Serial number: EA-5168

Year shipped: 1939 


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 bound f-holes 

Hardware: See Notes

Notes: The entire guitar has been refinished, a strap button has been added at the heel and all of the hardware has been replaced. The pickguard is missing

This guitar is one of 101 Sunburst finished Advanced L-5s shipped in 1939

Marek Rejhon, the owner of L-5 serial number EA-5168, explains how he came by it: “When I purchased this guitar in 2013 it was unplayable and without any hardware. It had been smashed twice – once in 1965, then again four years later  and had been rather crudely repaired and refinished . It was restored by Prochazka Custom Guitars ( in the Czech Republic. None of the hardware is original and the guitar has of course been refinished . It sounds unbelievable! I also have a 1942 L-7, a 1946 Epiphone Emperor and various other archtops but for recording the L-5 is my main guitar. I use it professionally with my big band Harlemania ( and in the studio .

Images courtesy of Marek Rejhon

The restoration of a 1939 L-5, Serial Number EA-5168 by Prochazka Custom Guitars

“Gibson L-5 serial number EA-5168 was purchased from the US and shipped in to the Czech Republic,” says the guitar’s owner Marek Rejhon.

“All of its original hardware was missing and it had been brush finished in red furniture lacquer! As it arrived, the guitar was virtually unplayable. A luthier friend of described it as “a piece of crap that is beyond repair.

“We started by carefully stripping the red lacquer taking care not to damage the wood. After that we opened the body only to find that there were dozens of cleats all of which were strangely stamped and penciled with crosses – a real piece of naive folk art! A treble side tone brace had been re-glued in the wrong position and in several places the wood had been thinned so much that it was translucent!

“The repair work was carefully considered before we started to work. Existing cleats were inspected and some were replaced. Others were thinned and new cleats were added to strengthen the top of the guitar. The translucent areas were built up with small layers of spruce and a new treble side brace was made from a beautiful piece of resonant spruce. Finally, the top, back and braces were carefully tap-tuned.

“The rest of the guitar was in relatively good shape. It needed refretting and some other minor work was done . After that a period correct sunburst was applied and repro hardware was fitted. The tuners are recent Kluson replicas.

“The restoration took a year of spare time in our Prague based lutherie shop but the end result is a fine player’s grade instrument that plays well and sounds great! All of the work was done by our team: Petr Prochazka (chief of Prochazka Custom Guitars ), Petr Grotzbach and myself – Marek Rejhon .”

Images courtesy of Marek Rejhon