Gibson 1926 L1

 Early version of Gibson's first flat top guitar with a carved arched back.  

According to "Gruhn's Guide to Vintage Guitars":

13 1/2" wide, circular lower bout, slightly arched top, earliest with H pattern top bracing, maple back and sides, earliest with arched back, fixed ebony bridge with pyramids at ends, black bridge pins, 3 evenly spaced rings around sound hole, bound soundhole, 3 ply top binding (earliest single bound), single bound back, 12 frets clear of body, 25" scale, earliest with no truss rod, unbound ebony fingerboard with square end, dot inlay at frets 5, 7, and 9, The Gibson paint logo straight across peghead, light amber top finish, Sheraton brown finish on back and sides."

According to Gruhn, "A few early flat top examples have a carved, arched back in the style of Gibson's archtop acoustic guitars.  Early catalog listings specify a slightly arched top and/or back, but this description refers to a flat top or back that may be arched very slightly by the bracing.  These specs are noted in model descriptions, but there is no easily discernible difference between "slightly arched" and the later flat specification."






























ca. Late 20's-early '30s L-1/L-2 series The Gibson flat top guitar.
I'm unsure of the exact model or year. There is no interior paper label.  37.5" long . 14" wide at the lower bout. 12 frets to the body. Ebony nut.
There are splits on the top plate and fretboard. The fretboard has finger gouging and freatwear in the first couple of postions, and flatpick gouging on the upper top plate on both sides of the fretboard. The finish is crazed and dinged. (see photos).
The arched back has a  ~ 3" hairline near the bass side C-bout, and evidence of a seam separation re-glue at the upper treble bout. No splits in the ribs.
Surprisingly, there's very minimal pull-up at the bridge and the neck is very fairly straight, with an ever-so-slight bow. The heel is still well grounded where it meets the body.