Pre-War Gibson L-5 Owners' Club

 

 

 

contact us at info@prewargibsonl-5.com

1937

A total of 230 L-5s were shipped in this year (includes 11 with old-style 16-inch body)

Though the Natural finish option wasn’t officially available until 1939,

21 L-5s were shipped with a Natural finish in 1937 and 1938 (this number includes one of the last 16-inch models, which was delivered with a Natural finish in May 1938).

An ‘N’ after the model name - as in ‘L-5N’ – indicates that guitar was shipped with a Natural finish.

If an instrument appears in one of our picture galleries this is noted beneath the serial number.

 

 

Model: L-5

Serial Number: 94094

(See 17-inch Advanced Gallery)

FON: 314-3

Year shipped: 1937

 

Headstock: Horizontal script 'Gibson' logo

Neck/fingerboard: 20 fret ebony fingerboard with pointed end and block inlays starting at the first fret

Body: 17-inch ‘Advanced’ body with Sunburst finish and unbound f-holes

Hardware: Gold-plated, Grover G-98 tuners with metal ‘butterbean’ buttons and flat tailpiece with ‘L-5’ legend

Source: Arlan Ettinger of Guernsey Auctions

 

 

Model: L-5

Serial Number: 94133

FON:

Year shipped: 1937

 

Headstock: Horizontal ‘Gibson’ script logo,

Neck/fingerboard: 20 fret fingerboard with pointed end fingerboard and narrow block inlays from the first fret

Body: 17-inch ‘Advanced’ body with Sunburst finish and unbound f-holes

Hardware: Gold-plated metal parts, Grover tuners with metal buttons, hinged tailpiece with silver centre insert

Notes: Formerly owned by Marty Grosz

Source: www.mandolinarchive.com

 

 

Model: L-5

Serial Number: 94139

(See 17-inch Advanced Gallery)

FON: 12040-3

Year shipped: 1937

 

Headstock: Horizontal ‘Gibson’ script logo

Neck/fingerboard: 20 fret fingerboard with pointed end and narrow block inlays from the first fret, 24 ¾ inch scale length

Body: 17-inch wide ‘Advanced’ body, X braced top, Sunburst finish and small unbound f-holes

Hardware: Gold-plated metal parts, Grover Sta-Tite tuners, flat tailpiece with ‘L-5’ legend, long bound pickguard and ebony bridge

Notes: This guitar belonged to Marty Grosz. Has original tweed case

Source: Source: Joe Vinikow, archtop.com, www.mandolinarchive.com and Nino Fazio (www.realvintage.it)

 

 

Model: L-5

Serial Number: 94179

FON:

Year shipped: 1937

 

Headstock:

Neck/fingerboard:

Body:

Hardware:

Source: www.mandolinarchive.com

 

 

Model: L-5

Serial Number: 94225

FON: 12040

Year shipped: 1937

 

Headstock:

Neck/fingerboard:

Body:

Hardware:

Source: www.mandolinarchive.com

 

 

Model: L-5

Serial Number: 94348

FON:

Year shipped: 1937

 

Headstock:

Neck/fingerboard:

Body:

Hardware:

Source: www.mandolinarchive.com

 

 

Model: L-5

Serial Number: 94352

(See Type Three Gallery)

Year shipped: 1937

FON:

 

Headstock: large, ‘flared’ headstock, horizontal script ‘Gibson' logo, individual Grover 98G tuners

Neck/fingerboard: wide neck heel, narrow block markers from the first fret and a 20-fret fingerboard with a pointed end

Body: 16-inch body with maple back with maple sides

Hardware: gold-plated metal parts, regular trapeze tailpiece and long pickguard

Notes: this is one of just 11 16-inch L-5s shipped in 1937. The large neck heel, narrow block fingerboard markers and ‘flared’ headstock are features more usually found on 17-Inch L-5s

Source: Kennard Machol

 

 

Model: L-5

Serial Number: 9439

(See 17-inch Advanced Gallery)

FON:

Year shipped: 1937

 

Headstock: Horizontal ‘Gibson’ script logo

Neck/fingerboard: 20-fret fingerboard with pointed end and narrow block inlays from the first fret, 25 1/2 inch scale length

Body: 17-inch wide ‘Advanced’ body, parallel braced top and bound f-holes

Hardware: gold-plated metal parts, Grover Imperial tuners, Varitone tailpiece, rosewood bridge

Notes: The pickguard is missing

Source: Buzzy Levine, Lark Street Music (larkstreetmusic.com)

 

 

Model: L-5

Serial Number: 94470

FON:

Year shipped: 1937

 

Headstock:

Neck/fingerboard:

Body:

Hardware:

Source: www.mandolinarchive.com

 

 

Model: L-5

Serial Number: 94579

(See 17-inch Advanced Gallery)

FON:

Year shipped: 1937

 

Headstock: Horizontal ‘Gibson’ script logo

Neck/fingerboard: 20-fret fingerboard with pointed end and narrow block inlays from the first fret, 25 1/2 inch scale length

Body: 17-inch wide ‘Advanced’ body refinished to Natural, parallel braced top and bound f-holes

Hardware: gold-plated metal parts, Grover Imperial tuners, flat tailpiece with ‘L-5’ legend, ebony bridge and replacement pickguard

Notes: A deep Florentine cutaway has been added together with a floating Bartolini pickup, a volume control and a ¼-inch jack socket mounted beneath the pickguard. The neck heel has been repaired

Pictures courtesy of archtop.com

 

 

Model: L-5

Serial Number: 94679

FON:

Year shipped: 1937

 

Headstock:

Neck/fingerboard:

Body:

Hardware:

Source: www.mandolinarchive.com

 

 

Model L-5N

Serial Number: 94773

(See 17-inch Advanced Gallery)

Year shipped: 1937

FON:

 

Headstock: Horizontal script 'Gibson' logo

Neck/fingerboard: 20 fret fingerboard with pointed end, block inlays starts at first fret

Body: Maple back and sides, refinished Natural, large bound f-holes. Parallel top bracing

Hardware: None of the hardware is original to the guitar

Photograph courtesy Marek Rejhon

 

 

Model: L-5

Serial Number: 94976

FON:

Year shipped: 1937

 

Headstock:

Neck/fingerboard:

Body:

Hardware:

Notes: Refinished

Source: www.mandolinarchive.com

 

 

Model: L-5

Serial Number: 95011

FON: 546C followed by – 4 in red pencil

Year Shipped: 1937

 

Headstock: Horizontal script 'Gibson' logo, individual Grover G-98 Tuners with metal butterbean buttons

Neck/fingerboard: 20 fret fingerboard with pointed end and block inlays starting at the first fret

Body: Spruce top with maple back and sides

Hardware: Gold-plated hardware including hinged tailpiece with silver centre insert and ‘L-5’ engraving. Long bound pickguard and rosewood bridge

Source: Craig Jones, Bay State Vintage Guitars (baystatevintageguitars.com)

 

 

Model: L-5

Serial Number: 95022

FON:

Year shipped: 1937

 

Headstock:

Neck/fingerboard:

Body:

Hardware:

Source: www.mandolinarchive.com

 

 

Model: L-5

Serial Number: 95080

(See 17-inch Advanced Gallery)

FON:

Year Shipped: 1937

 

Headstock: Horizontal script 'Gibson' logo, individual Grover Imperial Tuners. Has the name ‘Bobby Sherwood’ engraved on the truss rod cover

Neck/fingerboard: 20 fret fingerboard with pointed end and narrow block inlays starting at the first fret

Body: 17-inch body with spruce top and maple back and sides

Hardware: Gold-plated hardware including hinged tailpiece with silver centre insert and ‘L-5’ engraving. Long bound pickguard and rosewood bridge

Source:  Stéphane Neidhardt