Throughout the 1930's, Gibson oversaw the manufacture of a number of subsidiary brands that were sold through various catalogs throughout the US. Brands like Recording King and Kalamazoo graced the pages of the Montgomery Ward catalog, Gibson made instruments, based on popular models of the time, but assembled for a fraction of the cost of 'the real thing.' Cromwell were one of these in house budget brands, offering contemporary Gibson arch top looks as more affordable, ladder braced instruments.
This 1936 Cromwell G-4 is a fantastic example of a rare pre war Cromwell arch top. Cromwell instruments utilised a pressed arch top, as opposed to a hand carved one, greatly lowering the production cost. The pressed Spruce top is paired with Mahogany back and sides on the G-4 model. The top features a ladder braced design projects very well with a tight, punchy sound that goes toe-to-toe with an equivalent carved arch top guitar. The Mahogany neck features a Rosewood fretboard with a comfortably chunky profile when compared with equivalent Gibson guitars of the same period. One point of interest with this G-4 is it features a dual inlaid fingerboard pinstripe design. While it is a common feature of Cromwell guitars to have a single inlaid line running the length of the fretboard, we haven't seen another with two!
This guitar is in good condition, with all the signs of play wear and patina you would expect from a near 100 year old instrument. It has been previously fitted with a Lollar Charlie Christian pickup, which is perfectly voiced for early jazz guitar styles. There are some previous crack repairs to the top and back, all of which are stable, and a hole on the lower edge from where a pickup output jack has previously been fitted.
This guitar has benefitted from a full service and appraisal by our luthiers at the Vintage Instrument Workshop, and also includes a 3 year warranty.