Gibson Style A Carved Top Mandolin (1922)

Gibson  Style A Carved Top Mandolin  (1922)
$2,450.00 + shipping
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Item # 11170
Prices subject to change without notice.
Gibson Style A Model Carved Top Mandolin (1922), made in Kalamazoo, Michigan, serial # 67097, Sheraton brown top, dark stained back and sides finish, birch body, spruce top, mahogany neck with ebony fingerboard, black tolex hard shell case.

This is a very fine just 100+ year old example of the "early Loar era" Gibson Style A Mandolin, still in excellent original condition a century on. This one was made in mid/late 1921, and shipped out early in 1922. The typical period features include the dark but very thin "Sheraton Brown" varnish finish top, a raised celluloid pickguard and the standard Gibson-engraved tailpiece. The most interesting piece of hardware is the very first version of Gibson's new adjustable bridge with the short-lived aluminum saddle. The top is spruce with a lovely straight even grain, the back and sides birch and the neck Honduras mahogany with a heavy ebony fingerboard.

The Style A was the company's base-line carved-top mandolin, still with all the sound quality of "the Gibson" (as it was advertised at the time) without much in the way of decoration beyond a bound top and 3-ply soundhole ring. The "browntop" mandolins of the late 'teens and early 1920's may not be the prettiest of the old "paddlehead" Gibsons but they are often the best sounding. This one is an excellent centennial survivor, a very playable mandolin with a very low, comfortable action and powerful, ringing tone with more sustain than most, likely courtesy of the solid aluminum saddle. It remains 100 years on an enduring testament to the exceptional work of the original Kalamazoo, Michigan Gibson factory.
Overall length is 26 1/2 in. (67.3 cm.), 10 1/16 in. (25.6 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 shows some general wear and finish checking (it is 100 years old, after all!) but remains clean for its age, all original and an excellent players instrument. The finish has a some dents, dings and scratches mostly to the top, where there are some scars around the bridge base where it looks like perhaps it was once stored with the bridge laying flat. There are no areas of loss down to the wood except spots on either side of the nut on the back of the neck.

All the seams are solid and there are no cracks or repairs visible. The original thin varnish has not been overfinished and all hardware remain original and complete including the tuners, tailpiece with engraved cover, the oft-missing elevated pickguard and that rare first-generation adjustable bridge. The original frets have some minor wear but are still quite playable and this is a very nice playing and sounding mandolin, a lovely centennial survivor. Overall Excellent Condition.