Gibson A-4 Model Carved Top Mandolin (1918), made in Kalamazoo, Michigan, serial # 49606, red sunburst top, dark stained back and sides finish, birch back and sides, spruce top; mahogany neck with ebony fingerboard, original black hard shell case. This 100+ Gibson mandolin has seen some wear and repair, but remains an excellent playing instrument. The A-4 model was Gibson's highest priced "A"-style oval-bodied mandolin for much of the company's early history. This example is from the height of the company's mandolin era, dating to 1918 when Gibson was THE major force in that market. By this point, "The Gibson" mandolins had been given the "modern" sharper neck angle and higher bridge and the sound is more fully developed compared to instruments from earlier in the decade.This period's A-4 features include a red sunburst top over dark cherry back and sides finish, elevated pickguard, carved ebony bridge, ivoroid tuner buttons, and a pearl fleur-de-lis under the Gibson logo on the headstock. The body and fingerboard are single-bound and the sound hole is bordered with a large ring of ivoroid in between half-herringbone strips. This is not a perfect example but a lovely-sounding playable piece of Art Nouveau, and another example of the instruments with which Gibson first conquered the fretted world.Overall length is 25 3/4 in. (65.4 cm.), 10 1/4 in. (26 cm.) wide, and 1 3/4 in. (4.4 cm.) in depth, measured at side of rim. Scale length is 14 in. (356 mm.). Width of nut is 1 3/16 in. (30 mm.). This is not a mint mandolin, but a VERY good sounding one. There are some older repairs including two sealed grain splits to the top above the soundhole and a very neatly sealed partial heel crack that is not conspicuous at all. The top repairs were followed up with some finish work, which look like just some French polish and not a full overspray. The finish shows some general light wear but nothing major, mostly just small dings and dents. The hardware includes a well-done repro pickguard and a correct reproduction 1920's Gibson style adjustable bridge (replacing a non-adjustable original). The tailpiece and tuners remain original. The mandolin has been refretted neatly with appropriate wire, is an excellent player with a nice low action and a really rip-roaring sound for a pre-Loar period A. It includes a nice original hardshell case with some general wear but fully solid. Very Good + Condition.

Listed3 months ago
ConditionVery Good (Used)
Very Good items may show a few slight marks or scratches but are fully functional and in overall great shape.learn more
  • Style A-4 Mandolin
  • Red Sunburst Top, Dark Stained Back & Sides
  • 1918

Retrofret Vintage Guitars

Brooklyn, NY, United States
Joined Reverb:2015

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