1908 Gibson L-1
I just picked this guitar up from my friend Neil Harpe. Neil is an expert in the field of vintage acoustic guitars and when he contacted me about swapping his 1908 Gibson for my '61 Gibson B-45, I couldn't resist.
Neil is also an extremely talented fine artist, and plays some pretty mean traditional country blues guitar as well.
Here is what Neil told me about this guitar:
"1908 was the first year the L-1 was equipped with a solid headstock. The previous L-1's had slotted headstocks. About a year later, Gibson introduced the tailpiece and IMHO, thus ended the era of excellent sounding L-1 arch-tops. This guitar's ebony bridge and fretboard are replacements. The rest of the guitar is pretty much stock, including the reverse gear tuners. The case is a genuine L-1 arch-top case, but was acquired separately from this instrument, so not technically original to the guitar. But most assuredly period correct. Also in remarkable condition! It never had a finger-rest as far as I can tell. The very lightly braced top accounts for the BIG sound this little guitar produced. The body shape and size was used up until about 1929. In fact, it is the same body shape as my 1927 Nick Lucas. Incidentally, I think the L-1 sounds as good, maybe a tad better than my Nick Lucas! The gold-leaf headstock logo is one I have never seen on another Gibson guitar and is particularly beautiful. The paper label inside is itself a rarity seldom seen!"
The heel of the guitar was cracked but has been expertly repaired and is completely stable.