Gibson Kalamazoo Award

In 1978, Gibson was eight years into what would be a 15-year decline under the ownership of the Norlin company. A new plant had opened in Nashville in 1974, which would eventually lead to the closing of the Kalamazoo facility where Gibsons had been made since 1917.

If there was a bright moment of hope for those who remembered Gibson's glory days of the 1950s and '60s, it was the Kalamazoo Award model, introduced in 1978. The 17"-wide archtop was a work of art, with highly figured maple for the back, sides and neck; elegant pearl fingerboard inlays; a matching maple pickguard; and an intricate alighting eagle inlay on the peghead and on the pickguard. A floating pickup provided electric versatility while preserving the instrument's acoustic tone.

This Kalamazoo Award (inv. #AR3686) was built in 1981 and features beautiful quilted maple. In near mint condition, with original hard case and zipper cover, it is offered at $12,500.

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