Gibson 1941 Prewar Upright Bass

'Gibson Makes Violins' announcement May 22, 1941

"A new complete line of basses, precision built with the graceful lines of a violin. Compare every detail inside and out; let your eye follow the violin-like curves, the high arching, and the beautiful hand-finished scroll. Now play it - bow it - slap it - and listen! There is but one conclusion...A real "Violin Makers Bass" with a powerfully balanced tone...All Gibson Basses are full three-quarter size, and are alike in shape and design."

As quoted from Gibson's 1941 violin makers brochure.

'Gibson System For Guitar' 1939
1941 B-135 Bass

Quote from "Gibson Makes Violins"

May 22, 1941


Bass specifications:

"'B-125 Bass......$125.00...Here is the Crackproof Gibson Bass especially arched to produce a powerful, well balanced tone. Spruce top; maple back; rim and neck; ebony fingerboard and tailpiece; flake grain bridge; individual machine heads; solid end pin; adjustable $1.00 extra; finished in rich antique brown.

B-135 Bass......$135.00...Same as B-125 but made of woods especially selected for their beauty and texture to be enriched by the new Gibson natural finish."

More info can be found on the intro page Gibson Prewar Violin and Bass

Actual shipping ledger provided by Lynn Wheelwright shows this particular bass shipped on May 14, 1941 to a Mr. Karl Fiarr in Chicago.
B-135-441 Model and serial number
Factory order number, or FON 2742-3
Maple rims, ebony fingerboard
'Gibson System For Guitar' 1939
Photo 'Gibson Guitars 100 Years of an American Icon'



According to, "Gibson Makes Violins", May 22, 1941:


"Gibson has brought to the Violin world a new lustrous transparent natural finish which protects the wood fibres without coloring; the color of the wood is left just as made by mother nature - it is not a bleaching process but is the regular finish applied without color added."

Natural finish for guitar lovers began with the 1939 Super 400 and the L5. Both prewar guitars which are very sought after. 

Natural finish. Note Gibson started using natural finish on Prewar instruments in 1939 on its basses, violins, violas, cellos, Super 400's and L5's.
'Gibson System For Guitar' 1939
Flake grain bridge, spruce top
Ebony tailpiece and endpin.
Solid, adjustable end pin.
Inside dowel for structural reinforcement. Dowels are common in all Gibson orchestral instruments. It is common for a dowel to become dislodged inside of the instrument and to roll around loosely.
First glimpse of Gibson Violins in 1939 Catalog AA.
Maple rims, spruce top, ebony fingerboard and tailpiece
'Gibson System For Guitar' 1939
Maple neck and scroll
Individual Kluson tuners
Ebony nut...however this model was preowned by a 'lefty'...the ebony nut was replaced and now a different wood has been used back to 'righty'
Maple back, solid maple neck
'Gibson System For Guitar' 1939