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Peabody1955 09-27-2018 04:57 AM

Serial number on Gibson L-48
First time posting! I just bought a Gibson L-48 and the seller said he couldnít find the serial number. When I get it, where would I look? I would imagine in one of the F holes?

Steve DeRosa 09-27-2018 07:03 AM

Welcome to the AGF! :)

IME older lower-line Gibsons such as your L-48 had factory order numbers (FON) and rack numbers, but no serial numbers until the early-60's. On an archtop guitar these are located inside the back (the flattops I've seen had them on the neck block), and may be seen by looking inside one of the f-holes; FYI many of these had a letter prefix that would help you narrow down the year of production, as follows:


Later guitars would have had both a label (inside the upper f-hole) and a stamped serial number on the rear of the peghead - both of which would be readily visible - so I'm certain yours is a pre-1960 model.

Be advised that the ink used to stamp the FON numbers often fades with time, so you may have to do a little careful searching to find it (a pocket flashlight like the Mini-Mag would be helpful here)...

Hope this helps... :guitar:

Peabody1955 09-27-2018 08:49 AM

Follow up question
Thanks Steve. I thought this might be the case. One other question you might be able to help with, the guitar has some varnish lose from holding/playing it. What might be the best way to repair this? Also, Iím assuming it has an oil base varnish, am I correct.
I was going to add a picture but havenít quite figured that out yet. 😏

Steve DeRosa 09-27-2018 07:47 PM

Actually it's a nitrocellulose lacquer finish, and unless it's really bad (meaning it looks like Jimi Hendrix' Strat after Monterey Pop :eek: ) I'd either get a light overspray (have this done by a pro) or just leave it alone...

Peabody1955 10-04-2018 07:43 PM

Gibson L-48?
I just received my Gibson L-48 and am looking for serial numbers. Inside the right F hole I see the blue ink stamped numbers 4269 20. Any ideas as to its age?

Peabody1955 10-04-2018 07:48 PM

Sound hole picture
Guess I haven’t figured out posting pictures yet! ��

Kerbie 10-04-2018 08:17 PM


Originally Posted by Peabody1955 (Post 5854595)
Guess I havenít figured out posting pictures yet! ��

Welcome, Peabody. Check this thread and see if it helps you with pictures. PM me if I can assist.

Peabody1955 10-04-2018 09:51 PM

Hopefully this works

Peabody1955 10-05-2018 02:18 PM

Gibson support
I called Gibson support and the young man there looked up my L-48 and said by the FON (factory order number) 4269 20, it was made between 1952 and 1954.
I sure love it, you strike a string and it tones for almost a minute. 😎

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