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Gibson K-1 Mandocello (1916)
Gibson K-1 Model Mandocello (1916), made in Kalamazoo, Michigan, black varnish finish, birch back and sides, spruce top; mahogany neck with ebony fingerboard.
This striking 1916 "black top" Mandocello dates to the period when Gibson was defining the market for these enlarged mandolin family instruments. In the 1910's Gibson instruments were only available from licensed teacher-agents, and were often purchased on time with the lessons. As part of the deal the students would often play in the teacher's fretted orchestra, and the low-tuned mandocello was crucial to achieving a full sound in these ensembles. Comparatively few were sold compared to mandolins, however, and Gibson mandocellos from any era are a comparative rarity. Often under-appreciated, the mandocello with its 8 strings and "C" tuning has a totally unique sound and can be useful for a wide range of playing styles; some yet to be explored! This is a K-1, the plainest of 3 mandocello models offered but still an expensive instrument when new.
Overall length is 38 in. (96.5 cm.), 14 1/4 in. (36.2 cm.) width, and 3 5/8 in. (9.2 cm.) in depth, measured at side of rim. Scale length is 24 3/4 in. (629 mm.). Width of nut is 1 5/8 in. (41 mm.). One of the nicer sounding Gibson Mandocellos we have had. Has had a light clear overspray long ago, all hardware original except the bridge is a later adjustable version. An very good playing example, and a sharp looker as well! Overall Excellent Condition.
Item # 4390
This item has been sold.
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