Serial number: 91052

Year shipped: 1934


Headstock: Horizontal ‘Gibson’ script logo

Neck/fingerboard: 19 fret fingerboard with square end and wide block inlays from the third fret

Body: Maple back and sides. Kerfed top braces

Hardware: Gold-plated metal parts including regular tailpiece

Notes: The tuners have been replaced Replacement pickguard and the pickguard is missing. The name ‘Maebelle Carter’ (note spelling), which is engraved on the pearl truss rod cover, is a later addition (see serial number 85558)

It is believed that this is the guitar previously owned by Frances Lyell, who played occasionally with The Carter Family

Ronnie Williams, who was a friend of the Carter Family, supplied the following information: “Frances and I met through the Carters and became friends. We often played together and visited. She told me that she was looking for an L-5 and I came across one in Va. Picker’s Supply, a music store in Fredericksburg Virginia. – this would be in the early 1990s. I had the pearl name plate (truss rod cover) made for her. She’d seen the one that I had on my guitar and wanted one herself.”

Maybelle Carter with Frances Lyell (centre) and Helen Carter at Centennial Park, Nashville, 1960s

Images courtesy of Matt Bergstrom