1939 Gibson L7 Acoustic Guitar. Sunburst Finish.

The Blue Book says:

– arched spruce top, f-holes, raised bound black pickguard, bound body, carved maple back/sides, mahogany neck, 14/19-fret bound rosewood fingerboard with pearl multi-design inlay, adjustable rosewood bridge/trapeze tailpiece, bound blackface peghead with pearl fleur-de-lis/logo inlay, three-per-side tuners with plastic buttons, available in Natural or Sunburst (most common) finish, 16 or 17 in. body, approx. 1,200 mfg. 1932-1956.
Original body size was 16 in. In 1934, Advanced body (17 in. wide by 21 in. long) fingerboard/peghead inlay, trapeze tailpiece replaced original part/design. In 1937, redesigned trapeze tailpiece replaced previous part/design. In 1939, Natural finish became available. In 1942, multi-bound body, parallelogram fingerboard inlay, crown peghead inlay replaced previous part/design. In 1944, redesigned trapeze tailpiece replaced previous part/design. In 1948, laminated pickguard replaced previous part/design, and one or two pickguard mounted pickups became options.

I say:

Possibly the oldest Gibson I’ve ever had!

And it’s beautiful.

Clearly the guitar has been well used.

Starting at the top the peg head an 30’s accurate pearl inlays , single ply binding and machine heads are in great condition – the machine heads are the open cog and worm type – quite stiff, but they therefore hold their tuning well.

The neck is near unmarked on the rear surface – just a few minor bumps. The rosewood fretboard is in good condition with some wear in the open positions, and it carries some spectacular inlays – pearl floral centres with a Gold tinged outlining box.  The frets are quite narrow and only show some minor wear in the open positions.

The Spruce top does show some significant pick marks – suggesting that the guitar has been well used.  It also explains the replacement pick guard – which covers up the worst of the scrapes.

The rosewood bridge looks to be original, and the guitar intonates really well.  The tailpiece looks correct for the period and only shows pretty minor oxidation considering the age of the guitar.

The maple back and sides are in good condition.  Some significant scratches – but nothing that is out of character considering age and usage, or worrying.  There is one “secure” crack in the curly maple back on the upper bass bout.

The case is clearly an aftermarket case, but is secure and functional. 

Included with the guitar is a K&K Definity system archtop pickup that has all instructions for fitting, and provides a great boost to the acoustic sound – I just prefer the guitar without it! – it can be refitted easily if required.