Gibson Style A Carved Top Mandolin (1910)

Gibson  Style A Carved Top Mandolin  (1910)
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$1,950.00 + shipping
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Item # 9378
Prices subject to change without notice.
Gibson Style A Model Carved Top Mandolin (1910), made in Kalamazoo, Michigan, serial # 9863, natural top, cherry stained back and sides finish, Spruce top, birch back and sides, mahogany neck, ebony fingerboard, original black chipboard case.

The Style A was Gibson's lowest priced mandolin for much of the company's early history. This example is a VERY early example of a "modern" Style A dating to 1910 when Gibson was just becoming THE major force in the mandolin market. By this point the instrument has a higher bridge and sharper neck angle than earlier versions, a major technical improvement. Just at the time this instrument was built the classic Gibson sound had been fully developed, offering more power and definition compared to mandolins from just a year or two earlier. It also features with the then-new elevated pickguard, originally secured with an old-style violin chinrest clamp.

Distinguishing Style A features include a natural "Pumpkin" ambered spruce top finish, plain ivoroid tuner buttons and no "The Gibson" logo on the headstock. This example has a four-digit serial number on the early "Orville" label, which pictures the inventor peering out through the soundhole holding his signature lyre-mandolin. This eccentric piece of are disappeared soon after this instrument was made, replaced by a plainer white "Guarantee" label. The instrument retains the older "Pineapple" tailpiece cover that was also soon to be replaced with the more familiar 1910's version. This mandolin is in superb condition especially for being such an early model and is simply a lovely sounding playable piece of art nouveau as well as a fine practical instrument.
 
Overall length is 25 1/2 in. (64.8 cm.), 10 in. (25.4 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 5/16 in. (33 mm.).

This mandolin is exceptionally clean for being -- wait for it -- 110 years old! The very thin varnish finish shows some checking but still shines like when William Howard Taft was in the white house, as does the plating on the tailpiece. There are some small dings, dents and chips and the headstock veneer shows many tiny checks but no larger splits. All hardware is original and appears unaltered except the bridge top looks to have been lowered slightly. There are no cracks or other visible repairs. The frets are quite well preserved and this mandolin plays very well and sounds great, surprisingly powerful and brighter than many 'teens A's we have had with plenty of volume. The original chipboard case has also miraculously survived in excellent shape; this instrument actually pre-dates common use of the familiar 1910's hardshell Gibson cases. Excellent Condition.