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1916 Gibson Model 'A' Mandolin

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Serial #: 33830, white oval Gibson Mandolin-Guitar Co. label FON: 3381

Body width: 10" Scale length: 13 3/4" Nut width: 1 1/8"

Materials: Solid bookmatched hand graduated spruce top; hand carved bookmatched birch back and sides; 3 piece mahogany neck; solid ebony fingerboard; grained ivoroid binding.

Hardware: Original hardware includes nickel open backed gear-over-worm tuners with grained ivoroid keys, adjustable compensated ebony bridge. Engraved nickel Gibson script tailpiece with 'pineapple' cover.

Notes: The Gibson 'A' Model was introduced in 1902, with its gently arched body a significant improvement in both tone and comfort over the traditional lute backed Neapolitan mandolin. As the soprano voice in the mandolin orchestras of the day, Gibson's mandolins quickly became the instruments of choice for professional and casual players alike. One of the firm's most popular models, the Style A remained in the Gibson catalog until 1933.

All carved from solid tonewoods, the instrument features a fine grained spruce soundboard, slab-cut birch body, and a three piece Honduran mahogany neck, with an ebony fingerboard. Simple and elegant in design, the A Model is appointed with grained ivoroid binding and tuner keys, a checkerboard soundhole ring, and a compensated solid ebony bridge. The signature pumpkin finish was hand rubbed in violin style varnish, a color that was changed to a dark brown by 1918, and sprayed in lacquer by 1925.

Weighing in at a sprightly 1lb 10oz, this featherweight example is brightly resonant and effortless to hold. Interestingly, the 'pineapple' design tailpiece cover is from the earlier Orville Gibson era, and quite a rarity in itself. Maintained in remarkably fine condition, the instrument shows all original finish, tuners and bridge, as well as it's original fitted hardshell case.

The traditional V profile neck offers smooth low action over it's straight ebony fingerboard, with fine original frets, and a fresh high precision setup. The body is notably free of pick or buckle wear, and apart from an older, soundly resealed hairline crack at the heel, shows no other repairs or restoration. The voice is brilliant and clear, with excellent detail and projection.

A handsome example, from the era when the mandolin was first in the Gibson catalog, and on the label itself. One only: call now.

Special Offer! This instrument is also offered as a set with matching 1914 Gibson H -1 Mandola, and 1912 Gibson K-1 Mandocello. Discount price for the full set is $7495, subject to sales of individual pieces.

















































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