This is a stunning & quite rare 1938 Gibson L-C Century of Progress Model Flat Top Acoustic Guitar made in Kalamazoo, Michigan. Its a desirable model most not great players, but look fabulous. This one is exceptional in both tone & playability. Its Ice Tea Sunburst lacquer finish looks delicious having super fiddleback flamey maple back and sides. This also has the best sounding Adirondack spruce top of its era w/a killer mahogany neck having the grooviest Mutha-o-Toilet white celluloid fingerboard w/rosewood inlays making it 1 of the most interesting & unusual Gibson ever produced. The L-C “Century of Progress” model is one of Gibson’s most distinctive and beautiful acoustic guitar designs, and one of the most visually striking flattops of any era. Combining a 14″ 3/5 wide curly maple body with flashy pearloid ornamentation on the neck w/a pretty Script logo’s & diamond inlaid laminated headstock. Not just a “looker”, the Century is also a sonically distinctive guitar in its own right. The maple back and sides give it a crisp powerful sound perfectly suited to blues and ragtime fingerpicking and when played with a pick the guitar is both loud and cutting enough to play rhythm in a small dance combo. The Century is single bound top and back, with finely shaded golden sunburst on all surfaces. The flamed grain on the back of this one is ridiculously nice. The softly V-shaped mahogany neck is also subtly sunbursted. The fingerboard is also bound in black and white celluloid. The soundhole ring is 3-ply W-B-W, while the pickguard is made of Gibson’s striking pre-war firestripe tortoise celluloid. Small pearl diamonds are set into rosewood blocks inset into the celluloid fingerboard creating a dramatic three color visual scheme which nicely offsets the sunburst-finished spruce top. Legend has it that this design conveniently used up surplus pre-made banjo fingerboards, as banjo orders had dwindled substantially in the 1930s. The model was originally introduced for the “Century of Progress” exhibition in Chicago in 1933, and discontinued around 1939. This is a fairly late example dating to 1938 with the larger sunburst area on the top typical of that period. No production figures exist for L-C’s shipped in the first few years, but the number is fairly small compared to the L-00 family. The L-C was a comparatively expensive instrument, listing at $50.00 (soon raised to $55) at the time, while the L-00 was in the $25-30 range. The finish shows typical moderate checking all over. With its relatively small maple body and spruce top the Century does not sound quite like any other flat top guitar, offering a powerful, well-defined yet still sweet tone. Overall she’s quite excellent, other than 1 tiny pickgard split she’s completely crack free & is quite lovely like no other guitar ! Comes in a modern hard case.
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