Museum: Gibson Guitars

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1914 Gibson A-4

Serial # 25364, FON 2652. Celebrating 100 years is something of a milestone for most anyone or any thing, and this Gibson marks its first century with a voice that's more open, sensitive, and rich than most other A-style mandolins we've encountered. It's a particularly warm, resonant and deep instrument, with wide open basses and round trebles. To say that it sounds good is gloriously understated.

The instrument plays beautifully thanks to a fairly recent and very well done refret. The fingerboard has been radiused ever so slightly as well, which really adds a level of comfort to the playing experience. Top arch is excellent, original Handel tuners work perfectly, and all original hardware is intact.

The mandolin has seen a few minor repairs through the years; there are back/side seam separations and reglued binding in a few areas, the bridge has been shimmed, and there are very well hidden French polish finish touch-ups along those reglued binding edges. No cracks in the back and sides, and the top has only one " long tight and well-glued hairline just to the bass side of the bridge. Neck finish is well worn, and the body has a nicely developed attractive patina. Finish is largely original, and shows lots of the exceptionally fine sideways craze-lines typical of old thin French polish.

A beautiful A-4, with just the right amount of wear to look right, and all the tone one could hope for in a vintage Gibson A.

With original hardshell case

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