View Full Version : Neat 1904 Gibson A4 with some nice Handel Tuner photos

Scott R
Nov-01-2018, 9:49am
I've been traveling around shooting instruments at festivals and camps, and since there is a lot of love for early Gibsons around here, I wanted to share this

https://www.ruttlist.com//images/collections/mandolin/2018/25/248_thumb.jpg (https://www.ruttlist.com/builders/gibson/a4/26oqvP)
Gibson - A4 1904 [View On Ruttlist] (https://www.ruttlist.com/builders/gibson/a4/26oqvP)

I got some nice detailed photos of the Handels on this one, which are pretty neat to see how they are made:

https://www.ruttlist.com/images/collections/mandolin/2018/25/257_thumb.jpg (https://www.ruttlist.com/builders/gibson/a4/26oqvP)

Nov-02-2018, 5:24am
Scott, thanks for posting this, it is a beauty but I think it is an A3. Did the label indicate otherwise?
A4’s usually have a fleur de lis inlay on the headstock, this one has the traditional A3 inlay.
It is unusual to see the neck join the crosspiece at the 11th fret, perhaps others can chime in on this observation. Gibson standardized (mandolin) necks to join at the 12th fret until the introduction of the F5 which we all know joins at the 15th.
I love the fancy embossed tuner plates and inlaid buttons viewable in your link.

Best Regards,

Scott R
Nov-02-2018, 9:44am
Mark, you very well may be right. I might have written it down wrong in my notes. My memory says the model designation on the interior label was fuzzy so I went with what I was told by the owner.

Can anybody else confirm the inlay difference for A3 / A4? Some quick googling leaves me with many perhaps mismarked A3/A4 options as well.

Nov-03-2018, 4:42am
I think it is an A3 with that inlay, unless model naming changed over the years.

Nov-07-2018, 10:53am
A4's have the extended fretboard. 172403

Scott R
Nov-07-2018, 12:58pm
Thanks, I will update :)