Year shipped: 1923
Signed and dated by Lloyd Loar on July 6th 1923
Headstock: Unusual headstock shape, diagonal ‘The Gibson’ logo
Neck/fingerboard: 20 fret fingerboard with pointed end, dot inlays start at fifth fret
Body: Birch back, no Virzi fitted. The inscription “Make braces a little thinner” is pencilled beneath the soundboard near the bass side f-hole. The back has a translucent brown finish (you can see the wood grain through it)
Hardware: Silver-plated metal parts including wrap-over tailpiece and Waverly three-on-a-strip tuners with engraved base plate and pearl buttons, mounted so that the cog is positioned above the worm gear. Short bound pickguard.
Notes: This is the only L-5 that Gibson is known to have shipped in 1923 and the only instrument to have been signed and dated by Lloyd Loar on July 6th of that year. As such, it is the earliest L-5 on record. The first production batch of L-5s was signed and dated by Loar on the 31st of March 1924.