Serial Number: 88300 Barney Kessel

Year shipped: 1932


Headstock: Horizontal ‘The Gibson’ logo

Neck/fingerboard: One-piece neck. 20 fret fingerboard with pointed end and dots from the third fret

Body: Maple back and sides

Hardware: Gold-plated metal parts including wrap-over tailpiece. Ebony bridge

Notes: Replacement Waverly tuners and repro pickguard from Cumberland Acoustics. The back of this L-5 was removed at one point and it has two repaired back cracks in the lower bout. Barney Kessel’s name is scratched into the finish on the back of the headstock

The guitar’s owner, Tony Marcus adds: “This is the second of two 16-inch L-5s that Barney bought from guitarist George M. Smith in the late 1940s and used for studio sessions, radio and movie work through the 1960s.

The writing on the back of the peghead is his name and Social Security number, which he inscribed on all of his instruments. I have letters from Barney’s widow detailing all this information.”

Images courtesy of Tony Marcus