Gibson eased into flat top guitar making in 1926, for a short time taking their hand-carved, arched-back (no braces!) maple bodies and outfitting them with a flat adirondack spruce top and "pyramid" style pin bridge. The Spann book lists this FON #, 8433, among the earliest of this pivotal year. It's the earliest Gibson flat top that we have ever had in the shop.
And a fine specimen it is, with no play wear to speak of, and the original and surprisingly delicate "H" bracing. "The Gibson" adorns the headstock and the body is bound top and back. Original tuners, nut, finish, bridge, and unslotted ivoroid bridge pins (gorgeous). There are no cracks save one short one parallel to the treble side of the fingerboard tab (and we've cosmetically minimized that to be only a slight distraction.) Action and playability are now excellent as we have just had the (heavily cracked and warping) fruitwood fingerboard and mandolin-style frets replaced. (Keeping a guitar unstable and hard to play but "all-original" does a disservice to the instrument, in our view. These are collectable vintage treasures, but they?re also meant to be played!) To add to the collectibility and completeness, the guitar resides in its original green felt lined hard-shell, arched-top case, in lovely condition.
Tonally, this guitar is a country blues machine, thick in midrange, echoing the sound and appearance of the "peanut" shaped L-1 long associated with the original bluesman, Robert Johnson. Along with the old-time plunky thump, there's something special that happens when a a metal slide is applied. The tone becomes more distinctive, lively and soulful, maybe even with hints of a southern drawl: a sound that might transport the player to Paris, Texas (with a stop at a Hwy 1 crossroads, near Clarksdale, Mississippi.)