Gibson Style A- Carved Top Mandolin (1914)

Gibson  Style A- Carved Top Mandolin  (1914)
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$2,400.00 + shipping
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Item # 10016
Prices subject to change without notice.
Gibson Style A- Model Carved Top Mandolin (1914), made in Kalamazoo, Michigan, serial # 27101, natural top, cherry stained back and sides finish, birch body, spruce top, mahogany neck with ebony fingerboard, original black hard shell case.

This is a very nicely preserved example of the typical early-1910s Gibson Style A-, having seen some use through its 100+ years on Earth but still with a lot of life left in it! This one was built just at the turn of 1914-15, with the factory order number indicating the earlier year and the serial number the latter. It shows typical period features including a nicely aged "pumpkin" natural finish top, solid carved ebony compensated bridge with individual saddle inserts, raised pickguard, and Gibson engraved tailpiece cover.

This is the basic A- model, with all the sound of "the Gibson" (as it was advertised at the time) but only a single half-herringbone sound hole ring in the way of decoration. There is no Gibson logo on the peghead; at the time you had to buy the next model up the line to get that feature! This mandolin is in excellent playing condition and ready for another century of use, an enduring testament to the quality of work of the original Gibson factory.
 
Overall length is 26 1/2 in. (67.3 cm.), 10 1/16 in. (25.6 cm.) across at the widest point, 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 is a very good playing and sounding mandolin that has seen some play time over the last 100+ years but remains in beautifully original unaltered condition. There is some typical finish wear to the wood on the back of the neck, but it remains mostly intact. The varnish finish on the top has an amber patina with very fine checking and some small dings and dents, with a some marks around the bridge. The varnish is similarly checked and worn on the back and sides. The headstock face has some wear to the varnish mostly on the top edge. A more recent endpin is the only non-original part.

All other hardware remains original and complete. The tailpiece cover has some minor plating loss just along the back edge. There are no cracks, even the back/side seams have never required resealing (a typical malady for these). The original frets are still intact with some wear in the lower positions, but not affecting playability. The mandolin is set up with a fairly low action; it plays well with a sweet, ringing tone. This is a lovely and very playable example of the classic 'teens Gibson mandolin, complete in its extremely well-preserved OHSC. Overall Excellent Condition.