Gibson Style A Carved Top Mandolin (1921)

Gibson  Style A Carved Top Mandolin  (1921)
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Item # 9804
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Gibson Style A Model Carved Top Mandolin (1921), made in Kalamazoo, Michigan, serial # 66386, Sheraton brown top, dark stained back and sides finish, birch body, spruce top, mahogany neck with ebony fingerboard, original black hard shell case.

This is a lovely exactly 100 year old example of the "just pre-Loar" Gibson Style A Mandolin, still in very nice original condition with a lot of life left in it a century on. Typical period features include the dark "Sheraton Brown" finish top, raised celluloid pickguard with a transitional bracket and the solid carved ebony compensated bridge without individual saddle inserts. This is the most basic A model, still with all the sound quality of "the Gibson" (as it was advertised at the time) without much in the way of decoration. The "browntop" mandolins of the 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, this rich sounding and very playable mandolin that remains an enduring testament to the 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 finish checking and general wear overall (it is 100 years old, after all!) but remains all original and an excellent instrument. The finish has small dents, dings and spotting here the there, but no large areas of loss except it is down to the wood on the back of the neck. All the seams are solid and the only crack is a very old repaired grain split on the lower back. The varnish finish and all hardware remain original including the tuners, tailpiece with engraved cover and even the oft-missing elevated pickguard. The original frets have some minor wear but are still quite playable and this is a very nice sounding mandolin, complete in the original shaped HSC. Excellent - Condition.