1920 Gibson A-3

MANDOLIN FAMILY
$3395 CAD ($2716 USD)
Gibson’s A-3 mandolin is a fairly rare model thanks to its position in the price lists of the early 1900s. It was Gibson’s second-fanciest A-model, after the A-4, and didn’t have an F-style equivalent. When introduced it sported a natural-finished top, but was upgraded at the end of WWI to sport a flashy ivory white finish to its top, and an ivoroid pickguard. There would be nothing quite this unique in Gibson’s catalog until the company introduced gold metallic finishes in 1952.

This example is in excellent condition and is largely original. It’s perfectly playable thanks to a recent refret with modern-sized mando wire and a thorough set-up. It’s warm and open, quite loud, and offers plenty of the sweetness pre-Loar Gibson A mandos are famous for.

Original finish throughout. Two infinitely minor 1” top cracks are properly repaired, small section of well repaired top/side seam separation, top’s brace has been reglued. The top shape is perfect and shows no sinkage. Original tuners work well, original nut and bridge are well fit and perfectly adjusted. Nut width is just shy of 1-1/4”. Neck carve is the typical V shape of the era. Three-piece neck lamination, birch back and sides, spruce top, ebony fingerboard, ivoroid binding throughout, abalone pearl headstock inlays.

With original hardshell case