The Twelfth Fret ~ Since 1977 ~

❌SOLD❌ Gibson A-Jr. Model A-Style Mandolin Sheraton Brown, 1923


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This Gibson A-Jr. model A-Style mandolin in Sheraton Brown is now a century old, and still sounds great and plays well.

The Gibson A-Jr. Mandolin, also known as the Gibson Junior, was the entry level for Gibson’s mandolin line from 1919 to 1927, when it became the A-0. Though classed as ‘entry level’, it was and is an excellent instrument.

Beginning in the 1880’s and lasting until the late 1920’s, mandolins and mandolin orchestras became very popular. The spark seems to have been a concert tour during 1880 by the Figaro Spanish Students, a fairly large group using bandurrias and guitars. The Bandurria is a rather short, coursed instrument with a teardrop shape at the time built with a round back. It’s easy to suspect that Orville Gibson combined the teardrop shape and coursed-design with violin construction practices for his revolutionary mandolins, including the A-style. around 1902. In the late 1920’s, the rising popularity of Jazz led to the decline of the mandolin’s popularity; it wasn’t loud enough to compete with horns and banjos.

Here we’re looking at a Gibson A-Jr. model mandolin in Sheraton brown – basically the only colour available for this model. It’s built like other A-Style mandolins, the key differences being wood quality and low decoration level. The arched, carved top features an oval soundhole and is Adirondack Spruce, while the arched, carved back is Maple, as are the sides and neck. The fingerboard, headplate, nut and bridge are likely Ebony. Decoration is limited to Mother of Pearl dot position markers, faux tortoise binding, and the tailpiece is not engraved. The scale length, like the A style, is 13.875 inches. It appears that many of these instruments did not have a peghead logo, and the neck is not adjustable, all to keep costs and price down.

The headstock is a wider design, with the tapered ‘snakehead’ form appearing in 1924. The top hints at the classic ‘open book’ design still used today on Gibson guitars.

This lovely Gibson A-Jr. mandolin is in good playing condition, plays well and has a warm yet brilliant, full, open sound. The top has a fair amount of wear and there appears to be a repaired partial crack on the back. The tuners and tailpiece are not original, and the pickguard seems long gone.

Its serial number indicates that it was built during 1923. That was the end of the time that Lloyd Loar was associated with Gibson, 1919-1924.

The original hard shell case is included.

Price: $1,300.00 CAD
  • Model: A-Jr.
  • Year: 1923
  • Finish Sheraton Brown
  • Class: Vintage
  • Serial Number: 71738, built during 1923 at Kalamazoo Michigan
  • Country of Origin: USA
  • Condition: Good
  • Date Posted: 04/10/2023

  • This instrument has been sold
  • Consignment Item

  • Including original Hard case
  • Instrument Weight: 1.892lbs .86kg
  • Scale Length: 13.875in 353.5mm
  • Nut Width: 1.213in 30.83mm
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