Pre-War Gibson L-5 Owners' Club

 

 

 

contact us at info@prewargibsonl-5.com

16-INCH L-5s TYPE ONE

 

Shipping dates

 

The shipping dates listed below relate to the instrument’s serial number and are based on information provided in Spann’s Guide To Gibson by Joseph E. Spann.

 

Note that the serial number indicates the date at which the instrument was shipped rather than its date of manufacture. For example, eleven of the Loar signed instruments listed below were shipped after Loar had left Gibson (five in 1925 and six in 1926).

 

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

 

Model: L-5

Serial Number: 73718

(See Type One Gallery)

Virzi Number:

Year shipped: 1923

Signed and dated by Lloyd Loar: July 6th 1923

Headstock: Unusual shaped headstock, diagonal 'The Gibson' logo, three-on-a-strip tuners

Neck/fingerboard: 20-fret fingerboard with pointed end and dot inlays from the fifth fret

Body: No Virzi fitted

Hardware: Silver-plated metal parts, wrap-over tailpiece and short bound pickguard

Notes: This is the only 1923 L-5 on record

Source: Peter Kohman (musurgia.com)

 

Model: L-5

Serial Number: 76477

(See Type One Gallery)

Virzi Number:

Year shipped: 1924

Signed and dated by Lloyd Loar: March 31st 1924

Head: Diagonal 'The Gibson' logo

Neck/fingerboard: Late 1920s neck and fingerboard fitted

Body: Birch back. Although there is no Virzi, there is a label suggesting that the Virzi was taken out – perhaps when the neck was replaced?  

Hardware: Wrap over tailpiece and short bound pickguard

Notes:

Source: Laurence Kenyon/www.mandolinarchive.com

 

 

Model: L-5

Serial Number: 76478

(See Type One Gallery)

Virzi Number: 10173

Year shipped: 1924

Signed and dated by Lloyd Loar: March 31st 1924

Headstock: Diagonal 'The Gibson' logo

Neck/fingerboard: 20-fret fingerboard with pointed end and dot inlays from the fifth fret

Body: Maple back and sides, Virzi fitted

Hardware: Silver-plated metal parts including three-on-a-strip Waverly tuners, wrap-over tailpiece, short bound pickguard and replacement bridge

Notes:

Source:

Lowell Levinger (vintageinstruments.com) and Darryl Wolfe's F-5 Journal (f5journal.com0

 

 

Model: L-5

Year shipped: 1924

Serial number: 76480

(See Type One Gallery)

Virzi Number:

Signed and dated By Lloyd Loar on March 31st 1924

Head: Diagonal 'The Gibson' logo

Neck/fingerboard: 20 fret fingerboard with pointed end, dot inlay starts at fifth fret

Body: Birch back

Hardware: Silver-plated metal parts including wrap-over tailpiece and three-on-a-strip tuners with pearl buttons. Bound pickguard, Virzi Tone Producer fitted (www.mandolinarchive.com lists this guitar as having no Virzi)

Notes:

Source: Norman's Rare Guitars

 

 

Model: L-5

Serial Number: 76482

(See Type One Gallery)

Virzi Number: 10187

Year shipped: 1924

Signed and dated by Lloyd Loar: March 31st 1924

Headstock: Diagonal 'The Gibson' logo, three-on-a-strip tuners

Neck/fingerboard: 20-fret fingerboard with pointed end and dot inlay from the fifth fret

Body: Birch back and maple sides, Virzi fitted

Hardware: Silver-plated metal parts, wrap-over tailpiece and short bound pickguard.

Notes: Previously owned by George Gruhn and pictured in The Musical Instrument Collector

Source: George Gruhn, www.gruhn.com

 

 

Model: L-5

Serial Number: 76487

Virzi Number:

Year shipped: 1924

Signed and dated by Lloyd Loar: March 31st 1924

Headstock:

Neck/fingerboard:

Body: no Virzi fitted

Hardware:

Notes:

Source: www.mandolinarchive.com

 

 

Model: L-5

Serial Number: 76497

Virzi Number: 10057

Year shipped: 1924

Signed and dated by Lloyd Loar: March 31st 1924

Headstock:

Neck/fingerboard:

Body: Virzi fitted

Hardware: Gold plated

Notes:

Source: www.mandolinarchive.com

 

 

Model: L-5

Serial Number: 76508

Virzi Number:

Year shipped: 1924

Signed and dated by Lloyd Loar: March 31st 1924

Headstock:

Neck/fingerboard:

Body: No Virzi fitted

Hardware:

Notes:

Source: www.mandolinarchive.com

 

 

Model: L-5

Serial Number: 76699

(See Type One Gallery)

Virzi Number: 10174

Year shipped: 1924

Signed and dated by Lloyd Loar: March 31st 1924

Headstock: Diagonal 'The Gibson' logo

Neck/fingerboard: 20 fret fingerboard with pointed end and dot inlay from the fifth fret

Body: Birch back with maple sides, Virzi fitted

Hardware: Silver plated metal parts, wrap-over tailpiece and three-on-a-strip tuners. Short bound pickguard

Source: George Gruhn (www.gruhn.com)

 

 

Model: L-5

Serial Number: 76705

(See Type One Gallery)

Virzi Number:

Year shipped: 1924

Signed and dated by Lloyd Loar: March 31st 1924

Headstock: Diagonal ‘The Gibson’ logo, three-on-a-strip tuners

Neck/fingerboard: 20-fret fingerboard with pointed end and dot inlay from the fifth fret

Body: birch back and maple sides, no Virzi fitted

Hardware: wrap-over tailpiece and short bound pickguard

Notes:

Source: www.mandolinarchive.com

 

 

Model: L-5

Serial Number: 76706

(See Type One Gallery)

Virzi Number:

Year shipped: 1924

Signed and dated by Lloyd Loar on March 31st 1924

Headstock: Diagonal 'The Gibson' logo. Has the name ‘Lynn Henderson’ on the truss rod cover

Neck/fingerboard: 20 fret fingerboard with pointed end, dot inlay starts at fifth fret

Body: Birch back with maple sides

Hardware: Silver-plated metal parts including wrap-over tailpiece. Non original tuners and pickguard

Notes: This example initially had a Virzi, which has since been removed. The guitar also had block inlays put in on the fingerboard, which have been replaced with the correct dot inlays. The pickguard is a replica and the guitar has been refretted

Source: Walter Carter at Carter Vintage (cartervintage.com)

 

 

Model: L-5

Serial Number: 76707

(See Type One Gallery)

Virzi Number: 10183

Year shipped: 1924

Signed and dated by Lloyd Loar: March 31st 1924

Headstock: Diagonal 'The Gibson' logo

Neck/fingerboard: 20 fret fingerboard with pointed end and dot inlays from the fifth fret

Body: Birch back with maple sides, Virzi fitted

Hardware: Silver-plated metal parts, wrap-over tailpiece, short bound pickguard

Source: Gruhn Guitars, www.gruhn.com

Notes: Retrofitted with late 1920s tuners

 

 

Model: L-5

Serial Number: 76708

(See Type One Gallery)

Virzi Number: 10179

Year shipped: 1924

Signed and dated by Lloyd Loar: March 1924

Headstock: Headstock: Slanted 'The Gibson' logo Neck/fingerboard: 20 fret fingerboard with pointed end and dot inlays from the fifth fret

Body: Virzi Tone Producer fitted

Hardware: Short bound pickguard

Notes:

Source: www.mandolinarchive.com/ Scott Chinery Collection

 

 

Model: L-5

Serial no: 76709

(See Type One Gallery)

Virzi number:

Year shipped: 1924

Signed and dated by Lloyd Loar March 31 1924

Headstock: Slanted 'The Gibson' logo with added rhinestones

Neck/fingerboard: 20 fret fingerboard with pointed end, dot inlays start at the fifth fret

Body: Birch back

Hardware: Short, bound pickguard, wrap-over tailpiece, three on a strip tuners

Source: Gary

 

 

Model: L-5

Serial Number: 76710

(See Type One Gallery)

Virzi Number: 10184

Year shipped: 1924

Signed and dated by Lloyd Loar: March 31st 1924

Headstock: Diagonal 'The Gibson' logo

Neck/fingerboard: 20 fret fingerboard with pointed end and dot inlays from the fifth fret

Body: Birch back with maple sides, Virzi fitted

Hardware: Silver-plated metal parts, three-on-a-strip tuners, wrap-over tailpiece and short bound pickguard

Notes:

Source: Robert Corwin, www.oldgibson.com

 

 

Model: L-5

Serial Number: 76983

Virzi Number: 10220

Year shipped: 1924

Signed and dated by Lloyd Loar: Feb 13 1924

Headstock:

Neck/fingerboard: 1930s replacement neck

Body: Birch back and maple sides, Virzi fitted

Hardware: Silver-plated hardware

Notes:

Source: www.mandolinarchive.com

 

 

Model: L-5

Serial Number: 77392

(See Type One Gallery)

Virzi Number: 10313

Year shipped: 1925

Signed and dated by Lloyd Loar: Dec 1st 1924

Headstock: Diagonal 'The Gibson' logo

Neck/fingerboard: 20 fret fingerboard with pointed end, dot inlay starts at fifth fret

Body: Birch back with maple sides, Virzi Tone Producer fitted

Hardware: Silver-plated metal parts including wrap-over tailpiece and Waverly three-on-a-strip tuners with pearl buttons. Bound short pickguard

Source: The Fellowship Of Acoustics (www.tfoa.eu)

 

 

Model: L-5

Serial Number: 77398

Virzi Number:

Year shipped: 1925

Signed and dated by Lloyd Loar: Dec 1st 1924

Headstock:

Neck/fingerboard:

Body: No Virzi fitted

Hardware:

Notes:

Source: www.mandolinarchive.com

 

 

Model: L-5

Serial Number: 77400

(See Type One Gallery)

Virzi Number: 10319

Year shipped: 1925

Signed and dated by Lloyd Loar: Dec 1st 1924

Headstock: Diagonal 'The Gibson' logo

Neck/fingerboard: 20 fret fingerboard with pointed end. The fact that the dot inlays start at the third fret suggests that the fingerboard may be an early 1930s replacement (most of the examples with this feature that we have encountered were shipped in 1930/31)

Body: Maple back and sides. Virzi Tone Producer fitted

Hardware: Silver-plated metal parts including three-on-a-strip tuners with pearl buttons. Bound short pickguard,

Notes: On June 14th, 1997, this L-5 was appraised on the Antiques Roadshow USA by their expert Kerry Keane. According to Mr Keane, it has been refinished, the neck has been reset and some of the binding has been replaced. In addition we note that it has a non-original truss cover and had been fitted with a Vibrola (possibly a modified Kauffman unit)

Source: Antiques Roadshow USA and Carl Meine

 

 

Model: L-5

Serial Number: 77401

(See Type One Gallery)

Virzi Number: 10328

Year shipped: 1925

Signed and dated by Lloyd Loar: Dec 1st 1924

Headstock: Diagonal 'The Gibson' logo

Neck/fingerboard: 20 fret fingerboard with pointed end, dot inlay starts at fifth fret

Body: Birch back with maple sides, Virzi Tone Producer fitted

Hardware: Silver-plated metal parts including wrap-over tailpiece and three-on-a-strip tuners. Bound short pickguard,

Notes: Evidence of the centre laminate showing on the headstock but no repairs , cracks or modifications. Has original hardshell case

Source: Larry Wexer (www.wexerguitars.com) and www.mandolinarchive.com

 

 

Model: L-5

Serial Number: 77402

(See Type One Gallery)

Virzi Number: 10306

Year shipped: 1925

Signed and dated by Lloyd Loar: Signed and dated by Lloyd Loar: Dec 1st 1924

Headstock: Diagonal 'The Gibson' logo

Neck/fingerboard: 20 fret fingerboard with pointed end, dot inlay starts at fifth fret

Body: Birch back with maple sides, Virzi Tone Producer fitted

Hardware: Silver-plated metal parts including wrap-over tailpiece. Tuners are replacements. Bound short pickguard,

Notes:

Source: Tom Rhodes

 

 

Model: L-5

Serial Number: 77404

(See Type One Gallery)

Virzi Number: 10305

Year shipped: 1925

Signed and dated by Lloyd Loar: December 1st 1924

Headstock: Diagonal 'The Gibson' logo

Neck/fingerboard: 20 fret fingerboard with pointed end and dot inlay from the fifth fret

Body: Birch back with maple sides, Virzi fitted

Hardware: Silver-plated hardware, hree-on-a-strip tuners and wrap-over tailpiece and short bound pickguard

Notes:

Source: Nino Fazio, www.realvintage.it

 

 

Model: L-5

Serial Number: 77405

(See Type One Gallery)

Virzi Number: 10327 (

Year shipped: 1925

Signed and dated by Lloyd Loar: December 1st 1924

Headstock: Diagonal 'The Gibson' logo

Neck/fingerboard: 20 fret fingerboard with pointed end and dot inlays from the fifth fret

Body: Birch back with maple sides, Virzi fitted

Hardware: Silver-plated metal parts, three-on-a-strip tuners, wrap-over tailpiece and short bound pickguard

Notes:

Source: George Gruhn, www.gruhn.com

 

 

Model: L-5

(See Type One Gallery)

Serial Number: 77408

Virzi Number:

Year shipped: 1925

Signed and dated by Lloyd Loar December 1st 1924

Headstock: Diagonal 'The Gibson' logo, replacement truss rod cover

Neck/fingerboard: 20 fret fingerboard with pointed end

Body: Birch back with maple sides

Hardware: The Schaller tuners, trapeze tailpiece and rosewood bridge are not original. Bound short pickguard. Virzi Tone Producer fitted

Notes: This guitar belonged to Barney Kessell and recording artist/producer/arranger Tom Keene

 

 

Model: L-5

Serial Number: 77410

(See Type One Gallery)

Virzi Number:

Year shipped: 1925

Signed and dated by Lloyd Loar: December 1st 1924

Headstock: Both the neck and fingerboard have been replaced. Now with ‘Gibson’ script headstock logo (no ‘The’)

Neck/fingerboard: Replacement 19-fret fingerboard with wide block inlays from the third fret and a square end

Body: Maple back and sides, originally fitted with a Virzi but this has since been removed. Appears to have been refinished.

Hardware: Silver-plated wrap-over tailpiece, Super 400 style, nickel-plated Grover tuners

Notes: The guitar now has a Gibson Inc.’ label (the Loar signature date confirmed by Joe Spann from Gibson’s records)

Joe adds: “According to the Gibson shipping ledgers this guitar was repaired twice at the factory. On 6th February 1940 the repaired guitar was returned to David Gauthier along with a banjo and some banjo parts.  The ledger notes that the case for the L-5 was "no good". Mr. Gauthier was a music teacher in Manitowoc, Wisconsin. On 11th July 1951 the re-repaired guitar was returned to Korzinek Music Shop in Manitowoc, Wisconsin.”

Source: Tim Johnson

 

 

Model: L-5

Serial Number: 80192

(See Type One Gallery)

Virzi Number:

Year shipped: 1926

Signed and dated by Lloyd Loar: Mar 1st 1924 (Dec 1st 1924 according to www.mandolinarchive.com)

Headstock: Diagonal 'The Gibson' logo

Neck/fingerboard: Re-necked using the original headstock overlay and fingerboard 20 fret with pointed end). The serial number is now stamped on the back of the headstock

Body: Completely refinished and re-bound with five-ply binding, no Virzi fitted

Hardware: Silver-plated metal parts, including three-on-a-strip Waverly tuners, wrap-over tailpiece. Short, bound pickguard

Notes: Has original hardshell case.

Source: Lowell Levinger (vintageinstruments.com) and Schoenberg Guitars (www.om28.com)

 

 

Model: L-5

Serial Number: 80203

Virzi Number:

Year shipped: 1926

Signed and dated by Lloyd Loar: Dec 1st 1924

Headstock:

Neck/fingerboard:

Body: No Virzi fitted

Hardware:

Notes:

Source: www.mandolinarchive.com

 

 

Model: L-5

Serial Number: 80262

Virzi Number:

Year shipped: 1926

Signed and dated by Lloyd Loar: Dec 31st 1924 (some controversy exists regarding date, could be Dec. 21, 1924)

Headstock:

Neck/fingerboard:

Body: No Virzi fitted

Hardware:

Notes:

Source: www.mandolinarchive.com

 

 

Model: L-5

Serial Number: 80263

Virzi Number:

Year shipped: 1926

Signed and dated by Lloyd Loar: Dec 21st 1924

Headstock:

Neck/fingerboard:

Body: No Virzi fitted

Hardware:

Notes: This serial number appears on a Gibson F5 copy spotted in recent circulation

Source: www.mandolinarchive.com

 

 

Model: L-5

Serial Number: 80264

(See Type One Gallery)

Virzi Number:

Year shipped: 1926

Signed and dated by Lloyd Loar: Dec 1st 1924

Headstock: Diagonal 'The Gibson' logo

Neck/fingerboard: 20-fret fingerboard with pointed end. Dot inlay starts at the fifth fret and this example has double dots at the 12th and 17th frets

Body: Birch back with maple sides, no Virzi fitted

Hardware: Silver-plated metal parts, wrap-over tailpiece, three-on-a-strip tuners, short bound pickguard

Notes:

Source: Ken Waltham

 

 

Model: L-5

Serial Number: 80411

Virzi Number:

Year shipped: 1926

Signed and dated by Lloyd Loar: Dec 1st 1924

Headstock:

Neck/fingerboard:

Body: No Virzi fitted

Hardware:

Notes:

Source: www.mandolinarchive.com