Gibson 1941 Cello VC-110

New for this year of 2018 are two seperate Gibson Cellos. The cello featured on this page is from 1941 and the other is from the following year of 1942 (it will be featured on a seperate tab).

According to several concurring sources, it is said the Gibson Company manufactured 40 prewar cellos. As with all of the instruments in Gibson's orchestral collection, it is difficult to validate the true number. Gibson Cellos are rare, though. I own these two and have seen a total number of three others in the past ten years of collecting.

Interestingly, the only information about these fine instruments comes from Gibson's 1941 violin brochure. The following states:


A correctly tenor voiced tone with power, brillancy and warmth - well rounded. Ebony fingerboard, tailpiece, end pin and pegs ; flake grain bridge ; asjustable end pin ; amber brown finish."

I did, however, find a source online that stated the fingerboard and pegs were of ebonized rosewood. (This is the reason why I want to own all of my instruments....hands-on, instead of soley 'internet' experience. When you own the actual piece, it is a lot easier to differentiate and conclude facts from the 'internet experts' who may have heard a rumor, but have no clue of reality). 

It turns-out that the pegs and fingerboard are indeed rosewood. It is easy to see the rosewood underneath a black finish. The tailpiece does appear to be solid ebony. The cello featured on this page has beautiful rosewood pegs, correct for the piece. Enjoy the following photos!

The above reads:

"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 ; already proven best for 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."

Although designated as VC-110 (Violin Cello), the inside label reads G-110-741. (G = Gibson).
Ebony nut and rosewood pegs. Note the striations in the rosewood pegs.
Three piece laminated maple neck.

Gibson 1941 Cello VC-110 

1941 cello on right. 1942 cello on left (featured on another tab).

This cello appears to have a nicely repaired neck. Interestingly, of the five cellos I have seen, only one does not have a crack in the neck. The other four have a crack in the exact same location.

This cello also appears to have a thin consistent layer of overspray in various places. There are still places with untouched finish and the entire piece has no laquer crazing, or spider webbing...something that is so typically seen in vintage instruments that are heavily oversprayed.

Note the 1941 cello on the right is a bit brighter. The amber brown finish seen here, as well as the other three that I have seen all appear as if they were hand painted. The finish is also more chocolate in color than a typical cermona brown finish typically found on other Gibson instruments.

The largest flaw is a small piece missing from the upper right spruce bout. What I actually like about the missing piece of wood is that fact that it is well worn from time. If oversprayed, it would have been many years ago. One could conclude this was original finish, as it is even throughout the body. But without certainty, no conclusions can be drawn and because of the neck repair, I will side with the latter.

1941 cello on right, 1942 on left (featured on another tab).
Both cellos have had their necks repaired. This seems like a concurring issue with prewar cellos, as two out of three others that I have encountered have had cracks, as well.

Gibson 1941 Cello VC-110

Gibson 1941 Cello VC-110