The Twelfth Fret ~ Since 1977 ~

Cromwell G-4 Archtop Guitar by Gibson, 1935


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The Cromwell G-4 archtop guitar was built by Gibson from 1935 to 1939 and sold to various retailers and catalog distributors. Inside this guitar, visible through the bass F-hole is a well-preserved yellow label reading ‘New York Band Instrument Company’ indicating that it was sold by that company, at the time a large music store in New York City, but gone by 1950.

The example shown here is in good working order and its light construction produces a full, lively sound; its action is good and it plays well.

Gibson produced guitars under several brand names like Kalamazoo and Cromwell, to help fill out their production capacity during the lean years of the depression; earlier the Kel Kroydon name was used. These guitars were similar to Gibson models, but built using lighter construction and less costly processes including pressed, rather than carved tops and backs. ‘Pressing’ means that pressure, heat and moisture were used to create the shapes, and for these guitars solid woods were used, not laminates.

This early Cromwell G-4 dates to about 1935 and is in great condition for its age. It appears to be complete and original, except for its strings, an added strap pin on the heel, and it was likely professionally refretted some time ago. A quality modern case replaces whatever it might have been sold with – possibly paper fiber.

The top is pressed solid Spruce, the sides and back pressed Mahogany. The neck is Mahogany with no truss rod, and the fingerboard and adjustable bridge are Brazilian Rosewood. The top and back are bound, but the neck is not.

Hardware is limited to a firestripe pickguard, a set of strip gears and a trapeze tailpiece. The G tuner has some backlash but all the tuners work. There are modern, high quality duplicates under the ‘Golden Age’ Stew-Mac brand intended for drop-in replacement on instruments like this.

The Cromwell G-4 finish is Gibson’s Nitrocellulose lacquer sunburst, very lightly applied, and it is in good condition with some expected play wear, including some pick marking from enthusiastic strumming on the bass side of the strings.

A recent TKL tweed arched-top hard shell case is included.

Price: $2,150.00 CAD
  • Model: G-4
  • Year: 1935
  • Finish Sunburst
  • Class: Vintage
  • Serial Number: N/A, built around 1935 by Gibson at Kalamazoo MI
  • Country of Origin: USA
  • Condition: Good
  • Date Posted: 30/06/2023

  • Consignment Item

  • Including Hard case
  • Instrument Weight: 3.96lbs 1.8kg
  • Scale Length: 24.75in 628.6mm
  • Nut Width: 1.786in 45.38mm

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