The Gibson J-55 was produced in limited numbers prior to WWII; it retailed for $55 and replaced the Advanced Jumbo as the most expensive offering in the catalog upon its introduction. By 1941 Gibson was trying to get these expensive models out the door as cheaply as possible, so in true Gibson fashion they used existing parts intended for other instruments. Enter this beautiful J-55, with it’s distinctive “skunk stripe” down the fingerboard and large pearl dot inlays typically only seen on Gibson-made Cromwell instruments. The guitar itself is very well preserved: it retains the original finish, bridge, bridge plate, nut, and pickguard. The tuners are period correct open-gear Klusons, but likely not original to the guitar. The back was lightly oversprayed at some point long ago, but the rest of the guitar was not. There are four backs cracks of varying length that have all been repaired and are stable, one small B-string crack, and a small repaired crack on the bass side around the waist. Inside, it appears that one x-brace cracked and was repaired, and the bolts were removed from the bridge. The number “2521473” is ink stamped on the end block; upon further investigation inside, the number is a NC Driver’s License number that was also stamped on the underside of the top. This guitar does not have a visible FON, only ’32’ in red pencil on the end block.
This guitar is a great-playing and sounding example, thanks to a previous neck reset. The angle is optimal with plenty of saddle showing. Tonally, it has the beautifully balanced voice that Gibsons are sought for, and is very responsive to the dynamics in your playing. Demo video coming soon!