Gibson (used, 1924) Style A Snakehead

Tag No 32-4263 Used

#79070, in “excellent plus” condition, all original, with the original hard shell case.

It is generally accepted that the finest sounding oval hole teardrop shaped mandolins were made during Lloyd Loar’s tenure as Gibson Chief Acoustic Engineer. Although this model was never signed by him, the Snakehead A reflects his creativity and passion for excellence. The term “Snakehead” refers to the inverted peghead shape – it gets skinnier as it goes upward – and said headplate on this example is silkscreened with a “The Gibson” logo at a steep angle and, below that logo, is the truss rod cover, symbolic of a slimmer, more accessible, though still V-shaped, neck shape. The oval hole is bound in ivoroid and bordered by a white-black-white rosette, the adjustable two piece bridge (thank you Lloyd and Guy) bears the original January 18, 1921 patent stamp. The elevated fingerrest provides a rest for the weary fingers, and the engraved, floral “The Gibson” slide-off tailpiece cover protects us from unsightly string ends. The top is bound but the back is not, the fretboard is unbound and ebony and inlaid with six large pearl dots. It sounds mahvelous.

This mandolin is what we call “excellent plus” condition because it shows just about no wear -- and that is pretty amazing for a 91 year old mandolin.  The top and back have some very minor dings, the back has several light scratches  along with four small chips on the treble side of the headstock.  On the side of the body, there is a mark from what appears to be a piece of tape – this is another area that might go away after it has been cleaned.   The back is separating from the sides and right now has a small overbite. Our repair shop will work on this so that this area is hopefully, when repaired, the area is flush and invisible. The original hard shell case is in pretty good condition except that the area supporting the lock is lifting and coming apart from the case.  *NOW ON HOLD*

 

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