Well, here's your egg-hunting revival story, folks.
This one started as a pretty cracked egg but I had it finished for this morning's jam. I'm really happy I did, too. It's got that big band thump and snap that I really like in these old 16" Gibsons and despite the plethora of cracks, that carved top is dishing it out even with the pretty light gauge strings I have on it. In person this looks just as beat as it looks on the blog, but the feeling one gets from it is "been through the wars" but not "wounded soldier."
During the wartime years, many Gibson products were made from lesser-quality wood and I'm sure the black finish on this instrument covers up the rather plain-Jane spruce and maple used throughout.
All the hardware is (amazingly) original on this except for the tailpiece (same period, but from my bin) and the strap button added at the heel.
Truss-rodded neck with bone nut. The Gibson inlay is pearl which looks spiffy.
Radiused rosewood board with pearl dots. This neck feels just like later 50s necks -- quick and fast but not as tiny as the 60s necks. I like a neck like this for chord work up and down and around.
Here you can see the multiple filled screw holes and fixed-up top cracks.
The original rosewood bridge is the final design that Gibson settled on for all their archtops after WWII.
This rusty old tailpiece fit the mounting holes at the endblock and is period, but from my parts bin. the original one would have been slightly nicer but this works just fine and looks the part.
That binding has all turned a sickly yellow that's vaguely friendly.
Here's those original, shrunken-button, Kluson tuners. These are the funky versions of these tuners that "hitch" into the mounting plates and don't have tension adjustment via a set-screw. As a result they feel "looser" until you're up to pitch.
The original endpin is actually painted wood.