Gibson Style O Acoustic Guitar - 1903

Sorry, this listing has ended.



Here is a beautiful and historical early Gibson. This is from the very first year and very first production run by the newly formed Gibson Company, incorporated in October of 1902. No instruments were made by the Gibson Mandolin and Guitar Co. in 1902, as a factory building needed to be acquired and set up, employees needed to be trained, and equipment to manufacture guitars had to be purchased. Orville Gibson was employed to train the new work force, and he was present to build and instruct the new Gibson craftsmen on his designs patented February 1, 1898.

The serial number of this guitar is 2626 and it is the earliest serial number for a guitar built by Gibson in the Gibson serial number database maintained by the Mandolin Archive website. However, I am also aware that other Style O guitars were built at the same time as this one. Serial numbers 2622, 2623, 2625, 2629, and 2630 have been located. Number 2622 was in the Chinery Collection, and 2623 is privately owned and received extensive restoration. 2625 can be viewed at the great website 2629 recently turned up in Philadelphia,and 2630 has also been located, but in distressed condition. All of these Style O guitars with consecutive serial numbers were shipped by Gibson to fill their earliest orders as soon as they came off the production line, probably in late 1903.

This Style O guitar is very loud, plays great, and has a beautiful balanced sound. 

Restoration work was done on this guitar in the mid-1970's by Mario Martello, the great San Francisco Bay Area repairman. Two top cracks were expertly repaired and cracks around the end pin hole were reglued. The top and sides were refinished with nitro lacquer. The back of the guitar and neck seem to be oversprayed. The ebony bridge was reglued and, I believe, replaced with a correctly carved reproduction. The top is a one-piece carved spruce top. The back is one piece of walnut, carved to an arch on the inside and flat on the outside. The walnut sides are also carved, not bent, and extend into the lower part of the neck. The back, sides, and neck are stained dark brown. The inside of the body has no bracing, no end block, and no neck block. Where the neck block would be in other guitars is a hole that extends into the partially hollow neck. All of these features are true to Orville Gibson's design, and to his 1898 patent for mandolin and guitar construction.

The paddle headstock is typical of early Gibson instruments, and has the serial number 2626 branded into the side of the headstock. This number matches the number on the paper label visible through the abalone inlaid oval soundhole. The original Grover Champion friction tuners have been replaced by a set of geared banjo tuners. Also, the bridge pins are not original to the guitar. A newer hard shell case is included with this slice of guitar history.

Product Specs

Excellent (Used)
Style O
Made In
United States


About The Seller

Union Grove Music
Joined Nov 2013
Santa Cruz, CA, United States


Accepted Payment Methods

Shipping Policy

Available for local pickup from Santa Cruz, CA, United States

Ships from Santa Cruz, CA, United States to:

Continental U.S.

Items are shipped Monday through Friday. We prefer to ship via FedEx home delivery or ground, and some items may be shipped via USPS.

Pricing is determined based on current FedEx/USPS rates and the size and weight of the package. Price will be determined based on shipping location

Tax Policies

United States - WA
Tax is calculated at checkout. Learn about why tax is required in this region.

Return Policy

Return Window

This product can be returned within 2 days of receipt.

General Terms

Items must be returned in original, as-shipped condition with all original packaging and no signs of use. Buyer assumes responsibility for all return shipping costs unless the item was not received as described.


Buyer receives a full refund in their original payment method less any shipping costs and a 3% restocking fee.

Special Conditions


As a dealer, we inspect all new instruments for shipping damage, and this requires that the factory box be opened. We set up each new guitar and bass, and adjust the action (string height), neck straightness, intonation, and whatever else the instrument needs to play properly.
Some of our new instruments are display or floor models.


Our items have a 48-hour approval period after receipt of item. If you need to make a return, please contact us within 48 hours of receiving the item. For returned items, you will be responsible for both original and return shipping costs, as well as a 3% restocking fee.

The item must be shipped back to Union Grove Music within 48 hours of requesting a return. You must call us for instructions before shipping a return!

Items for return must be shipped back in the original packaging, in the condition received, including any and all papers, warranties and tags. After we receive the return, we will refund the purchase price, minus all shipping costs and restocking fees.

Union Grove Music

Santa Cruz, CA, United States
Joined: Nov 2013

Seller Achievements