Gibson L-10 Arch Top Acoustic Guitar (1934)

Gibson  L-10 Arch Top Acoustic Guitar  (1934)

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Item # 7947
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Gibson L-10 Model Arch Top Acoustic Guitar (1934), made in Kalamazoo, Michigan, serial # 90575, black lacquer finish, maple back and sides, spruce top; mahogany neck with rosewood fingerboard, original black hard shell case.

This beautiful "tuxedo" finish Gibson L-10 dates to the early 1930's, a transitional time for company's arch top instruments. The Kalamazoo firm was engaged in building up an arch-top line to compete with New York's Epiphone company. In 1931 the L-10 was the next F-hole model introduced down from the L-5, originally basically a plain Jane version of that fancy top pro guitar. By 1934 it had become a more distinctive model in its own right, thanks to the elaborate "picture box" inlay added to the fingerboard. The L-10 only existed in this striking ebony-finished but fancier form for about two years, so this is a very rare instrument.

This 1934 L-10 is a 16" wide archtop with a fully carved top and back, single bound, with a pearl Gibson logo and "Vase' inlay on the bound headstock face. The neck is mahogany with a bound and delicately inlaid rosewood fingerboard. At this time the guitar retailed for $150 (plus case) which was still a considerable sum during the depression. "For orchestra playing" the 1934 Gibson catalog stated, and like its sister models the L-10 and L-7 this guitar was aimed at guitarists working in dance bands and the growing legion of swing orchestras and smaller combos. With enough "cut" to be heard in such a situation, this is a very good sounding and playing guitar, with a lot of punch but still a well-modulated tone.

We currently also have a matching F-10 Mandolin, and the pair would make for an amazing and exceptionally rare set!
 
Overall length is 40 3/4 in. (103.5 cm.), 16 1/16 in. (40.8 cm.) wide at lower bout, and 3 1/4 in. (8.3 cm.) in depth at side, taken at the end block. Scale length is 24 3/4 in. (629 mm.). Width of nut is 1 3/4 in. (44 mm.). This guitar is an excellent player, thanks to a recent neck reset and refret with period style wire. The original bridge had been cut down somewhat to compensate for the low neck angle and has been restored to its full height. The guitar is otherwise original except for a repro pickguard mounted on the original bracket and a somewhat later (probably 1950's) set of the otherwise correct Grover openback tuners.

The gleaming black finish shows some wear with small areas of touch-up (nothing too serious) mostly to the top. There is ne long scratch down the back near the center and some areas rubbed away on the back of the neck. The instrument has a very big sound, barkier than some earlier 16" Gibsons but with a lot of depth. A early Swing era gem, complete in its original HSC. Excellent - Condition.