View Full Version : Loar-Era F4 at Christie's

May-03-2006, 10:12am
Browsing the listings at Christie's musical instrument auction in NYC on May 16, I noticed the following description for Lot 15:

Labelled Gibson Mandolin Style F-4/Number 75677

No photo unfortunately. Price estimate of $3-5k sounds a bit low to me.

Elsewhere in the auction, there's a 1918 K-1 mandocello (Lot 38) .

Bob DeVellis
May-03-2006, 11:34am
Their price estimates are typically below actual selling price. I think the strategy is to tempt people into participating in the auction by making things seem affordable.

May-03-2006, 12:09pm
Yeah, also have to keep in mind that they tack on an additional 20% "buyer's premium" above and beyond the hammer price - so the F4 you might win for $5k actually costs you $6k.

May-05-2006, 12:22pm
OK , first post. I noticed on ebay, this weekend, in Boston, there's an auction that has more teens Gibsons than you can shake a stick at. Yes the prices do seem low but given the number of pieces and the 22.5% premium I'm wondering if it may deter the usual ebay frenzy. They also say they run off over 100 lots an hour! so the bidding must be fast and furious. Is this place the motherlode that dealers go too. Any feedback? I've started picking on a 30's Strdolin after a 25 year layoff after nearly cutting off the middle digit on my left hand. Back then I had a sweet '10 a model and would love to get another???

May-05-2006, 12:48pm
Tom, this has been discussed recently, when the listings were first put up (you can do a search on 'skinner' to find the threads). This quote should answer your question:

"Things at the skinner auction have been selling for much more than expected in the booklets I've seen from their site over the past few years. They move alot of really high end instruments. What some people spend on a single violin bow I wouldn't spend on three mandos! Those auctions are the real deal."


Rich Michaud
May-06-2006, 7:24pm
Watch out for this batch. I played all the mandolins and mando cellos that are offered for sale. One mando cello is ok-I would not bid on the others. For example, the Black faced F4 has top sinkage. One mando cello has a big crack down the side. Even the D'Angelico I wouldn't spend 3k on. Instruments like these need a shop to fix them up and players be forewarned. Rich Michaud

Dave Reiner
May-06-2006, 11:24pm
Hi RIch-

I checked them out today and thought the F2 wasn't bad... What was your opinion of that one?

P.S. My real problem now is I'm hooked on a fiddle and a bow that I tried at the Tarisio auction viewing across the street from Skinner.

May-08-2006, 10:01am
A "sidenote" - not mando, but food-for-thought ; I saw/read this in the latest Vintage Guitar Magazine re: Christie's Auction - pic of a "clean" 60's Les Paul/cherry finish - est. @ $100-130K! - underpriced...!? - overpriced..!!? - ya' gotta' work a lotta' GIGS to pay for THAT one!# - I seem to remember(yeah, I'm old!) - it went new - at the time(60's) for $495-$595 - check an' see if ya' got one under yer' bed - or in the garage..!? - now back to mando-land. Moose.

Rich Michaud
May-16-2006, 5:43pm
My understanding from Christie's Auction is that the "The Hammer" stradavarius sold today for $3,052,000-now that is a hefty price for a small instrument.. The Wayne Henderson guitar sold for $31,200, and the "HERMANN HAUSER SR.
A CLASSICAL GUITAR, REISBACH, 1948" sold for $180,000.00.
# # I was happy to buy the 1924 F4 for a much more modest price.....

May-16-2006, 5:49pm
What kind of Henderson guitar was it? A brazilian D-45 I assume?

Rich Michaud
May-16-2006, 6:00pm
Christie's description of the Henderson is as follows:
4,000 - 6,000 U.S. dollars
Lot Description WAYNE C. HENDERSON
Inlaid with mother-of-pearl at the peghead Henderson, and branded internally W.C. HENDERSON/RUGBY, VA/327, length of back 19 in (483mm) with original case (2)

May-16-2006, 10:09pm
Regarding the 'As Is' condition of the instruments at Skinners' auctions. I went out there several years back and had a very nice private interview with their Fern Loar set for an upcoming auction. It needed work, but they were of the opinion that the buyer should decide whom should do that. Not an unreasonable policy.

May-18-2006, 4:03pm
Actually, the the hammer price on the Strad was $3.15 MM (highest ever paid for a musical instrument -- at least at auction), the Hauser was $150,000 and the Henderson was $26,000. The Les Paul went for $160,000.

Rich Michaud
May-18-2006, 7:40pm
Dane-we are saying the same except I am adding the premium which the buy has to pay (20%)(the percentage may be slightly different at the higher numbers). My information came from Chistie's. #Rich

Rich Michaud
May-18-2006, 8:33pm
I should add that I heard today from Ellis at Heritage that as a result of the Strad at 3M+, others hiked their insurance coverage of their fine musical instruments.The market appears to continue to climb. Rich

May-19-2006, 6:31am
True, Rich, except on the Strad, where the hammer price was $3.15 MM and the addition of the buyers premium brought the total to $3.544 MM. Amazing price, especially given that the previous record was down around $2 MM.

Rich Michaud
May-26-2006, 12:26pm
Question to LOAR SCHOLARS-As to the F4 that I bought from Christie's-the serial number is #75677. The Mandolin Archive shows that Loar signed an F5, #75675-two numbers earlier on 2/18/24 and also signed at least 18 more F5 Loars on the same date, #75689 to #75709. Can I conclude that my F4 is dated 2/18/24 as well? Second, how did an F4 wind up serial numbe wise in the middle of all the Loars re. serial numbers and date? Any input will be appreciated. Rich