Serial number 81271

Year shipped: 1927

FON 8657

Headstock: Diagonal ‘The Gibson’ logo

Neck/fingerboard: 20 fret fingerboard with pointed end, dot inlays from the fifth fret with double dots at the 12th and 17th frets

Body: Maple back and sides

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: Some light overspray. Though all Loar signed L-5s have silver-plated metal parts, most examples shipped after Loar’s departure from Gibson in late 1924 have gold-plated tailpiece and tuners. In addition, the majority of post-Loar L-5s are fitted with Waverly three-on-a-strip tuners that are mounted so that the cog is positioned below the worm gear. Another hold over from the Loar era is the flowerpot headstock inlay which, unlike most post-Loar examples has no epsilon engraving

Joe Spann comments: “The factory order batch number of 8657, indicates production during March of the year 1927 while the 81271 serial number indicates an original shipping date during March of the same year. Therefore, it is reasonable to assume that the instrument originally shipped as soon as it was completed.

“Though I have no explanation for the earlier features which this guitar exhibits, it is interesting to note that the F-5 mandolins that immediately preceded this batch of L-5 guitars (e.g., serial numbers 81266, 81267 and 81268), also exhibit earlier ‘Loar period’ features. Perhaps Gibson was ‘cleaning house’ in the spring of 1927?”

Images courtesy of Gruhn Guitars