Gibson A-4 Carved Top Mandolin (1913)

Gibson  A-4 Carved Top Mandolin  (1913)

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$2,400.00 + shipping
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Item # 7866
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Gibson A-4 Model Carved Top Mandolin (1913), made in Kalamazoo, serial # 20788, black top, natural back and sides finish, birch back and sides, spruce top, mahogany neck, original black hard shell case.

The Model A-4 was Gibson's highest priced "A"-style oval-bodied mandolin for much of the company's early history. This example is fairly early, dating to 1913 when Gibson was just becoming the major force in the mandolin market. By this point, the Gibson mandolins had been given the "modern" sharper neck angle, and the sound is fully developed compared to instruments from a few years or earlier.

This period's A-4 features include a black top finish, elevated pickguard, pearl and wire inlaid grained ivoroid tuner buttons, and a pearl fleur-de-lis and Gibson logo on the headstock. A lovely-sounding playable piece of Art Nouveau, and another example of the instruments with which Gibson first conquered the fretted world.
 
Overall length is 25 1/2 in. (64.8 cm.), 10 1/16 in. (25.6 cm.) across at the widest point, and 1 13/16 in. (4.6 cm.) in depth, measured at side of rim. Scale length is 14 in. (356 mm.).

This is a very good-playing old A-4; recently refretted with period correct wire but with no other major repairs or alterations. The original varnish finish shows scuffs and dings, most notably on the back. The sharp "V" seam on the back of the neck has been rounded down just a tiny bit just over the center laminate on the spine, with no finish added. There is a scratch on the back of the headstock in the center that looks in pictures like a crack, but no…it's only a scratch!

All hardware is original and intact, including the oft-missing pickguard and clamp. The bridge saddle unit has been lowered and recut just a bit. This is a nice player's A-4; it sings with a warmer, richer sound than many and has a nice, woody overtone. Ready to gig, complete in its original HSC, itself in surprisingly good condition for 100+ years on. Excellent - Condition.