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United Kingdom

Details about  Gibson Acoustic Guitar - Vintage: c.1940s - Original Case - Superb Instrument

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Gibson Acoustic Guitar - Vintage: c.1940s - Original Case - Superb Instrument
Item Ended
Item condition:
01 Dec, 2011 18:05:09 GMT
Winning bid:
11 bids ]
May not post to United States - Read item description or contact seller for postage options. | See details
Item location:
Shortlands, Bromley, Kent, United Kingdom


eBay item number:
Seller assumes all responsibility for this listing.
Last updated on  30 Nov, 2011 10:21:38 GMT  View all revisions

Item specifics

Condition: Used Type: Acoustic Guitar
Brand: Gibson Sub-Type: Steel-string Guitar
Right-/ Left-Handed: Right-Handed Size: Full Size - but neat
No. of Strings: 6 string


- circa 1940s -


This is a truly beautiful guitar in both form, shape and tone. A six steel stringed acoustic, it is a magnificent example from Gibson's, Kalamazoo stable in the 1930s or - probably - 1940s. Despite several attempts, and advice from a musician and trader, we have been unable to define precisely the guitar's provenance in terms of manufacture and sale. This is because we cannot trace an exact duplicate. However this is what we do know:

It was gifted to a member of our family in the early 1970s by a professional musician who rarely if ever used it. I believe it was a back-up instrument. Guitar was not his major instrument. It had been purchased by him - new - sometime in the 1940s and looked exactly the same - both guitar and case - when we were given it. Even the strings on it were the originals. We can see no reference or other number. It is Gibson Kalamazoo, as stated, and purchased new - probably in the UK - by a professional musician. There is no "Gibson" logo written on it, but it has the classic Gibson inlay on the head. It has "Made in the U.S.A." imprinted on the back  of the head and: "Made in the USA by Gibson of Kalamazoo, Mich." - on the original label on the inside beneath the sound hole. It is made of high quality wood - our advisors say: mahogany, spruce and rosewood - and with mother-of-pearl dots on the fretboard.

It has been well-used over the years and both guitar and case show some cosmetic signs of this...

Case. The outside of the case is marked pretty widely, but the inside is fine. The locks clip closed.

Guitar. The guitar has superficial, cosmetic scratches. (NB the shiny/white areas in the photographs are due to light reflection.)  These could be removed by someone with the appropriate know-how. We have kept it polished and the only changes ever made to it have been new strings and one new string-peg. It is relatively small and neat for a full-size guitar. It measures: 40 inches long; 14.5 inches at the widest part of the face, and is four inches deep.

It is steel-strung and has a truly beautiful tone. Our family guitarist has had many guitars over the years and insists this is the best acoustic he's ever played in terms of sound reproduction and tone. We have been advised that it is probably an "L-series" from the 1930s-1940s. Our best guess is early to mid 1940s. Needless to say, this is one for the accomplished, gifted or precocious guitarist. Not the novice.

CONDITION: In USED condition as described above. The few cosmetic blemishes on the guitar are superficial and I have tried to show these in the photographs as accurately as possible. The case is fine inside, but well-marked on the outside. Some might want to replace it. The purist would probably keep it. As it is, it is perfectly functional with the locks clipping and probably in working order though without a key. 

PRICING: It is not easy to find a Starting Price for this item. As indicated, we cannot find an exact duplicate Gibson guitar in the online catalogues we've browsed, nor have two advisors we've asked to assist in tracking one down. They both reckoned "...probably four figures." Similar guitars are priced between £1500-£3000+. Accordingly we have elected to put this up for auction at a nominal Starting Price of £99.00 and will let the market dictate the final price.

PAYMENT - PayPal and we appreciate immediate payment on purchase. With this item we will also accept a Personal Cheque and will despatch when this clears.

POSTAGE -UK The postage/shipping for THE GUITAR will include insurance for loss or damage in transit. For UK buyers this will be charged at £25.00.

If wanted with the guitar, THE CASE will be sent uninsured at a nominal charge of £25 at most. Any significant difference - a couple of pounds or more - will be refunded.

We don't normally offer Local Pick Up from here, but in this instance that would be fine after purchase and payment for UK buyers who want The Guitar and the Case. Please don't call and ask for a trial before purchase. We have described it comprehensively here.

RETURNS: For practical purposes we cite a No Returns policy. In practice, if you have any problems get in touch and we will assist as best we can. As predominately customers ourselves we know what's expected.

In general, postage will be adjusted for more than one item. Hence if you purchase multiple items please email for appropriate postage before payment. If a specific category of postage is required please indicate this before payment. Otherwise that given in the listing will be used. All items will be well-packed and posted in good time and in the described condition. Where possible, an email will be sent to advise you when your goods have been posted.  Please Note: We normally cite "no returns" as policy with items we sell. However, to date, there has been no issue that I have been unable to resolve to the complete satisfaction of the purchaser. Please leave FEEDBACK when your goods arrive; it will be reciprocated when yours appears. Any problems… get in touch by email and we’ll sort things out. Many thanks for looking at this listing. And all best wishes.


On 22-Nov-11 at 14:14:24 GMT, seller added the following information:


We have received quite a lot of comment from people interested in this item. Some from people who are not bidding but just admire the instrument.  So we would like to thank everyone for their input with a special thanks to 'Richard' for giving us technical details we knew absoluteley nothing about. We really do appreciate this. It seems arechetypal Ebay.

It would appear that the guitar is an L Series - probably an L00 from WW2 or just after: mid-to-late 1940s The wood bracing, we can see and feel inside, appears to be in perfect condition and is bone-dry, solid off-white. There are two V-shaped braces directly under the soundhole that run almost halfway to its diametric centre, without meeting. We are told it is therefore almost certainly an X-braced guitar. The action across the whole of the fretboard is excellent - including the 12th and higher frets. Bass and treble appear to give perfect notes and tones. (Apparently these facts appear to be important to the specialist.) The bridge is rigid, firm and absolutely solid (again, apparently important with these.) The only imperfections on the guitar, are some surface scrapes as described in the listing. To repeat, these are purely superficial and we're certain a bit of technical know-how with wood-polishing would correct them. Photo #10 shows the worst of them. (For the non-specialist, and a cheaper instrument, these are scrapes that a coat of wood stain would cover.) There is no evident distortion of any type on the instrument. (Again, apparently this can happen with other versions.) One obvious point that eluded us... The case itself shows the quality of the instrument. Cheaper versions obviously came in cheaper cases... Finally, if we can see any aspects that different photographs would capture we will post them. But what is shown is probably comprehensive, short of somehow capturing an image of the inside.

Again, many thanks indeed for all the feedback.

On 23-Nov-11 at 21:12:53 GMT, seller added the following information:

Over the past few days we've had a lot of interest in this from the UK and overseas. We've also had several good offers on a Buy-it-Now basis. We'd like to stress that, as we put it up for auction, we will keep it that way. The auction will run to completion. This is driven by ethos, not financial interest. As far as international bids are concerned, we made this item UK only because of the danger of damage in transit abroad. We are not professionals in such matters and have suggested that, if someone who lives abroad wants to become involved, they should do so through a friend, family member or whatever in the UK, who would then arrange shipping accordingly. I hope this is clear and fair to all. Thanks again for the interest and comments.

On 25-Nov-11 at 19:13:55 GMT, seller added the following information:

We'd like to add the Following:

WEIGHT: The weight of the guitar is approximately 1.4 Kilos.

PAYMENT: Immediate Payment via PayPal is our Normal Method. (We will accept cheques for this item, given its nature. However, it will not be sent, or be available for collection until funds have totally cleared.)

On 30-Nov-11 at 10:21:38 GMT, seller added the following information:


As questions and comments continue to come in on this item, I append some more information that may be relevant.

We don't know the original price of the guitar and, as it was given to our family as a gift, obviou;sy we didn't ask... Also, the Nut is about 4.75 centimetres - as measured as close to it (allowing for the strings) as we can, with a measuring tape. There is no logo on it, as indicated, and we simply don't know why. There's no sign of the logo having been removed or covered with polish or whatever. Also it was almost certainly absent  when the previous owner purchased it new. We've had the following suggestions about this  1. As the previous owner was a professional, he may have had it removed for professional/copyright/ advertising reasons (probably unlikely in the 1940s.)  2. More likely, as several people have indicated  this was probably an export model - coming to the UK (possibly European) market in the mid-to-late forties. It's likely that such export items had no logo, distinguishing them from North American sold models. That's the best we can do on this one.

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