Gibson Style A-3 Carved Top Mandolin (1920)
Gibson Style A-3 Model Carved Top Mandolin (1920), made in Kalamazoo, Michigan, serial # 11316 (FON), white lacquer top, dark stained back and sides finish, birch back and sides, spruce top; mahogany neck with ebony fingerboard, original black hard shell case. Item # 7601
This is a very well-loved example of one of the Gibson Company's most attractive mandolins, the Ivory-topped Style A-3. Gibson made many variations in the top color on their mandolin line in the teens and twenties, at various times offering black, brown, orange and red sunburst on different models. The striking "Antique Ivory" finish on this instrument was unique to the A-3, and only available on this model between 1918 and 1922. The serial number in this one has faded into obscurity, but the factory order number on the heelblock dates it to 1920. The top is double bound with a wide ivoroid soundhole ring encircled by three-ply wood on either side, the pickguard is grained ivoroid as is the bracket anchor-a piece specific to this model. The back and fingerboard are single bound, the peghead has a particularly "nouveau" THE GIBSON script logo and inlayed vine pattern. Overall a fine sounding example of this striking and singular Gibson mandolin.
Overall length is 25 3/4 in. (65.4 cm.), 10 1/4 in. (26 cm.) width, and 1 13/16 in. (4.6 cm.) in depth, measured at side of rim. Scale length is 14 in. (356 mm.). Width of nut is 1 1/4 in. (32 mm.). This mandolin shows a lot of use, but remains an excellent sounding instrument. There is general finish wear overall, with most of the varnish gone from the back of the neck up well into the heel area. There is also wear to the top, back and lower side commensurate with a lot of play time. Unsurprisingly it has been refretted (the frets are in very good shape) and shows some typical old seam repairs. The instrument is very solid and all the hardware is original except the tuners which are the new high quality original Waverly-style replacements, and possible the adjustable bridge which is a period Gibson piece but likely from a few years later. Whoever owned this mandolin got a LOT of use out of it, perhaps one reason it sounds as good as it does today, with a very powerful ringing tone. Ready to gig again, with a worn but still serviceable OHSC. Very Good + Condition.
Prices subject to change without notice.
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