Serial number: 88219

Year shipped: 1931

FON: 9991

Headstock: Horizontal ‘The Gibson’ logo

Neck/fingerboard: One-piece neck. For details of the fingerboard see Notes below

Body: Maple back and sides. Solid top braces. Has an unusually plain maple back though the sides are figured.

Hardware: Gold-plated metal parts including regular tailpiece. Originally had three-on-a-plate pearl buttoned Waverly tuners (currently fitted with modern Waverly reproductions). Ebony bridge and long bound pickguard

Notes: The fingerboard is a factory replacement in the style used on the ‘Advanced’ models. Although we have listed this as a Type Two model, there is no way of telling whether the original fingerboard had dots or blocks, so it is listed in both Type One and Type Two galleries. Original finish with some overspray on the top. One possible top crack off the bass f-hole

Joe Spann tells us: “The factory order number (FON: 9991) indicates that this guitar was manufactured towards the end of March in the year 1931. The serial number (88219) indicates that it was prepared for sale and shipment in October of the year 1931.

Here are the dates and information:

3 July 1936 – Shipped as a “repair” to Hunleth Music Company in St. Louis, MO

12 March 1937 – Shipped as a “repair” to Hunleth Music Company in St. Louis, MO in a #514 case

27 June 1939 – Shipped as a “repair” to Hunleth Music Company in St. Louis, MO

2 February 1944 – Shipped as a “repair” to W.J. Phillips in a non-Gibson case”

We have listed this L-5 as Type 3 but the original fingerboard may have had dots. Tony Marcus adds “It’s of course impossible to know whether the long pickguard is original or if it replaced a shorter one”

Images courtesy of Tony Marcus

This guitar has since been modified as follows. Joe Vinikow explains: “The neck has been restored with an original style dot fingerboard, and she looks and plays great. She appears otherwise unchanged from the earlier photos.”

Image courtesy of Joe Vinikow