Up for sale, a 1933 Gibson L-C "Century of Progress" model in exceptional, crack-free condition, complete with the original case. An extremely rare Gibson model (and the inspiration for Gibson's modern Elvis Costello signature instrument), the L-C was crafted in small quantities and dressed to impress, with a pearloid fretboard and peghead inlaid with Brazilian rosewood, as well as a tiger stripe pickguard, figured maple back and sides, and an Adirondack spruce top. These features were meant to showcase and commemorate the Century of Progress international exhibition in Chicago, which lasted from 1933-34, and this Worlds Fair was the perfect platform for a "modern" steel string guitar that had both an exquisite tone and stylish looks.
Featuring the original targeted Sunburst finish seen on the earliest Century models from 1933-34, this is a prime example that will satisfy discerning collectors and serious players alike. Sharing dimensions with the L-00, the Century features a 14 5/8” lower bout and 4 1/4” body depth. This guitar offers shimmering clarity and sweet, sparkling cut while retaining ample bass register fullness and overall tonal breadth. There’s a gutsy bark in the low end when you dig in hard with a flatpick, and the trebles also have a certain punchiness when picked with authority. The guitar is featherweight at 3lbs 11oz, professionally setup here at Mike & Mike's Guitar Bar with comfortable action and fresh 12-53 bronze strings.
The mahogany neck has a deep V-shaped profile carve, measuring .975" deep at the 1st fret and 1.105" at the 9th. The bound pearloid fretboard is inlaid with Brazilian rosewood blocks, which are in turn inlaid with smaller pearloid diamonds. The peghead matches this aesthetic as well, with a larger Brazilian inlay and pearl Gibson script logo, topped off with the original pearloid truss rod cover. The original slender frets are intact and stunningly clean with well-rounded crowns and just a touch of wear beneath the plain strings on frets 1-3, playing cleanly up the 24 3/4" scale. The original hand-carved bone nut measures a full 1 3/4" in width, and the open-gear nickel-plated strip tuners are extremely clean, retaining their original oval buttons.
The neck has been professionally reset, meeting the body at an ideal angle. A new carved bone saddle has ample height, slotted into the original Brazilian rosewood bridge which sits flush with the top on all edges. Action sits at 8/64" at the bass side measured at the 12th fret, and 6/64" on the treble side. The clean three-digit factory order number is intact, stamped on the heel block and visible through the soundhole.
The original nitro lacquer finish is a notably tight target burst, accented by the original tiger stripe tortoise pickguard. There is light pick wear on the bass side of the soundhole and light lacquer checking extends in all directions on the top and back, with some finish loss on the lower bout near the rear strap button, and to a lesser extent on the sides at the waist. There is also some slight cloudiness to the lacquer on the lower bout on the back. The guitar exhibits a small amount of targeted touchup adjacent to the back binding at the waist and also in a few spots of missing finish on the back. The nitro finish on the profile is extremely smooth and clean, free of palm wear.
The original black chipboard case is included and equally as clean as the guitar featuring purple plush interior, original latches, and leather handle.