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Jumbo "185" (J-185) model (16-1/4″).
Factory Order Number Y6946-32.
John R. Barmeyer Collection, 2006.
The J-185, a guitar with a narrow-waisted body shape known as the "jumbo," was first offered in 1951. It features a lightly figured maple back and ribs that bring out the classic, shaded, lacquer finish described in a catalog of the period as the "Gibson Golden Sunburst."
Printed on oval paper label with double-line border, the outer line thicker, the style and letter "A" of number written in black ink, the instrument name and number rubber-stamped in black ink: Style J-185 / Gibson GUITAR / NumberA16591 is hereby / GUARANTEED / against faulty workmanship and materials. / GIBSON, Inc. / KALAMAZOO, MICH. / U. S. A.
Body: Soundboard: two-piece spruce: wide grain broadening toward the flanks. Back: two-piece, slab-cut maple with faint, narrow curl and pith flecks. Ribs: two-piece, slab-cut maple with faint, narrow curl and pith flecks, reinforced on inside with 10 spruce reinforcement grafts with tapered ends glued to inside of ribs. Head: mahogany veneered with black lacquered maple; black-over-white celluloid bell-shaped truss rod cover secured with nickel-plated, steel, phillip’s-head screws. Neck: mahogany; integral with head.
Trim: Heel cap: none. Fingerboard: rosewood bound in white celluloid; 19 nickel-silver frets; imitation mother-of-pearl, plastic, split-parallelogram inlays behind 1st, 3rd, 5th, 7th, 9th, 12th, 15th, and 17th frets; single, imitation tortoise-shell, celluloid side dots behind 1st, 3rd, 5th, 7th, 9th, 15th, and 17th frets; double, imitation tortoise-shell, celluloid side dots behind 12th fret. Nut: translucent white plastic. Bridge: rosewood with curved upper end; single mother-of-pearl dots inlaid beside E-string bridge pins; mother-of-pearl Maltese crosses inlaid at each end of bridge; angled, translucent, white plastic saddle; white plastic bridge pins. Tuners: six Kluson gold-plated, steel, worm-gear machine tuners with enclosed mechanisms; tulip-shaped, marbled, white plastic heads. Endpin: white plastic. Pick guard: imitation tortoise-shell celluloid. Lacquer: dark red-brown sunburst.
Inlay: Head: mother-of-pearl "Gibson" and geometric crown. Binding: white celluloid; with two-ply, black-and-white celluloid trim. Rosette: five-ply (white-black-white-black-white) celluloid purfling strips set in from inside edge. Back stripe: none. End graft: none.
Interior: Linings: kerfed mahogany. Neck block: mahogany. End block: mahogany. Top bracing: spruce X-brace, the joint of main cross brace reinforced with white cloth; transverse and finger braces with tapered ends; maple bridge plate. Back braces: four spruce back braces with tapered ends. Back graft: maple.
©National Music Museum, 2006
Most recent update: October 23, 2007
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