Gibson L-5N Arch Top Acoustic Guitar (1940)

Gibson  L-5N Arch Top Acoustic Guitar  (1940)

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Item # 8269
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Gibson L-5N Model Arch Top Acoustic Guitar (1940), made in Kalamazoo, Michigan, serial # 96202, natural lacquer finish, flame maple back, sides and neck, spruce top, ebony fingerboard, black hard shell case.

This lovely pre-WWII Gibson is one of only a relative handful of blonde L-5s shipped out before WWII, and despite some visible signs of use, remains nicely original and well-preserved. In 1940 the natural finish was one of Gibson's big new ideas, and it was heavily promoted at the time. While official shipping totals show the blonde L-5's listed in 1941 only, some 1940 years models have surfaced, including this one that bears a FON (Factory Order Number) of 684F-4.

More of the also-new cutaway L-5's were issued in this finish than the "standard" non-cut model, making this natural non-cutaway model the rarest pre-war L-5 variant. As the factory order number and serial number both date to early 1940, this is likely one of the very first blonde L-5s ever made.

The headstock is multi-bound and features the prewar script logo above the traditional L-5 "Flowerpot" inlay. The tuners are gold-plated Kluson Sealfasts with translucent celluloid "keystone" buttons, a feature just introduced in 1940. The multi-bound, pearl-block inlaid fingerboard is high-grade ebony. The multi-bound top features a natural finish that has aged nicely to a lovely amber hue.

In this period the L-5 was second to the 18" Super 400 in Gibson's line, but many players preferred the 17" body and it was always a top professional choice. This is a splendid example of a high-deco swing-era blonde L-5, simply as classy as it gets. This is also an excellent-playing and sounding guitar, with a big incisive tone that rings for days yet never sounds shrill.
 
Overall length is 41 3/4 in. (106 cm.), 17 in. (43.2 cm.) wide at lower bout, and 3 7/16 in. (8.7 cm.) in depth at side, taken at the end block. Scale length is 25 1/2 in. (648 mm.). Width of nut is 1 11/16 in. (43 mm.). This guitar has seen some wear and repair but remains a nicely original example of this rare beauty. Excellent - Condition.