Gibson A-Junior Snakehead Carved Top Mandolin (1927)

Gibson  A-Junior Snakehead Carved Top Mandolin  (1927)
This item has been sold.
Item # 10015
Prices subject to change without notice.
Gibson A-Junior Snakehead Model Carved Top Mandolin (1927), made in Kalamazoo, Michigan, serial # 81541, brown stain finish, birch back and sides, spruce top; mahogany neck with ebony fingrboard, brown hard shell case.

The A-Junior was Gibson's lowest priced carved top mandolin in the 1920's, designed primarily for sale to beginning students. The top and back are carved like the higher priced models, as the instrument was designed to still sound "Gibsonic" at the lowest price point. To this end it has no ornament at all but is still built to the same standards as the company's higher end instruments.

The finish is a plain brown stain overall and the fittings are basic including a carved one-piece bridge (likely leftover stock from the early '20s!) a simple "clamshell" tailpiece and flat-plate economy strip tuners. The elevated pickguard is the same as Gibson's higher priced models. This example dates to 1927 and still has the Lloyd-Loar approved "snakehead" headstock shape used only in the mid-1920s. These "snakehead" A-Juniors are known for their excellent sound, and this one is no exception.
Overall length is 25 3/4 in. (65.4 cm.), 10 1/4 in. (26 cm.) wide, and 1 7/8 in. (4.8 cm.) in depth, measured at side of rim. Scale length is 14 in. (356 mm.). Width of nut is 1 3/16 in. (30 mm.).

This mandolin has seen some use over the last 95 years but remains a fine player with a powerful sound. It has some general finish wear overall, with numerous small dings and scrapes but the top remains relatively clean with no major pickwear save for some marks in an odd spot below the strings near the tailpiece. There are a couple of small scrapes on the spine of the neck behind the 5th-7th fret. There is some noticeable wear on the upper edge of the top and flaking on the side/back edge near the tailpiece. The seams in this area have been re-sealed, a common occurrence on older Gibsons.

The hardware is original and complete, including the celluloid pickguard which shows no signs of deterioration. The buttons on the original strip tuners are correct-style replacements. The original frets have been re-crowned and still have plenty of height; the mandolin plays excellent and sounds great with a full range ringing tone. It includes a modern HSC -- it would originally have been housed in a chipboard case likely long gone. Very Good + Condition.