This is a Gibson Model O. I inherited this guitar from my father.
He told me it was made in 1918 based on the serial number: 32038. Daddy bought it in Dayton, Ohio from the daughter or niece (I cant remember) of a musician named Mike Pingitore. Pingitore played banjo and occasional rhythm guitar for the Paul Whiteman Orchestra. Daddy loved old jazz and searched unsuccessfully for years for a photograph of Pingitore playing this guitar. Daddy bought it in the 1970s and it hung in his music room until he died a few years back.
It has an old professionally repaired crack in the heel. When Daddy bought it, it had two cracks in the soundboard (see pictures). He said Pingitore cracked it by putting on heavy strings in an attempt to get more volume out of it.
The tailpiece is also broken (see picture). It has a heavy ebony bridge Daddy said it wasnt original but it came with the guitar. Its missing a small diamond inlay piece from around the sound hole.There is a finish discoloration on the back (see pics) that I associate with rubbing on a sweaty belly. It looks like it would buff out but I havent tried. The pick guard is missing. Daddy said Pingitore bought the guitar from another musician and the first thing he did was take the pick guard off and throw it in the trashcan.
I assume Daddy heard that from the daughter/niece he would have squeezed as much information as he could out of her. He acquired other memorabilia from her he had promotional photographs, sheet music, and such from the Whiteman band but it all vanished after his death. He said Pingitore drank and wasnt very nice and that he loved this guitar and kept it until his death even though he never played it again. Its a heavy duty locking case (no key) thats obviously made specifically for a Model O.
The hinges, clasps and handle are all intact and sturdy. Its worn but structurally sound. I think you could take it on tour today. And I will do my best to answer them. I dont really know what this is worth.To Daddy it was an artifact of the Jazz Age. He always talked about it that way Imagine if it could talk and not as a guitar. He said it could be restored and he would have known. He did have instruments restored from time to time. He didnt really like archtops thats probably the reason he didnt send it away. If you heard Whispering coming from the music room you knew Daddy was sitting on a stool, staring at this guitar, playing a J-45.
The item "Vintage Gibson Style O 1918 No Reserve Jazz Age Relic" is in sale since Monday, January 09, 2017. This item is in the category "Musical Instruments & Gear\Guitars & Basses\Acoustic Guitars".The seller is "noctivagant" and is located in Raccoon, Kentucky. This item can be shipped to United States.