A 1948 Gibson L-5P,  Serial No. A2597,
Lot 74
A 1948 Gibson L-5P, Serial No. A2597,
Sold for US$ 82,960 inc. premium
Lot Details
A 1948 Gibson L-5P,
Serial No. A2597,
printed Gibson label inside with typescript details Style L-5-P/Gibson Guitar/Number A 2597....Gibson Inc./KALAMAZOO MICH./U.S.A., in natural finish, with gold-plated parts, maple body with round cutaway, spruce top with bound f-holes, two-piece flame maple neck, twenty-four fret bound rosewood fingerboard with block inlays, headstock facing with Gibson script logo and flower pot motif inlays, two Alnico V pickups, four rotary controls, one toggle switch, ebony bridge, metal tailpiece and imitation tortoiseshell bound pickguard; and an original brown Gibson hardshell contour case with pink plush lining and original brown canvas zip case cover, with handwritten label inscribed Gibson L5 CES '48 Prototype with Alnico P. 90s Ser A2597; accompanied by a Christie's lot tag and customized guitar pick


  • Gibson first introduced the L-5 model in 1922. The P in L-5P stands for premiere by reference to a cutaway, a designation that was used between 1939 and 1947. An electric version of this model, L-5CES was first introduced in 1951 with P-90 pickups, which later superseded by Alnico V pickups in 1954. Given that this guitar was built in 1948, some three years before the first L-5CES, and six years before the introduction of alnico pickups, it is doubtful that this guitar was a prototype L-5CES as suggested by the attached label. This guitar was likely to have been built as an acoustic L-5P in 1948 and was later converted to the electric CES specifications.

    According to the original auction catalogue description, Clapton comments that both his Gibson L-5s ...had plenty of use. This would have been used on the blues album.

    Ex-Lot 38, Crossroads Guitar Auction, Christie's, New York, 24 June, 2004. This guitar has been generously donated to the auction by the purchaser Shamir Deen.

    Photo: Clapton playing Kidman Blues or County Jail with a mid-50s Gibson L-5 similar to this guitar at Budokan, Tokyo, in November 1993. Photograph courtesy of TAK.Hiro
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