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Headstock: Horizontal 'Gibson' script logo
Neck/fingerboard: 19 fret ebony fingerboard with pearl block inlays at the first and seventeenth frets.
Body: Maple back and sides
Hardware: Ebony bridge, gold-plated hardware including flat plate tailpiece and open gear Grover G-98 tuners with metal butter bean buttons.
Notes: Although this L-5 still has the smaller 16-inch body, it has several features that show the transition Gibson was beginning to make in the model’s design. Most notable are the addition of block fretboard markers at the first and seventeenth frets, the smaller size of these block inlays, a wide neck heel and the introduction of a much more substantial gold-plated trapeze tailpiece. This particular style tailpiece only lasted a few years before Gibson introduced an even fancier version on the 17-inch body L-5 later sometime around 1936. Instead of thin, tubular supports, the tailpiece has larger, flat plate sections, a hinge at the bottom of the body and a large base featuring the ‘L-5’ name engraved on it.
Pictures courtesy of Arlan Ettinger of Guernsey Auctions (www.guernseys.com) and photographer Paul Schraub
This is one of 110 16-inch L-5s shipped in 1935.