Year shipped: 1934
Headstock: Horizontal ‘The Gibson’ logo
Neck/fingerboard: See Notes
Body: Maple back and sides, has ‘kerfed’ top braces
Hardware: Gold-plated metal parts including regular tailpiece and individual open-back Grover 98G ‘Sta-tite’ tuners with butterbean keys. The bridge top is a replacement but the base remains original
Notes: The ebony fingerboard, the bone nut and the celluloid pickguard are replacements. The original tuners were removed but have since been re-installed. There is a one and half inch crack at the waist on the bass side of the top and two short cracks on the treble side next to the tailpiece. The body shows several sealed grain cracks. A section of the centre seam that extends approximately four inches from the tail block, has been resealed. There is minor finish disturbance near the fingerboard, suggesting that a DeArmond pickup was installed in the past. The neck angle has been reset. Has original black hard shell case.
According to Dana Matthewson, the original owner’s son, L-5 serial number 90363 was bought new in Buffalo New York in 1934 by Oliver ‘Ollie’ Matthewson, who went on to perform with and create arrangements for several swing-era artists, including Woody Herman.
Images courtesy of Retrofret