The Twelfth Fret ~ Since 1977 ~

Gibson A Jr Model Junior A-Style Mandolin Sheraton Brown, 1924

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The Gibson A Jr Mandolin, also known as the Gibson Junior, was the entry level for Gibson’s mandolin line from 1920 to 1925, 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 Junior 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, and the tailpiece is not engraved. The scale length, like the A style, is 13.875 inches. The headstock follows the old ‘snakehead’ design, which eventually became the classic ‘open book’ design still used today on Gibson guitars.

This lovely example is in good condition, plays well and has a warm yet brilliant, full, open sound. Its serial number indicates that it was built during late 1924, but was shipped during 1925. That was the very end of the time that Lloyd Loar was associated with Gibson. It has had a few minor repairs where plates have separated over time. There is a crack visible on the back, but it is stable partly under the heel block, and does not require repair. It appears that many of these instruments did not have a peghead logo, and the neck is not adjustable.

The original hard shell case is included.


 

Price: $1999.00 CAD
  • Model: A Jr
  • Year: 1924
  • Finish Sheraton Brown
  • Class: Vintage
  • Serial Number: 78711
  • Country of Origin: USA
  • Condition: Good
  • Date Posted: 18/03/2019

  • Consignment Item

  • Required CITES documentation
  • Including original Hard case
  • Instrument Weight: 1.76lbs .8kg
  • Scale Length: 352.5mm 13.875in
  • Nut Width: 23mm .9in
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