Year shipped: 1937
Headstock: Large, ‘flared’ headstock with horizontal ‘Gibson’ script logo
Neck/fingerboard: 20 fret fingerboard with pointed end and narrow block inlays from the first to the seventeenth frets. Wide neck heel
Body: Maple back and sides
Hardware: Gold-plated metal parts including regular tailpiece and individual open-back Grover 98G ‘Sta-tite’ tuners with butterbean keys
Notes: The large neck heel, ‘Advanced’ style fingerboard, ‘flared’ headstock and long bound pickguard are features more usually found on 17-Inch L-5s suggesting that the neck was replaced in the late 1930s. This Gibson L-5 was originally shipped on May 11th, 1937 and is listed in the ledgers as “L-5 special – small body.” It was taken by Gibson salesman George Post in a #515 case. The guitar did not sell and was returned to inventory. It shipped for the final time on August 2nd, 1938 to Fife Music in Hollywood, California without a case. In the ledgers it is listed as “L-5 old”.
This is one of just eleven 16-inch L-5s shipped in 1937
Images courtesy of Kennard Machol