1957 Gibson L-5C









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SKU: 13308


Introduced in 1922 and developed by Lloyd Loar the L-5 was the first guitar by any manufacturer to combine a carved top and back, f-holes, an adjustable truss rod and a neck that joined the body at the 14th fret. Part of the Master Model series of instruments the L-5 would remain the flagship guitar for Gibson until the release of the Super 400 in 1935. Early examples had a 16-inch body with the neck joining at the 14th fret, constructed from two sections of maple with a dark center seam, the “Snake head” headstock design was bound and inlaid with a diagonal “The Gibson” logo and Gibson’s iconic flowerpot motif in pearl. The finest Spruce was reserved for the soundboard and the backs and sides were a mixture of Maple and Birch. As a high end, professional grade instrument the L-5 would undergo many changes in the following years, constantly evolving as players’ needs necessitated evolving from the original 16-inch wide, non-cutaway design, through to the 17-inch “Advanced” model in 1934 to the use of the longer 25-½ inch scale length that became a permanent feature in 1938, on to the Venetian cutaway equipped L-5 Premier in 1939 and finally the L-5 went electric with L-5CES in 1951.


This is a beautiful Gibson L-5C from 1957 in a wonderfully aged & patinated Cremona Brown finish that perfectly accentuates the fine carve to the Spruce top and highlights the figure to the Maple back, sides and neck. An excellent example of Gibson heritage, the guitar is testament to the quality of the high-end instruments Gibson was producing as the post-war era met the 1950’s.Shipped in 1957, our guitar would have been one of the earlier L-5’s to bear the L-5C title with the evolution from L-5 Premier happening in 1948. Featuring a 17” body with uniformly grained Spruce top, large bound F holes and 5-ply edge binding, figured curly Maple back, rims and neck. Internally as expected the guitar has parallel spruce top braces. The two piece Maple neck has a dark center lamination with unusually for an L5, a bound Ebony fingerboard. The neck otherwise follows Gibsons post-war convention with a bound headstock that features an intricately inlayed pearl flowerpot inlay and large Gibson block logo. The fingerboard is inlayed with large Pearl block inlays. The tuners are gold-plated Kluson Sealfasts with metal buttons. The tailpiece is the non-hinged adjustable L-5 Vari-Tone tailpiece found on the L-5 from 1939. The original 5-ply cellulose tortoise gard has crystallized & replaced w/a perfect repro. It’s also been refretted as it’s been enjoyed & its 1st owner who kept them just in case you would want them. Both the pickgard & fret job were done by George Gruhn in 2018. She Excellent overall & comes w/a matching Brown Tolex/Brown lined hard case.