A friend gave me a 1934 Gibson Acoustic Banjo Guitar. This this is a guitar, not a banjo. I believe that it has a banjo scale length hence the banjo denomination.
Now in between my kiddy guitar project, my new "Dark Continent" bass project a kayak and a million other hobbies. I would like to restore this Gibson.
Now this thing has been through the wars so to speak. It was stored in the armory at Parktown Boys for several years where it picked up the most damage.
I have no idea if this is something special or should just be used as braai wood. The Gibson logo is hand painted and I think that it looks pretty cute. The body is unrestorable for playing condition, the trim insets around the corners are smashed, it has several holes and cracks, the bridge is missing, most of the internal trusses are missing. The only thing worth saving is the neck, the frets are OK(ish) and the tuning heads are still in reasonable condition.
1. Is this thing worth restoring?
2. How would I go about restoring it. I was thinking of buying another small cheap acoustic and mating the neck to the new body. It this a feasible thought? I'm not in the mood to build an acoustic body.
3. If you would like to restore this thing and you are actually going to restore it, I'll give it to you. (it pretty stuffed, so don't get your hopes up).
Interesting... Sounds quite odd. Any pics? It's not maybe a tenor ukelele is it?
I ran across an old "Gibson" "Banjolin" recently (a banjo with four courses of two strings each, like a mandolin). I'm no expert on such things, but it was quite obviously fake - also with a (badly) painted logo and a lot lower quality than you expect from the old Gibson company. I could be wrong, but I don't think Gibson ever painted their logos - everything I have ever seen has had an inlay.
To see if it's worth restoring, you'd have to find out exactly what it is and what kind of value it has. It's unlikely to be very valuable - most of the odd hybrid instruments haven't much value except as oddities in a collection. As such, it's probably worth more in it's current condition, which may be trashed, but is also original, which counts for more in the world of collecting.
Usually it's better to restore by keeping as much as possible of the original instrument, regardless of how much work has to be done. If you have to go to such extreme lengths to fix it, it may not be worth fixing at all.
To be honest, while it would be nice just to see, it's not something I would spend time fixing.
I believe that this is a real Gibson. I think this was an entry level model, also being in or post depression they probably made everything as cheap as possible to get the cash flow going. Speaking of which, did you know that during the depression Gibson made toys, because very few people could afford their guitars. Speaking of which has anyone every seen Gibson cigarettes, yes the same company came out with a brand of cigarettes circa 1950, can you believe it!?
Anyway, I'll try post pics of this thing soon.
VERY interesting. I don't see anything there that is unrepairable though. I've fixed worse - but it's a lot of work.
It might actually be worth something, even in it's current state. If it is worth something, it's a job for a restorer, not a repairperson. It might be better sold to someone who will be willing to pay a restorer to work their magic on it. So, before you do anything else, find out as much as you can and get a valuation on it.
I'm not ashamed to say this is far outside my sphere of knowledge I don't even know what this is!), so contact George Gruhn in the US www.gruhn.com and pay $50 for a valuation. If it's worth something and is sellable, he'll likely work as an intermediary, or buy it himself, have it restored and sell it on.
Of course, it might not be worth anything, then you are out R325. But maybe post on some of the specialised vintage forums and see what you can pick up before you go to Gruhn.
Keep me posted.
Thanks. For the last year that I've had it, I've been unable to find any information on it or a photo of one of its siblings.
I was told by the previous owner that it wasn't worth much, but my instinct is telling me that this is out of the ordinary.
I found a fairly new vintage forum, lets see if I can dig up the dirt on this thing.
Do you know of any restorers in this country?
Good luck with that. Also try http://www.gibson-talk.com/
- a few very knowledgeable people there.
Do you know of any restorers in this country?
Sorry, no. It's quite a specialised art.
I apologize for digging up old dead topics but I only read this now and was very intrigued...
What happened to this guitar?I would very much like to hear if it had ever been valuated.I just have some weird soft spot for instruments like this.
Like the guitar I had inherited from my father which was my grandad's last guitar before he passed.I assume that it was manufactured locally as it has a sticker on the inside printed in Afrikaans at the top and English at the bottom.The make of the guitar is a Gallow (IMSC) and it has a picture of a rooster on the head of the guitar.Also somewhere on it (cant remember now exactly where) there is a serial number.If anyone has any information on this guitar (or similar) I would appreciate it VERY much.
It's like the old hobo that walks the streets of Hatfield with his dog and his guitar.The axe is actually no more than a piece of junk but I would KILL to get my hands on that guitar.Imagine the stories that guitar would tell if only it could speak! (I actually wrote a story about this oak which was published by the Beeld, and tried to get a collection thing going to try and buy him a new guitar...Just never saw him again though...Hope he is OK)
Gallow or Gallo? I've seen a few of the latter around. AFAIK, they were an "importers brand" - inexpensive guitars made somewhere in the East or Italy for the Gallo Record Company, who distributed them to record shops locally.
Must be Gallo then.Please excuse my bonehead spelling and english... *blush*
One can actually see from the build that these guitar were very cheap. (Thanks for using the better word Alan!)But I know that my grandparents had it rough and he never really played any good as far as I have heard.But I am sure that you will understand what sentimental value this instrument has for me.
I understand completely. Those days before Asian mass produced instruments you didn't have much choice - it was the expensive brands like Gibson, Maccaferri, D'Angelico, etc. or the really cheap stuff.
There was another inexpensive brand: Bellini - made locally by a furniture company. They made the Gallos look really good in comparison. You don't see them at all any more because they would self-destruct very quickly - bridges would come off, tops would collapse and all the glue joints would fail.