Year shipped: 1936
Headstock: Horizontal ‘Gibson’ script logo
Neck/fingerboard: 20 fret fingerboard with pointed end and narrow block inlays from the first fret. Wide neck heel
Body: 17-inch body with maple back and sides and large unbound f-holes (see below for information on unusual bracing pattern)
Hardware: Gold-plated metal parts including flat tailpiece engraved with ‘L-5’ legend. Long bound pickguard and rosewood bridge
Notes: Non-original tuners. This L-5 was shipped on Saturday, December 19th, 1936 to Fife Music Store of Hollywood, California in a #606 hard-shell case along with six other L-5s It has an unusual bracing pattern. The top is parallel braced but with two additional outer top braces that are positioned between each soundhole and the rim. Vintage guitar dealer John Stewart says that he has come across this bracing pattern before in a few other L-5s that were shipped around 1937 In addition, it has “Spec. L-5R” hand-written on the underside of the soundboard. It has been suggested that the ‘R’ designation stands for ‘Regular finish’ (e.g. sunburst), in the same way that ‘N’ stands for ‘Natural finish’ but since, to our knowledge, no L-5s were shipped with Natural finish until 1937, this may not be the case (the Natural finish option was not officially introduced until 1939. L-5 N, serial number 92737, which was shipped on the 7th January 1936, is one example).
This guitar is one of 152 Advanced L-5s shipped in 1936
Since the photos above were taken, the tuners have been replaced with Grover open-back keys. See images below.