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1944 Gibson J-45 Banner

I am pleased to offer another completely original Banner Gibson guitar from World War II. The publicity and interest in these wartime guitars has been overwhelming and this one rates in sound quality as any we’ve offered.

While the men were off fighting World War II and materials were in short supply, Gibson turned to a female work force, reduced the number of models available, and put a special gold banner on all the guitars. The woods and specifications changed according to what manufacturers could get at the time, but the Banner guitars they built during the War have become legendary for their sound characteristics, romantic story and we are among the many who feel they are some of the best guitars ever made.

The Factory Order Number dates this J-45 to 1944. It features an all-mahogany body including the top with a 3 piece neck with a center lamination of walnut. The headstock proudly displays the gold banner reminding everyone that “Only A Gibson Is Good Enough”. Original open back Kluson strip tuners, original bridge and pick guard, and original finish with no over spray. The rich sunburst has just the right amount of red, and the old lacquer has checked and flaked naturally from age and use.

Our inspection of this J-45 showed no history of prior repairs, with all the internal braces intact and an original bridge plate. Master luthier and restoration specialist David Hatchard of Exeter, New Hampshire was our choice make this guitar play perfectly. Relying on Dave’s extensive experience working on Banner Gibson’s, he reset the neck for optimum action and tone, and replaced the frets. His usual outstanding setup and fretwork makes the guitar a joy to play, as you can see in the videos. Nut width is 1 3/4″ with action of 4 -3 at the 12th fret. Other minor repairs included gluing a short crack on the edge of the top’s lower bout, and touching up 4 tiny screw holes behind the bridge. They are only visible on close inspection and hardly detract from the beauty of this guitar.

The sound is simply sensational: loud, powerful, and brilliant. Open chords sound divine. We feel that the full neck profile of the banner guitars is part of the secret. Get your hands on a living piece of American history that you can play and enjoy.

Please watch and listen to the demonstration videos.

  • Year: 1944
  • Manufacturer: Gibson
  • Model:  J-45 Banner
  • Case: Vintage Hardshell
  • Color: Sunburst
  • Condition: Very Good ++