A 1917 Gibson A “Pumpkin-Top” mandolin, in exceptional original condition.

The 1910s would see a true expansion of Gibson Mandolin and Guitar Co.’s means of production: in 1917 (the year the present mandolin was made) they opened the historical plant located at 225 Parsons Street in Kalamazoo, Michigan, which would allow them to scale up their output of instruments. In this same period, they would apply a whole range of improvements to their range of mandolins and guitars, following in the steps of the innovation genius of Orville Gibson. Among these developments, the first adjustable-height pickguards made their first appearance, and a new technique for applying shellac-based varnishes using a compressed air and pistol system, which allowed for more uniform result from one instrument to the next. This would be the varnish used on the present instrument, the orange tint (commonly known as “Pumpkin-top”) is nothing more than the natural color of the shellac flakes dissolved in alcohol.

This mandolin is absolutely impeccable: it still has all of its original parts, including the tuners and engraved tailpiece cover. It has a great warm tone with great sustain, and is comfortable to play. Complete professional done at our workshop, ready to be played. Comes in its original Geib & Schaefer hardcase.


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