Museum: Gibson Guitars

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1933 Gibson L-Century

FON 741. A first-year issue L-C, with simply breathtaking looks, astounding tone, and perfect playability.

The Century of Progress models were unveiled by Gibson at Chicago's 1933 World's Fair -- The Century of Progress International Exposition -- which celebrated that city's 100th anniversary. Pearloid, and all celluloid products, were still quite new and exciting at that time, and Gibson designed the Century models to showcase their use of the plastic. The fingerboard, headstock, bindings, tuner buttons, pickguard, and bridgepins are all made of Celluloid of one pattern or another. So, to love this guitar, you need to love Celluloid first... like us here at Folkway!

Apart from the obvious, the guitar features back and sides of figured maple and a spruce top. The lacquer finish is exquisitely sunbursted on all sides, and has developed a uniform and gracefully crazed patina. It's truly among the most attractive Gibson sunbursts we've ever cast our gaze on; and the dark edges of the finish are just so perfectly contrasted to the aged white of the celluloid bindings and pearloid fingerboard.

The instrument is in quite lovely condition. There are cleanly repaired top cracks along the fingerboard's extension, and a reglued top center seam, but no other issues. The neck has been reset twice, and most recently by our shop, and the frets, saddle, and bridge pins are care of us as well. Original tuners, nut, finish, bridge, and endpin. An extra 'popsicle' brace was previously added to the top under the fingerboard extension to reinforce the area. The bridge and bridge plate are unmodified and in perfect condition, and all the braces are well glued.

The guitar is immensely present, bold and open, resonant, and warm. It has a sustain unrivaled by any Mahogany L-00 we've played, and an inspiring purity of tone. Thankfully, the L-C's set up will allow you to take full advantage of the guitar's incredible voice.

Rounded V neck profile, 1-3/4" nut, 24.8" scale. Full height saddle, action of 5-6 64ths, currently set up with light gauge strings.

With original hardshell case.

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