Gibson L-4 ( 1912-1956 )
Before the outbreak of the first world war , gibson dominated the market with their mandolins . Their guitars such as the L-1 and L-3 were well established , but as the big orchestral jazz bands were gaining popularity ,
gibson introduced a finer grand concert size guitar model with the same timbers and old style design like the L1 and L3 called the gibson l4 .
Unlike the gibson L1 and L3 which had 19 frets, in 1912 the l-4 featured 20 frets, 16" wide body ,oval soundholes , "the gibson" logo on the peghead , fingerboards had an end piece that surpassed the soundhole very similar to their line of mandolins ,
elevated tortoise pickguards, tailpiece with black pins , dot inlays on fingerboards , maple back and sides , mahogany necks ,
and were made in black top finishes ( sunburst finishes available during the late teens and throughout the 20s) . Round soundholes in 1928 . ( 1rst pic 1920s l4 , 2nd pic 1933 l4 )
In 1920 right after orville gibson died in 1918 , a man named Lloyd Loar joined the gibson company and changed the history of archtop guitars by designing the infamous L-5 which featured f-holes like their mandolins (no round or oval soundholes ) .
The gibson l-5 laid the foundation for all archtop acoustic guitars and jazz guitars until today . ( Considered the most significant and historical archtop acoustic guitar in the world )
Because of the l-5s' popularity , in 1935 gibson added f-holes to their gibson L-4s' and natural finishes were available during the early 40s , crown pegheads were added in 1946 and double parallelograms inlays on the fingerboards were added in 1947 . ( see 3rd pic , picture courtesy of ebay )
The gibson l-4 guitars were discontinued in 1956 , they sounded great and were considered less expensive alternative guitars for the l-5 and more prestigious models than the l-1 and l-3.
Vintage Guitars Price Value :
1912 - 1945 > $2000 to $2700
1946 - 1956 > $1800 to $2500
Avg Upward Trend Of 7% A Year Since 2000
You can find these gibson guitars on ebay if your lucky , seen some Gibson L-4 Guitars For Sale at about $600 to $1200 ( bargain ) .
Important Note : Due to the overwhelming amount of comments on this blog i cannot answer all the questions although id love to . You can still post questions hopefully some of our viewers can help you out ... Thank You