View Full Version : Another Question about a vintage Gibson

Mar-15-2006, 10:23pm
I was at my local jam this last weekend and some of the mandolin players and builders were discussing dates of some older Gibson A style mandolins. One gentleman had this mandolin with him and wasn't sure of the date it was made. He was told that there was a limited number made like this one. Could anyone confirm this?

Mar-15-2006, 10:50pm
Well darn. Wish I'd been there for that one!

Mar-15-2006, 11:06pm
Shaun, he is at almost every show, both weeks. I'll show it to you sometime. We missed you this week.

Mar-15-2006, 11:25pm
If you could show the whole mandolin we could tell you so much more but from what I see in the head shot is not Gibson made. Looks to be a fancied up A-40/50 model that a no so great luthier added the flower pot/Gibson logo/binding? and resprayed it in non-Gibson lacquer. And what's up with the big chrome tuners?

Mar-15-2006, 11:26pm
PS: Serial number would help too! That would help date it if it has one at all. May not even be a Gibson!

Mar-16-2006, 9:03am
Thanks Tom,

I just got the picture of the headstock as it was different. It is an A-40/50 model but that is all I know about it. I will try to get the serial and a picture of the whole mandolin at next months meeting.

Darryl Wolfe
Mar-16-2006, 9:24am
Not Gibson work

Mar-16-2006, 10:25am
Agreed, that's a Gibson "Copy" IMO

Paul Hostetter
Mar-16-2006, 11:05am
Knowing Gibson, I wouldn't dismiss it without seeing it. Though the gears are hideous, the profile is correct:


Paul Hostetter
Mar-16-2006, 11:12am
Add this headstock overlay:


I see no reason why this couldn't have happened on Parsons Street.

Darryl Wolfe
Mar-16-2006, 11:57am
To clarify my opinion, I have assumed the mandolin to be a Gibson A-50 or such, with the correct headstock profile already in place. Although possible that Gibson did the work, it appears to have been done by someone else. I base this on the non-uniformity of the binding, the lack of "straightness and squareness" to the logo (crooked N) and the deviations in the Flowerpot pattern itself (not the extra cuts in the base)

Darryl Wolfe
Mar-16-2006, 1:07pm
But.....you never can tell with Gibson

Paul Hostetter
Mar-16-2006, 1:27pm
Yah, you rite. But the more I look at that mandolin headstock, the more I'm losing my resolve that it might have happened in Kalamazoo. I'm less disturbed by the chess pawn than by the dot over the I in Gibson.

Mar-16-2006, 2:09pm
It could be I suppose, it just "looks like a copy" if that makes sense. Things that even those dark ages ones got better-looking. The logo appears to be an inlay copy of a silkscreen design.. so the inlay has more roundness where the silkscreen is sharp, etc. Sharper pictures and more detail might tell the story better

Darryl Wolfe
Mar-16-2006, 2:23pm
Paul, I believe the inlaid pearl dot over the "I" varied. #There was an "attached period" and a "floating" period. #The lack of parallelness top to bottom/side to side to the letters bothers me.

fun stuff

Mar-16-2006, 3:25pm
Come on guys, this ain't even in the ballpark of something done by Gibson. Sure they could have done some this way but not this one. It's a crude attempt at best. The serial number and whole photo would tell us more but as far as the inlay work it's not Gibson. Hack luthiers were in the hundreds in the late 60's to early 70's. And then there was the homeschooler who attempted his own at home with tools from Ace hardware. This looks to be a homeschooler.
The example Paul shows looks to be a 70's. The 50's and 60's were even more different than that but this thing is way out there in the logo and flowerpot.

Paul Hostetter
Mar-16-2006, 4:57pm
We are such fools. Sigh.

Darryl Wolfe
Mar-17-2006, 11:01am
We are such fools. Sigh.
Yep, you are right. We need to go back to Lutherie Camp http://www.mandolincafe.net/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/biggrin.gif

Mar-17-2006, 11:36am
that inlay work is awful - i doubt even during the hight of the dark years they had anyone that bad. lets just say this aint no gibson *custom shop* model, nor rare piece....its that bad. BUT - you know, as long as its the guys mando, he can call it whatever he wants...its HIS - but when/if he goes to sell it...thats another story - he's gonna get schooled. he'll get mad and say they dont know what their talking about, etc, etc - i've seen this happen over and over with stuff that got *customized* in the 60's & 70's. i just saw this with an old fella who had a gibson banjo...swore up and down it was a custom instrument and the neck had the most amature work and inlay i had ever seen...BUT it said GIBSON on it - http://www.mandolincafe.net/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/tounge.gif