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1936 Gibson L-12

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Serial #: 93929 white oval label.

Body size at lower bout: 17". Scale length: 24.9" Nut Width: 1 11/16"

Materials: Handcarved bookmatched solid spruce top; solid maple neck, solid bubble maple back, solid maple sides, Brazilian rosewood fingerboard; art-deco peghead mother of pearl inlay and double parallelogram fingerboard inlay; bound fingerboard, peghead and body; original bone nut.

Hardware: 100% original hardware includes gold art deco trapeze tailpiece with raised parallelogram crossbar; gold Grover butterbean tuners; triple bound tortoise pickguard, compensated adjustable rosewood bridge.

Notes: Introduced in 1930, the Gibson L-12 was an upmarket addition to the company's newly expanding archtop line. Originally a 16" guitar with ornate "picture frame" fingerboard inlays, the body was upsized to 17" in 1934. Designated an "advanced model", this larger L-12 differed from the L-5 only in cosmetic details. Like the L-5, the L-12 had all gold hardware, a figured maple neck, and sunburst back as well as top. Visually, the Gibson L-12 was distinguished by its pronounced art deco design, from it's split-cross peghead inlay to it's unique double parallelogram trapeze tailpiece. This model also was the first to display the double parallelogram fingerboard inlay, later to become Gibson's most iconic fretboard design.

Much rarer than either the L-5 or the L-7, the L-12 remains the most thoroughgoing example of art deco design on a Gibson instrument. Most significantly however, between 1934 and 1939 the 17" pro-sized Gibsons were carved with X-braced soundboards. This style of bracing produces a tone which is typically warm and open, with significantly more bass response and sustain than parallel braced bodies. Quickly adopted by D'Angelico, the X-brace body became standard for D'Aquisto, Benedetto and most contemporary fine archtop builders.

This gleaming guitar has 100% original hardware and finish, is free of cracks, and has been kept in the family of the original owner for generations. The back is highlighted by rare deep bubble maple, and the body is virtually free of pick, buckle and fingerboard wear, showing only a bit of thumb and knee wear in the handsome Cremona sunburst finish. The 100% original gold hardware is in excellent condition, with an extra bound tortoise pickguard installed (the original now stored in the case.) Of particular note is the transitional gold trapeze tailpiece with raised parallelogram crossbar. Seen briefly in this model year only, it is one of the very rarest of all Gibson tailpieces.

The instrument has an unusually powerful open voice, with exceptional clarity and a warm, throaty tone enhanced by a clean fresh set of high pro frets. The neck has a very comfy slightly V profiled neck, with none of the clubbiness of many prewar examples. (The truss rod cover is smartly engraved on the underside with the name of the original owner, one Larry Kloppenberg.) A great player, very well cared for, and one of the most attractive designs on any guitar of the Streamline Era. Thanks, Larry!

Setup: The frets have been precision leveled, recrowned and polished; trussrod tension and neck relief adjusted; bridge height adjusted; bridge compensation set; string slots at nut and bridge inspected and recut as necessary; bridge foot contour inspected and fit to top as necessary; bridge radius inspected and recurved as necessary; bridge wheels and tuners lubricated; fingerboard and bridge oiled; body and neck cleaned and hand polished.

Case: Original Gibson black hardshell case.














































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