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Thread: Can anyone tell me any thing about this mandolin?

  1. #26
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    Default Re: Can anyone tell me any thing about this mandolin?

    thanks mike. the information that you are sharing with me is very educational and i appreciate it very much. i looked inside with a flashlight and don't see any numbers but it can't see very far. do you work on Gibson mandolins?

  2. #27
    Martin Stillion mrmando's Avatar
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    Default Re: Can anyone tell me any thing about this mandolin?

    Quote Originally Posted by MikeEdgerton View Post
    What he needs is proof that the body isn't a Gibson.
    Shape of the points.
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  3. #28
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    Default Re: Can anyone tell me any thing about this mandolin?

    Quote Originally Posted by vlincoln View Post
    thanks mike. the information that you are sharing with me is very educational and i appreciate it very much. i looked inside with a flashlight and don't see any numbers but it can't see very far. do you work on Gibson mandolins?
    No, I don't work on Gibson mandolins, like most folks here I buy them, I sell them, I own them. I don't think this mandolin was built by Gibson but to get you to a point where you understand what you have let's see if we can get you somplace you can get an opinion that you believe. All of the people I mentioned in my earlier post could tell you what you have, if you want to let us know where you live (city and state) we can try and find someone that is close to you that will help you out.

  4. #29
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    Default Re: Can anyone tell me any thing about this mandolin?

    i am near harrisburg pa and travel to baltimore quite often

  5. #30
    Moderator MikeEdgerton's Avatar
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    Default Re: Can anyone tell me any thing about this mandolin?

    Take a Saturday morning trip to Mandolin Brothers in Staten Island, NY. It will be worth your while. Mandolin Bros. website is www.mandoweb.com. They are pretty easy to get to from New Jersey. If that isn't comfortable there is also a shop in Philadelphia where you can get some good information. I'll have to get that name and address. It will at least put your mind at ease. I don't know of anyone in the Harrisburg area that I would consider a mandolin expert. I'm familiar with the area, my daughter spent 4 years in Elizabethtown and then married a young man that lived in Harrisburg. I was all over the music stores out there on several occasions.

  6. #31
    Moderator MikeEdgerton's Avatar
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    Default Re: Can anyone tell me any thing about this mandolin?

    I've never met him but Fred Oster in Philadephia has appraised instruments including mandolins for the Antiques Road Show. His website is at http://www.vintage-instruments.com/. He would be another person that could tell you what you have.

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    Default Re: Can anyone tell me any thing about this mandolin?

    thank you! i don't know when i'll get a chance to go but i'm sure that i will someday. do you know of anyone in the baltimore md or DC area?

  8. #33
    Innocent Bystander JeffD's Avatar
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    Default Re: Can anyone tell me any thing about this mandolin?

    Quote Originally Posted by vlincoln View Post
    one of the owners of the music shops offered to buy it but it is not for sale.
    Well as long as you tell the owner of the misgivings some folks have, i.e. don't re-mis-represent the instrument, this might not be a bad option.
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  9. #34
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    Default Re: Can anyone tell me any thing about this mandolin?

    well here's the story and its kind of embarrassing. i bought it as a gift for upcoming birthday for a boyfriend. i don't play or know anything about mandolins except players like gibsons. i went to this auction and the auctioneer said that it was a gibson so what else would i think. i wanted to impress him and find out the history (when it was made and anything else i could find out) so i took it to the local music shops but couldn't really date it. one of the owners thought that it was pre-war because the "I" in Gibson is not dotted (don't even know if this is true now). so i came on here to try to learn what i could. now i just feel totally stupid! i can't even give it to him now. i can't help but think that the auctioneer should have known. i just feel totally taken.

  10. #35
    Registered User George R. Lane's Avatar
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    Default Re: Can anyone tell me any thing about this mandolin?

    Don't feel taken. The auction company probably are not experts in mandolins. By all means give to your boyfriend. Just because the folks on here say it isn't a Gibson doesn't mean it won't sound good. Let your boyfriend be the judge and I am sure he will appreciate your efforts on his behalf. He is one lucky guy.
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    Default Re: Can anyone tell me any thing about this mandolin?

    thanks George,
    when i won it at the auction, i was so excited that i got it for him but now that i think that i bought a piece of junk i am just too humiliated to ever think about giving it to him.

  12. #37
    Martin Stillion mrmando's Avatar
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    Default Re: Can anyone tell me any thing about this mandolin?

    Or, if you don't think you can give it to the boyfriend, you could sell it to the shop owner who offered to buy it, and get your money back.
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    Default Re: Can anyone tell me any thing about this mandolin?

    perhaps but i couldn't be dishonest and not disclose the information that i know now and therefore would never get the $1300.00 that i paid for it.

  14. #39
    Martin Stillion mrmando's Avatar
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    Default Re: Can anyone tell me any thing about this mandolin?

    Egad. $1300 is a lot. Most auctioneers have an "as is, where is, you inspect it" policy, so I doubt you'll get any remedy from the auctioneer. You can tell the shop that you doubt it's really a Gibson and see what they'll offer for it.

    If the boyfriend is any kind of a decent guy, someday you will tell him this story and he'll appreciate that you were trying to do something special for him.
    Emando.com: More than you wanted to know about electric mandolins.

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    Default Re: Can anyone tell me any thing about this mandolin?

    Even selling it as a copy on eBay you might still get your money back. Your boyfriend might play it and actually like the way it sounds and plays. He might be better suited in deciding the value of this. Honestly, I'd be touched if someone had done this for me. I don't think the instrument is new by any means, I do think it's probably at least 30-40 years old. There was an industry building Gibson copies back then as Gibson wasn't building stellar mandolins at the time. They had a rebirth of sorts and regained their old luster. I'd sit with him and show him what you've got and see what he says. He might be delighted with it. Unfortunately I don't know of anyone in the Baltimore or DC area that I can send you to. Someone else might know of someone.

  16. #41
    Registered User Pete Summers's Avatar
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    Default Re: Can anyone tell me any thing about this mandolin?

    Quote Originally Posted by vlincoln View Post
    thanks George,
    when i won it at the auction, i was so excited that i got it for him but now that i think that i bought a piece of junk i am just too humiliated to ever think about giving it to him.
    Just because it's not a Gibson doesn't mean it's a piece of junk. Gibson is just a name -- the world is full of mandolins that aren't Gibsons. If it plays and sounds good, that's all that matters. I'd give it to my friend and let him decide. After all, it's the thought that counts. I'm sure he'll be touched by the gift and treasure it, whatever it's providence. I know I would. And heck, it may turn out to be a nice instrument after all, who knows?

  17. #42
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    Default Re: Can anyone tell me any thing about this mandolin?

    Take a look at this thread. It's an entire thread given to copies of Gibson mandolins. We have hundreds that point them out but this one celebrates the copies.

  18. #43
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    Default Re: Can anyone tell me any thing about this mandolin?

    I think you've done a very, very sweet thing. And nothing should be less humiliating than that.


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  19. #44
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    Default Re: Can anyone tell me any thing about this mandolin?

    You might try Campbell's Music Service in York, PA; Chris Warner is their luthier, and I bet he'll recognize a Gibson "tribute" mandolin. http://www.campbellsmusic.com/documents/29.html
    The Appalachian Bluegrass Shoppe in Catonsville, MD is just outside the Baltimore beltway on the west; they're very knowledgeable and helpful. http://www.appalachianbluegrass.com/

    And I second John's expression above!

  20. #45
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    Default Re: Can anyone tell me any thing about this mandolin?

    Hey, now your boyfriend has a mandolin to play and a story to tell... Just like yourself, the majority of the public (and evidently some music store operators) won't know the difference, and assuming they can read, they'll think it's a Gibson.
    As long as no-one tries to pass it off as a Gibson, and the truth is revealed in conversation and at point of sale, then no harm is done. You didn't pay a Gibson price, and people have been duped a lot worse by paying a substantial amount more for far worse tributes.

    It would be great if someone could figure out what is IS, not just what it ISN'T, but that you might never know.
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  21. #46
    Registered User almeriastrings's Avatar
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    Default Re: Can anyone tell me any thing about this mandolin?

    Quote Originally Posted by vlincoln View Post
    or don't know a thing about Gibson mandolins.
    I'm afraid that this is very, very typical. An average music store just does not have the experience in this area. Now... if you went to one of the speciality, vintage bluegrass instrument dealers mentioned, they would confirm what everyone else on here is saying. I also agree it is not 60 years old. More like 35. Before the floodgates of Asian imports opened, if you wanted an F5 but did not have the $$$ your only choice was to make one yourself or get someone else to do it for you. A lot were made like that.. and folks often put on a bit of original hardware and copied the inlay work to make it "look the part". That's what you have. It might be good sounding mandolin.... but it is not an original... I think you paid something over the odds for it, but that said, I have seen similar ones go for even more - so you may not be that far out. It is worth letting someone who knows and plays mandolins evaluate it properly, in person - as an instrument, rather than as a collectible.
    Last edited by almeriastrings; May-01-2012 at 2:25am.
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  22. #47
    Registered User Grommet's Avatar
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    Default Re: Can anyone tell me any thing about this mandolin?

    Some of the copies/tribute pieces are very highly prized, as they have been made by skilled luthiers. The really good copies are also really expensive.This one may or may not sound like those, but it will have a unique story! Handcrafted instruments of the F5 flavor by US artisans are rare birds. We would all like to know the story on this one. If it had been a Gibson, 60 yrs would put it around 1952. A Gibson F12 in very good condition from that period is currently shown on the internet priced at $5800. Whether your friend or someone else adopts the one you found it is will be part of some neat history.

    Scott

  23. #48
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    Default Re: Can anyone tell me any thing about this mandolin?

    "neat history" - i agree - it's got a sound chamber, fret board, tuners and a scroll ... it's a mandolin! i'd love to hear what it sounds like but the important thing is the thing itself - res ipsa loquitur - not what someone says after seeing some photos, no matter how learned the opinion. you did a good thing!

  24. #49
    Martin Stillion mrmando's Avatar
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    Default Re: Can anyone tell me any thing about this mandolin?

    This mandolin or one very much like it is now on eBay:

    http://www.ebay.com/itm/OLD-VINTAGE-...ht_7884wt_1187
    Emando.com: More than you wanted to know about electric mandolins.

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  25. #50
    Carpe Mandolinium
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    Default Re: Can anyone tell me any thing about this mandolin?

    Quote Originally Posted by mrmando View Post
    This mandolin or one very much like it is now on eBay:

    http://www.ebay.com/itm/OLD-VINTAGE-...ht_7884wt_1187
    I think it's the same one. Take a look at the wear pattern on the tailpiece cover, and note that OP and eBay seller are near Harrisburg PA.
    == JOHN ==



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