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TUES - SAT, 11-6 * SCARSDALE CLOSED for vacation AUG 31 - SEPT 6

Gibson 1936 L-5, Owned by James Cagney

by Gibson
Soho: In stock / Scarsdale: Out of stock
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A true piece of American History. This L-5 was made in 1936 and was owned by legendary American Actor, James Cagney.  This guitar is in fantastic shape and has been refretted, fitted with a replacement nut and pickguard, and given a factory overspray and is otherwise all original. This guitar was auctioned off alongside property from the estate of James Cagney through the William Doyle Gallery in New York City in 1992 and comes with the original auction book as well.  

This guitar comes with a bit of memorabilia including a flipbook of photos featuring James Cagney with the guitar alongside Ronald Reagan and other cinema industry professionals of the era.  There are also personal letters from Ronald Reagan to James Cagney when Reagan was the Governor of California and the President of the United States. 

There are also twelve handwritten charts filled with chord diagrams made by James Cagney, and a miscellaneous collection of vintage guitar strings as well. 

Included with the guitar, is a copy of Vintage Guitar Magazine from April, 2017 where the guitar is profiled as a prime example of a 1936 Gibson L-5.

This guitar is more than a collector's piece, this is a beautifully crafted, perfect playing instrument, that is filled with the history and charm of an American legend.  This guitar truly deserves to be appreciated, and we are proud to help find this guitar a worthy home.


Make: Gibson

Year: 1935/36

Model: L-5

Serial #: 93904, Factory Order # 1019 B

Body Finish: Sunburst

Body Wood: Spruce Top, Quilted Maple Back/Sides

Body Binding: Original

Neck Wood: Flame/Quilt Maple, Walnut Center Stripe

Neck Binding: Original 

Neck Finish: Sunburst

Neck Back Shape: Very Soft V/C

Fingerboard Wood: Ebony

Frets: Refretted

Nut: Replaced

Nut Width: 1 5/8”

Tuners: Original

Pickguard: Replaced

Hardware Color: Gold

Bridge: Original, Base of the bridge has been carved away in the center

Case: Original Hardshell

Other: Finish has been oversprayed

1935 Specs: 17" body width, engraved tailpiece, unbound F-holes

1936 Specs: Serial/Factory Order #, 25 1/2" Scale Length

On Average 1935 L-5's had X Bracing. This one has parallel bracing

“There is truly nothing like it. The highest quality professional gear and The Rudy’s custom shop are undeniably one of the best!” Mike S.

“There is truly nothing like it. The highest quality professional gear and The Rudy’s custom shop are undeniably one of the best!” Mike S.