Gibson Style A-1 Carved Top Mandolin (1916)

Gibson  Style A-1 Carved Top Mandolin  (1916)
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$1,800.00 + shipping
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Item # 8576
Prices subject to change without notice.
Gibson Style A-1 Model Carved Top Mandolin (1916), made in Kalamazoo, Michigan, serial # 33744, 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 nice example of the mid-'teens Gibson Style A-1, now over 100 years old but still with a lot of life to it! Typical period features include a nicely ambered natural finish top, raised tortoise celluloid pickguard, early style "reverse" mounted Waverly tuners, "The Gibson" engraved tailpiece cover, and the carved one-piece ebony compensated bridge.

The A-1 model was a slight step up from the plainer "A" with just a touch more in the way of decoration: a pearl "The Gibson" logo on the headstock and two half-herringbone sound hole rings. This makes the A-1 a bit more elegant visually but has no effect the sound, which remains excellent as ever, fairly bright for a 'teens "A" with a nice woody ring. Ready for another century, this old "Pumpkin top" remains an enduring testament to the exceptional 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.).

Overall this 100+ year old mandolin remains relatively clean and all original. The very thin varnish finish shows small dings and scuffing overall, most notably to the back. The spine of the neck has wear down to the wood. There are no cracks or repairs; even the often sprung back seams show no signs of having ever opened up. The frets show a bit of wear, but the neck is nice and straight and playability is excellent. The only oddity is someone drilled a small hole through each of the three scroll tips on the tailpiece cover, for reasons lost to history. Other than that, this is an unaltered and lovely original Gibson mandolin complete in its also well-preserved original HSC. Excellent Condition.