Gibson L-3 Guitar with Harmonica
Appraised Value: $3,000 - $5,000 (1999)
$2,500 - $3,000 (2013)
IMAGE: 1 of 9
Appraisal Video: (2:03)
Decorative Arts, Folk Art, Furniture, Musical Instruments
GUEST: My grandfather died about a year before I was born so I never did get to meet him, but I've always heard that he played the guitar and the harmonica. I've had the harmonica at my house for awhile. I've enjoyed playing it. My children have enjoyed playing it.
APPRAISER: Oh, it's great, yeah. Let's talk a little bit about the guitar first. This is a Gibson L-3 guitar, and they were in production from 1902 up and through the '30s. If you look inside of all Gibson guitars made since 1902, you'll see that inside here there's a serial number, and that tells you the year of manufacture. I found out that the year of manufacture on your guitar is 1928.
GUEST: That's older than I thought.
APPRAISER: Yeah, this is an L-3. It has a spruce top. It has maple sides and back, has an ebony fingerboard, and this has an "O" hole. They quit making this guitar in the '30s. They started making them with flat tops-- this has an arched top. I want you to tell everybody a little bit about the way your grandfather played and the things that he did.
GUEST: We've got a picture of him right here in 1935. Well, I think back in the '30s he was a Sunday school teacher, and he would play for the Sunday school and for church services. And he also was on the radio. And I think he played some folk music and a little bit of Western music on the radio.
APPRAISER: Well, I've never seen a holder this large for a harmonica like this. This is a Hohner tremolo harmonica and when he played this, this had tremolo in it so it sounded like a whole orchestra if you went back and forth across the harmonica. And probably on one side he had a "C" and on the other side he had a "G." It's very difficult to do this. Have you ever seen anybody play the harmonica and play the guitar at the same time?
GUEST: Only in the photograph.
APPRAISER: It's very difficult to do. He must have been really talented.
GUEST: I think so.
APPRAISER: In my opinion, everything together here is probably worth around $3,000 to $5,000.
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