Pre-War Gibson L-5 Owners' Club




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Serial Number: 88300


Year shipped: 1932


Headstock: Horizontal ‘The Gibson’ logo

Neck/fingerboard: 20 fret fingerboard with pointed end and dots from the third fret

Body: Maple back and sides 

Hardware: Gold-plated metal parts including non-original Waverly three-on-a-strip tuners with engraved baseplate and wrap-over tailpiece, ebony bridge and repro pickguard from Cumberland Acoustics


Notes: The back of this L-5 was removed at one point and it has two repaired back cracks in the lower bout. Has Barney Kessel’s name scratched into the finish on the back of the headstock


The guitar’s owner, Tony Marcus adds: “This is the second of two 16-inch L-5s that Barney bought from guitarist George M. Smith in the late 1940s and used for studio sessions, radio and movie work through the 1960s.

The writing on the back of the peghead is his name and Social Security number, which he inscribed on all of his instruments. I have letters from Barney's widow detailing all this information.” 


Pictures courtesy of Tony Marcus


88300 full front 88300 back of peghead 88300 full rear 88300 label