Museum: Gibson Guitars

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1940 Recording King Carson Robison

No FON. The Recording King Carson Robison Model 1052 has the distinction of being the only pre-war Gibson flat-top built with the 16" small jumbo shape made famous by the post-war J-185. The 16" body wasn't at all uncommon in the 1930's; in fact, quite the opposite, as all of Gibson's 16" archtops were built in this shape. However, before WWII, flat-top guitars of this size were far from the norm. This example, date-stamped July 1940, features a 3-1/4"deep non-tapering body with ladder-braced solid spruce top and solid mahogany back and sides. The neck is carved from bookmatched curly maple in the typical late 30's V shape. Bound top and soundhole, unbound back, firestripe pickguard, full-height lacquered bridge. Kluson 3 on a plate tuners, stenciled headstock graphics. Completely original but for new Henkes and Blazer bridgepins, and beautifully set-up by our shop. Top and sides are crack-free, back has a number of short cracks that have all been previously repaired. Perfect neck angle, full height original saddle, original frets show very little wear and lie true. The finish shows its age, and that the guitar clearly never saw the inside of a case. It looks great!

A difficult guitar tone to describe, the guitar is actually most reminiscent of a three-tone bar J-35, but with less complexity and bass response. The combination of the non-tapering jumbo body, ladder bracing, and 1930's construction makes for a truly unique sound, with a real punchy bass response full, round mids, and particularly sweet trebles. It's a wonderful fingerstyle blues guitar thanks to its rawness and power, and has a particularly even string-to-string balance.

A rare and interesting guitar, and a real fine player.

With hardshell case

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