Gibson Style A- Carved Top Mandolin (1912)

Gibson  Style A- Carved Top Mandolin  (1912)
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Item # 11424
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Gibson Style A- Model Carved Top Mandolin (1912), made in Kalamazoo, Michigan, serial # 17419, natural top, cherry stained back and sides finish, birch body, spruce top, mahogany neck with ebony fingerboard, black hard shell case.

This is a decently well preserved and foine playing 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 in 1912, with both the factory order number and the serial number agreeing on the year. It shows typical period features including a nicely aged "pumpkin" natural finish top, plain strip Handel tuners 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 has had a couple of hardware substitutions but remains 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 mandolin has seen some play time and hardware loss over the last 110+ years but remains a fine playing instrument. There is only fairly minor finish wear with checking (mostly on the top and headstock face) and some deeper scratching to the back. The varnish finish on the top has an amber patina with some small dings and dents, but none of the pick wear often found. The varnish on the back and sides appears to have been lightly polished out long ago, probably when some seams were resealed as is very common on these. The back of the neck is only lightly worn.

The hardware is a mix of old and newer; the tuners, tailpiece and cover are original, the bridge is a modern adjustable ebony piece and the pickguard is long gone. There are no cracks, just a few old solid seam repairs. The fingerboard has been expertly trued and refretted with authentic style wire and the mandolin plays well with a sweet, ringing tone. This is a very playable example of the classic 'teens Gibson mandolin, in a modern HSC. Overall Excellent - Condition.