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Click here for a video demo which includes this guitar.


It's estimated that Gibson built about 50 of these for the Tonk Bros. company during its ownership of Washburn.  This is a carved top 16 1/4" archtop guitar with mahogany sides and back.  The fingerboard is Brazilian rosewood with parallelogram inlays.  Gruhn's Guide describes them as similar to the Kalamazoo KG-31 or the Cromwell G-5.

The guitar appears in all original condition, including all hardware and even the frets.  The frets have light wear with small divots in the "cowboy chord" area only.  The neck has a medium, semi-soft V shaped neck, typical of these guitars.  The finish is in very good condition with a scattered minor scratches (see pictures) and only light lacquer checking.  The pickguard is in superb condition and shows no signs of breakdown.  The tuners work well, but can be a little tight to turn, and stay in tune very well.  The top is X-braced and shows no signs of sinkage at all. 

The playability is quite good with room at the bridge for adjustment either up or down, as preferred.  The neck is straight.  To achieve a very low action, a fret dressing may be required, but for a typical acoustic archtop action, no work is needed.  

 The build of this guitar gives a much brighter than expected tone for a mahogany bodied guitar.  The tone is bold and quite loud, also surprisingly so for an X-braced guitar. The guitar is currently strung with a Thomastik-Infeld JS113 flatwound string set, taming the brightness somewhat and yielding a beautiful tone for solo guitar playing.  

Nut width - 1 3/4"
Weight - 4 lb 0 oz

The guitar comes with a non-original chipboard case.


Ships for free in the continental United States.

SOLD - 1939 Washburn Aristocrat 5243 Archtop - All Original - Built by Gibson

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