Here we have a 1933 Gibson L-Century guitar which was made for the 1933-34 Century of Progress International Exposition, also known as The Chicago World’s Fair. The theme of the fair was technological innovation, and this Gibson has fingerboard and headstock overlays of celluloid which was a modern marvel at the time—looks like Mother-of-Pearl but more durable and completely man made. What’s most notable about this gorgeously appointed guitar is that it’s not just a show piece. It’s a wonderful sounding guitar in its own right.
This guitar has a newer bone saddle and nut. There are a couple of small repairs but the guitar is in good structural condition. There’s a bit of finish bubbling that doesn’t show up in the photos, and it’s not really that noticeable to the naked eye. The overall appearance of the guitar is very nice. All of the celluloid and inlay work is tight and bright, just as you’d want it to be.
Basic Specs: 3-on-a-plate Nickel tuners. 1 3/4 inch Bone nut. Mahogany neck with a 24.75 inch scale length and pronounced Vee neck. Neck depth is 1 inch at the first fret and 1.15 inches at the twelfth fret. Celluloid over Rosewood fingerboard with beautiful diamond inlays. 14 inch radius. Firestripe pickguard. Rosewood bridge with a compensated Bone saddle.
This is one sweet guitar. When you combine history and rarity with playability and sound quality, you get a vintage instrument that is a lifetime investment. This is one of those guitars. Comes with a well-fitting modern hardshell case.
Serial: FON 728
Finish: Dark Sunburst
Case: Modern Hardshell Case
Weight: 3 pounds 9 ounces
Condition: Very Good Vintage Condition (with an attractive vintage patina of playwear including light scratches and some minor finish bubbling)
Modifications: Replacement Bone nut and compensated saddle; repaired top cracks; reinforcement below fingerboard extension
Comments: A lovely guitar that sounds even better than it looks.