Gibson 1940 Viola
'The Gibson Violin Family'
According to 'Gibson Makes Violins' brochure:
All Gibson Violins are the same size, shape and design, regardless of the price; except the three-quarter size. They are fashioned, to a great extent, after the Stradivarius of 1692 and to this is added Gibson traditions, experience, and resources. All necks, backs and rims are of Northern Maple; all tops are of fine grained Upland Spruce; all accessories and parts are made of the finest materials, already proven best for the purpose. Each violin carries the Gibson Guarantee; and remember, all woods are air-seasoned by Gibson.'
Because there is not much information about Gibson prewar violins and violas, I asked Joe Spann if he could help on this topic. He replied,
'Gibson shipped 435 bass violas between 1939 and 1941. Since instruments could also be purchased at the factory and were therefore not tracked in the shipping ledgers, it is probably safe to estimate a total production of around 450. The Gibson bass viola was available in five models; the B-125, B-135, B-160, B-250 and B-300.'
'Gibson Makes Violins' May 22, 1942 announces:
'Only A Gibson Is Good Enough'
'It is with pride that we present to you, the Gibson Violin. Every violin is fully guaranteed so that you are assured of perfect satisfaction. The Maple and Spruce used in Gibson Violins come from the forests of the North. In cold climates, trees grow slower and the wood fibres are, therefore, more closely knit which means they are strong and resilient; and will retain their elasticity with years of usage.
Every piece of wood must be of just the right quality and texture for violin construction; then it is air-seasoned in our own yards for years and years before put in work. After months in process of construction; the violin finally reaches the finish room where it remains at least three full weeks. The finish must be of such materials, and applied in such a way as to bring out the beauty of the wood and at the same time seal in the moisture and preserve the wood fibres to assure everlasting response.'