I must admit, I really never seem to lose the collecting “bug”, especially when it comes to guitars! I wanted to share with you this incredible Gibson find, that has to be a “one of a kind!”
Several years ago, I came across this guitar quite unexpectedly, and when I wasn’t really looking for an old Gibson archtop guitar at all! I noticed that it had a headstock I had never, ever seen before on a Gibson, except on a Gibson banjo! Someone told me this inlay and headstock is based on the Gibson “Bella Voce” style, which was used on banjos only. The inlay is incredible, and it all has the same “weight” of the Gibson logo, so sometimes, the logo seems to get “lost” in it all! The inlays on the neck, those double triangles, reflect the mid-thirties era inlays you’d see on Roy Smeck models as well as being similar to the renowned “Advanced Jumbo” style inlay.
The body, I am told, resembles that of an L-7 model of the same era, and I would place it somewhere in the mid-thirties, like 1934. I apologize for the not very good quality of the pics, since I had to use a webcam to take the shots, but you can get an idea.
I’m very excited to know any more info about this wonderful Gibson, so if anyone out there reading this blog can help me know more, please write a comment or drop me a line. It’s truly a great feeling when you can find something this rare, and I must tell you, it sounds and plays like a dream!
It also possesses that great Big Band “chunk, chunk” kind of nice and even “comping” tone, yet really sings when it’s time for some single note playing. It also has some unique, and original multi-colored tuning buttons that are also something I’ve never seen before. It’s my guess that this was a custom-ordered instrument, and Gibson made this person exactly what he or she wanted way back when! A real testament to quality, workmanship and originality!