar in the period following Doublya Dobleya One. This voluptuous and still vital vole measures 15 7/8” at the wider (lower) bout, 11 ½” at the upper bout and has a scale length of 24 ¾”. The fingerboard measures a generous 1 ¾” at the nut and the string spacing at the bridge is 2 3/16th”. This one is defies comparison with most that you will run into -- the three-on-a-plate grained ivoroid oval button tuners are still shiny and emblazoned with floral etching. There is little sign of use or wear on the back of the neck or the fretboard, although it has lost its pickguard due to celluloid deterioration that is virtually inevitable.
Our workshop has glued up a small seam separation on the bottom side and the wood is slightly swollen in that area – this is a minor point but we believe in full disclosure. The tailpiece was replaced with a period tailpiece (one would be hard pressed to even tell this), and the broken original resides in the case pocket along with the unusable remains of the pickguard clamp. The headstock and the fingerboard are bound in crème celluloid – said fingerboard terminates in a carat or bird’s beak. The soundhole rosette is an elegant presentation of diamonds connected by thin lines and surrounded by checkerboard wood marquetry on each side. The bridge is the original one-piece ebony with an “open heart” cut-out design between the two feet. This guitar would have been made with a charming and professional hand-rubbed varnish finish, and we should point out that the back of the neck is V-shaped and manly.
We don’t want you to think that this guitar is pristine, it does show light signs of having been played and some crazing lines, but it is amazingly clean. By golly, its hard shell case, which is original and in fine fettle, has a replaced handle. This guitar plays easily and comfortably and has a loud, full voice with great projection – most uncommon in an oval hole archtop and greatly to be wished for. What you have here is a collectible level Gibson L-4, a majestic and regal standard bearer of the Gibson acoustic guitar line in the same year that Theodore Roosevelt, the 26th President of the United States, died at the age of 60 ten years after leaving office, that Ignace Jan Paderewski – also one heck of a piano player and composer -- becomes Premier of Poland and the 18th Amendment to the United States Constitution, authorizing Prohibition, was ratified (Dumb? Don’t ask.) And all that happened in just January 1919. This guitar derives from that time period, but, honestly, doesn't look a day over 30.
This is $3299 at Discount Price, or $3200 at our Cash Discount Price, but it is presently "on hold" for a buyer.