Gibson L-C Century of Progress (1938)
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SpecificationsTop Wood: Spruce
Back and Sides Wood: Maple
Width at Nut: 1.69"
Bracing Pattern: Scalloped X-bracing
Scale Length: 24.88"
Frets to Body: 14
Fingerboard and Bridge Wood: Pearloid
Body Binding: Cream
Headplate Material: Pearloid
Headstock Inlay / Logo: Gibson script logotype with snowflake in mother-of-pearl
Neck Binding: Cream
Neck Shape: Classic Kalamazoo-era V contour
Fingerboard Side Dots: 3rd, 5th, 7th, 9th, 12th, and 15th frets
Fingerboard Inlay: Mother-of-pearl diamonds at frets listed above
Tuners: Nickel open-gear with cream buttons
Case: Non-original hard-shell case
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Designed to commemorate the Century of Progress exhibition in Chicago in 1933, Gibson's L-C is one of the company's rarest and most unique flat-top acoustics. This one, built in 1938 near the end of the model's original run of production, is a truly beautiful example that highlights all the best traits of Gibson's Kalamazoo era. The L-C featured a spruce top with a maple back and sides, for a punchy, bright, and present sound with lots of fundamental, making it a great tool for classic ragtime, blues, and folk. But what sets the L-C apart from the pack isn't its tonewoods - it's the spare-no-expense visual appointments that invoke a bygone era in American instrument manufacturing. A beautiful sunburst finish compliments the pearloid used extensively on the fingerboard and headstock, with classic inlay work throughout in mother-of-pearl as well. In tandem with the way the finish has broken in over time, it makes for one of the most beautiful examples of Gibson's craftsmanship that we've ever had the pleasure of representing.
Especially considering this guitar's vintage, there is little in the way of damage or wear. The only significant repair is a crack that extends from the top of the guitar's upper bout down to the soundhole, parallel with the treble side of the fretboard. This crack has been cleated and repaired, and shows no signs of reopening. As with most Gibson finishes from this era, there is extensive finish checking on all planes of the guitar, but none of the finish cracks extend through to compromise the guitar's structural integrity. There are also a few larger scuffs on the guitar's top at the lower bout, but the overall wear on the top is below average for an instrument over 80 years of age. All parts are original. We consider the instrument to be in very good condition. As it has long since parted ways with its original chipboard case, it now comes with a non-original tweed hard-shell, which fits it very well.