The pre-war period from 1930 through to the early '40s is without doubt the golden era of Gibson's flat top and archtop guitar production, with many of the companies most iconic and most revered instruments being initially produced during this time. The growing market for big band instruments lead to a number of era defining arch tops being produced by Gibson, with guitars like the L-5 and Super 400 becoming the dominant, top of the line big band guitars.
The Gibson L-10 is one such arch top from this period, sitting just below the L-5 and Super 400 in the range, and retailing for $180 when introduced in 1931 as a slightly more modest option compared to its more deluxe counterparts. This 1937 Gibson L-10 is a fine example of one of the rarer arch tops produced by Gibson, with a sound and look that really sets it apart. The L-10 features a hand carved Maple top with maple back and sides and a maple neck, with the back, sides and neck on this guitar sporting a beautiful lightly quilted grain. The Maple neck features a chunky but very playable neck profile, that is not as severe as some 'baseball bat' profiles on early Gibson guitars, and is very comfortable to play. The L-10 model was updated in 1935 to include checkerboard binding, pearl double arrow fingerboard inlays and the ornate vase and curlicues headstock inlay that can be found on this example. The larger 17" body shape gives this 1937 L-10 a powerful resonance and projection designed to cut through without amplification, perfect for jazz playing and flat picked rhythm playing in equal measure.
This guitar is in good condition for its age, and has had some work to keep it paying and sounding as it should. At some point the guitar has required structural repairs, all of which were undertaken by renowned luthier Gordon Wells at Knight Guitars in Surrey. The right side piece of wood has been replaced, with the work being to such a high standard that it is almost impossible to see with the naked eye. During this process, the guitar was also resprayed on the top, back, sides and neck, with a period correct nitro finish that leaves the guitar looking as it would have out of the factory.
This guitar has been given a full service and appraisal by our luthiers at the Vintage Instrument Workshop, and includes a 3 year warranty. It also includes a non original modern hard case.