View Full Version : Gibson Mandolins-Is it Real /Altered/Modified?

Darryl Wolfe
May-24-2006, 11:13pm
I would like this thread to be a place to post any and all questions regarding what is real, original, messed up, fake, refinished, or any situation that supports the community in making a prospective buyer more comfortable with his impending purchace or simple "take" on any given mandolin.

Darryl Wolfe
May-25-2006, 12:08am
So then we take up where my deleted thread left off. #After numerous discussions, we decidfed to let this situation play completely out before posting info on it.

But, one of our members of this community purchased a mandolin for high$$ and it turned out to be "not real"

The situation has rectified itself and there in no longer any lost money involved, but the whole deal serves as a lesson to us all. #That is where we will begin this delve into "What is real, How do I know" and just "How the heck do you tell"

Steven Stone
May-25-2006, 12:30am
[That is where we will beging this delve into "What is real, How do I know" and just" How the heck do you tell" ]

While I certainly do not consider myself any sort of expert on Loars or other vintage F-5s, as a journalist I do know the value of research and multiple sources to corraborate information.

In the case of Gibson mandolins I would first look at that the Mandolin archive and the F-5 Journal to see if any record or documentation of a particular mandolin exists.

Second I would never buy a high dollar instrument without having it examined by at least one expert, and if they had any doubts about originality, a second or third.

Some mandolins have been "circulated" and have a well-documented history of past owners for provenance. Others, especially those that seem to just appear from thin air obviously require more research to prove they are genuine.

I would love to know the whole story of the F-5 that turned out to not be real. Who built it? And when was it built? And just how convincing was it?

jim simpson
May-25-2006, 8:10am
I played a copy at the recent guitar show here in town. The owner did not know who made it. It looked pretty convincing but as soon as it was played, you knew it couldn't be. The fact that it did not have a disclaimer label makes one wonder if the intent was to decieve. This particular owner was clear about it being a copy but what about the next owner? I once owned a fake made by Chris Warner. An owner of a Gibson (his was a 60's copy) heard mine and said, "now there's a real Gibson". I had to tell if it was not. Chris clearly had the label marked "Gibson copy" with his sig. & date.

Darryl Wolfe
May-25-2006, 8:23am
84675 The mandolin in question. The scroll button is not concentric enough, and the ridge extends too far. I have only "detail" shots, so we will not see the entire instrument

Darryl Wolfe
May-25-2006, 8:26am
84675 The scroll flare or "rise" starts too soon. #The rise should start at the "12 O-clock" position

Darryl Wolfe
May-25-2006, 8:27am
This is usually all it takes to fool someone

Darryl Wolfe
May-25-2006, 8:28am
Not bad, but the work just is not quite clean enough

Darryl Wolfe
May-25-2006, 8:29am
Pretty darn good. In this case, all parts being replaced is a dead givaway or at least a big red flag

Russ Jordan
May-25-2006, 8:30am
how about the fingerboard inlay?

Darryl Wolfe
May-25-2006, 8:31am
Not bad, but the script style is not what they used in the "Fern" era. You cannot see it in this shot, but the fern pieces of inlay are not positioned exactly right either

Darryl Wolfe
May-25-2006, 8:33am
Not bad again. Original tailpiece, but no gold plating or evidence thereof

Darryl Wolfe
May-25-2006, 8:35am
how about the fingerboard inlay?
Yes, they are incorrect. #But, the instrument was passed as being customized some by the owner. #It has diamonds, but they are inlayed into round holes

Jonathan James
May-25-2006, 9:37am
How much was this copy being sold for, if I may ask?

May-25-2006, 9:56am
I have heard persistent rumors about forgeries, but this is the first evidence I've seen. Is this a really isolated incidence, or the tip of the iceberg? I suppose as the numbers get bigger, the tempation gets greater.

Darryl: Have you seen a pattern of these fakes emerging?

Darryl Wolfe
May-25-2006, 10:00am
I see no pattern and I sincerely believe this is an isolated incident. Much like a slolen Loar, it really could not be circulated in public whatsoever without being arrested in it's tracks and returned to the owner.

Tom C
May-25-2006, 10:14am
"The scroll flare or "rise" starts too soon. #The rise should start at the "12 O-clock" position"

<span style='color:blue'>Can you explain this better? Where it should start</span>

"Not bad, but the work just is not quite clean enough "
<span style='color:orange'>I would be suspicious if it was too clean. Some of the bindings and Gibson inlays are far from perfect from that period, no?</span>

Rich Evans
May-25-2006, 11:11am
I noticed on the tuners that the worm gear is on top of the peg instead of on the bottom. Is this correct or is this the result of using the wrong replacement tuners. I seem to remember that this was correct on some early instruments, but I really don't know. Can someone explain this to me.

Darryl Wolfe
May-25-2006, 11:36am
The scroll flair starts directly at the top of the scroll on this original Loar

Tuner worms can be either way on a Fern era F5

May-25-2006, 12:42pm
What a great thread. Thank you!

Darryl Wolfe
May-25-2006, 1:34pm
In the case of Gibson mandolins I would first look at that the Mandolin archive and the F-5 Journal

Second I would never buy a high dollar instrument without having it examined by at least one expert

I would love to know the whole story of the F-5 that turned out to not be real. Who built it? And when was it built? And just how convincing was it?
Steve is exactly right, and that is the lesson we are preaching here. This mandolin and serial number is one of only a very very few that was not absolutely positively verified by by photographs or in person. It was vouched for as original many years ago via a phone conversation with the highly regarded owner. The serial number WAS listed in the Journal. Obviously it is not anymore. This is why a prospective buyer needs to contact Dan or I to validate the firmness and source of the information. I have thousands of 35MM pictures that are not posted in the mandolinarchive.

This mandolin simply had a serial number listed and the word "Fern" in the Journal. 99% are backed up by photographs or by personal inspection of Myself, Frank Ford or Roger Siminoff.

This situation was an anomoly where one vague magazine black and white photograph indicated it might be an original Fern. Subsequent telephone conversation with the owner, his assertion that "yep, it's a real Fern F5 and his providing the serial number certainly seemed to be firm enough information for us.

Again, this is a very isolated case. And it supports Steve post perfectly.

Tom C
May-25-2006, 2:05pm
On your above photo, are the sides actually higher in this area? Usually one sees the sides as one size, and the spruce top showing where the rise occurs like in the photo on the fake one. (Meaning the rise occurs on top plate and not side rim) Or is the figure somehow blended? I hope I asked this clearly.

Philip Halcomb
May-25-2006, 2:07pm
There are several indications to me that it's not real too, especially the color, finish job, and as Darryl pointed out the scroll flare. It's relatively sloppy compared to the real ferns. Also, Darryl the early Gibsons I have seen from this era tend to have a darker face plate on the headstock. Which I thought may not actually be ebony. Was it uncommon as well to be able to see the ebony striping in the vaneer?

May-25-2006, 2:16pm
This mandolin and serial number is one of only a very very few that was not absolutely positively verified by by photographs or in person.
How many others are there, will they be removed from the list?

Darryl Wolfe
May-25-2006, 3:26pm
This mandolin and serial number is one of only a very very few that was not absolutely positively verified by by photographs or in person.
How many others are there, will they be removed from the list?
I am fairly certain that this is the only one where we accepted the info as gospel based on the word of someone we didn't know

Darryl Wolfe
May-26-2006, 8:15am
We have discussed this one before, but it needs to be posted here again. This was submitted to the Journal as a 1922 F5 Loar. It did not make the cut

The binding is not correct, the inlay is not right and the f-hole are too big. All this plus non-orig finish and no original parts to an F5. Parts are original to the period but not to an F5

Darryl Wolfe
May-26-2006, 8:20am
A closer look at the peghead inlay. This is a reasonable job, but the script is emulating a teens Gibson, not a 22, and the flowerpot is pearl when it should be abalone. The small curl is to narrow and the large scroll is too small. The tuner drilling is too high on the peghead, and I believe the overall length from the nut to the tip of the headstock is too long

Darryl Wolfe
May-26-2006, 8:25am
Here is the back. Now aside from the finish, this looks right. This is unquestionably an F4 or F2 back. I believe it used to have the long and point heel button and it has been reduced to appear like a Loar style. They didn't get that detail quite right as the button is still too long. The little twist at the tip of the upper point is perfect. This detail is rarely duplicated perfectly. Builders usually accentuate it or under do it. The one-piece maple back look exactly like the woo used on the mid teens

Darryl Wolfe
May-26-2006, 8:31am
Here is a nice "tribute mandolin" that I helped one of our members customize. It is an early 50's F-12 that has been mildly modified to look like Sam Bush's mid 30's F-5. F5JOE may have some better picture, but this is the only one I ran across in my digital library. The mando was redone by Randy Wood. He did the peghead, fingerboard and regraduated the internals. The finish was left as-is because there is little to no difference in a good 50's finish and one from the mid 30's. The tailpiece and bridge are period correct. The original F-12 label was retained. The only giveaway on this (if it were to have a fake F-5 label) is the single binding on the body and the mahogany neck. Otherwise this instrument would pass inspection.

ps: Lianne is in her late 20's now

Jerry Byers
May-26-2006, 8:32am
This is some good stuff. I know this question has probably been answered before, but did Gibson, during that time, ever allow 2nd-hand or factory-reject parts to leave their factory? Is it possible that luthiers got a hold of those parts to put together or refurbish a project? Thanks.

Darryl Wolfe
May-26-2006, 8:36am
Good point Jerry but I doubt it. A few got out in the 60's and 70's though.

May-26-2006, 8:41am
Darryl: Correction, Liane is 26. She may kill you regarding your "late twenties" statement.

http://www.mandolincafe.net/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/biggrin.gif http://www.mandolincafe.net/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/tounge.gif

May-26-2006, 8:42am

I think it is a great service you're providing by helping people ensure that the mandolins they're buying are legit. I just hope this thread won't wind up as a roadmap for someone(s) wanting to try their hand at building a true, hard to detect, replica and trying to pass it off. As these vintage F-5's keep climbing, I'm sure the tempatation will just increase.

I suppose given the rarity of the correct parts, that alone will continue to make the effort difficult. How many original tailpiece covers, tuners and pickguards are floating around out there?

Darryl Wolfe
May-26-2006, 8:47am
Darryl: #Correction, Liane is 26. #She may kill you regarding your "late twenties" statement.

http://www.mandolincafe.net/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/biggrin.gif #http://www.mandolincafe.net/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/tounge.gif
As in dating madolins, anything past 1935 is a late thirties mandolin http://www.mandolincafe.net/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/biggrin.gif

May-26-2006, 8:58am
As in dating madolins, anything past 1935 is a late thirties mandolin

OK, now you're in DEEP doo doo! http://www.mandolincafe.net/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/biggrin.gif

Darryl Wolfe
May-26-2006, 10:21am
Here is my old Randy Wood F-12 conversion. #It's a 1950 F-12 that got the full treatment in 1968. #At the time it essentially looked identical to Roland Whites scratch built mandolin. #Greg Hodge owns it now and this is him playing with Paul Brewster in Knoxville TN. #The peghead and fingerboard were redone in the mid 80's. #It looks, sounds and feels more like an early Fern, so I went with the fern inlay the second time. This mandolin passed muster enough to generate a trade offer from a Loar owner. #It's deficiencies are the mahogany neck that has been faked up to look like maple, binding that is a tad narrow on the faces and a few irregularities to the scroll lines. #It has a gold plated original tailpiece, an original period bridge, a worn Paganoni case that appears original and F5L tuners. #But, this is a really really close copy. #It had fake labels at one time, but I opted to remove them as I matured past my early 20's #http://www.mandolincafe.net/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/biggrin.gif

Darryl Wolfe
May-26-2006, 10:38am
The sunburst on the above mandolin was dead-on July 9 23 Loar from 68 until the mid 70's. It lost some of the yellow amber and now looks like a particular batch of Ferns

Darryl Wolfe
May-26-2006, 11:51am
Let's take a look now at the Roland White Randy Wood mandolin. #This is exactly how the converted F-12 looked originally too. #This is quite good, but has a few problems. #The script is fairly correct, but not quite there. #It appear that he got the "The" right, but borrowed "Gibson" off of a ba*jo pattern. #The flower of the flowerpot is a tad too far away, and the overall flowerpot does not quite adhere to the coloring and selection of abalone for the originals. #The script is too far left. #"The Gibson" should be cented straight down from the tip of the peghead. #The small curl has a bulge. #It should never get wider as it makes its way along towards the tip.

Photo by Mickey Dobo-Gruhn Guitars

Darryl Wolfe
May-26-2006, 11:54am
Now this is what he meant to do.

Randy has indicated to me in the past, "I never had one laying right in front of me all the time, like so and so does". #There is much more access to Loars by the good builders and hence the much better jobs being done with respect to details

ps, I made the previous post without even having this picture in front of me yet.

May-26-2006, 12:28pm
...but borrowed "Gibson" off of a ba*jo pattern.
My tenor neck.

Darryl Wolfe
May-26-2006, 1:05pm
Ok SUNBURST, are you trying to set me up, or just seeing if I know my stuff?. #You know that is a 1939-1941 pattern, and it has DG xxx or EG xxx stamped on the back of the peghead. #I meant this 1933 pattern. http://www.mandolincafe.net/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/biggrin.gif

1933 Granada at Elderly

May-26-2006, 1:39pm
1937 http://www.mandolincafe.net/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/wink.gif

Darryl Wolfe
May-26-2006, 1:56pm
Close but no we-o. Actually I think the DG is 38, so I would have only been one yr off http://www.mandolincafe.net/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/mandosmiley.gif

May-26-2006, 2:53pm
It's got some characteristics of both, actually if you turn them level.

jim simpson
May-26-2006, 5:07pm
Were the tuner post holes redrilled on the Roland White as the "G" of Gibson is in the top post?

May-26-2006, 5:18pm
I've looked at that mandolin a couple of times and was curious about the tuner hole going through the "G". As I remember, (ho boy) it was only drilled once. I think Randy (number 1, you know) just didn't plan ahead. The logo, if you look at it, is angled to match, and more or less centered with the straight top edge of the overlay. It looks like he decided to inlay it there before he realized where the holes were going to go.

May-28-2006, 10:15am
What other evidence should we be looking for? Could it have been a simple forgery from the begining or could it be modified from an original gibson or have any gibson parts on it at all.

Ken Waltham
May-28-2006, 6:14pm
The one and only "good" forgery I saw was made from an F4.
So, it had a serial number, sort of right parts, the right body profile, etc.
However, it took only a glance to know it wasn't right. But, I have seen and played many. The owner thought it was real.
The one referenced above would be spotted by an experienced eye, but, some folks have not the experience. It's finish does not look at all right to me.

May-29-2006, 9:05pm
Gentlemen, all:

This is a great thread - keep it up. I think it is also quite important that at some point all pre-war models be included in this discussion, as the prices go up, so will the liklihood of forgeries. How about F-2's to F-4's even. It is much more likely, in my opinion, that someone will be duped by a non-Loar instrument than a Loar.

May-30-2006, 3:41am
I think Darryl is right... All it takes is a real looking label, and serial number, to convince someone , especially if they know the seller.... and the seller is convinced himself that it is real, Imagine buying it from a friend or a friend of a trusted friend and it not being real but everything looks right to the untrained eye

Philip Halcomb
May-30-2006, 7:48am

I've always been curious about this mandolin after I saw it a few years ago. It's definitely cool, but what's your take on it? Authentic Gibson, creative build with "The Gibson" scripted on it, or a modified something? Anyway, supposedly it has no labels in it, so that makes it tuff too. So it could be one of those things like "How many licks does it take to get to the center of a tootsie-pop?" The world may never know. Anyhow, let us know your professional opinion. Thanks...

May-30-2006, 8:05am
Hmm, Grisman's "Lil' Pup". Looks like an act of vintage Gibson corporate whimsy to me, though I must say I've never seen it in person.

Darryl Wolfe
May-30-2006, 8:16am
I be;ieve it to be fully original and special order or uncataloged. #The peghead is definately of about 1929 vintage which is in the 89xxx-90000 range on serial numbers. #There are a number of oddities that were produced in that period. #Of note are a few fern F-4's, block inlay F-4's and such. #Again, everything looks period correct on Lil Pup, just extremely odd

Darryl Wolfe
May-30-2006, 8:30am
I agree with Kens last comment on F-4's. #They certainly are the easiest way for a knowlegable person to get misled. #A 1923 or 24 F-4 back and sides, along with the peghead overlay makes for a formidable impersonation of an F-5. #This instrument of course would have a new neck and top, so it would appear at first (assuming excellent workmanship) as a Loar that had a refinished top with suspect parts. #This is the red flag to look closer.

As wannaloar implies, dealing with someone you trust is always a preface to "assuming" too much. #I have posted before that the only time I was "duped" for a few minutes was when I was presented a mandolin under the auspices of "here's a Loar I got in to do some work on". #I thought Randy Wood was handing me a Loar from the get go, not being put in the position of detecting whether it was real or not. #Subsequently I thought it was real, then I started noticing a few things, and then we both had a good laugh as I had been duped for 5 minutes. #The instrument had a Loar case, Loar tailpiece and bridge, labels, and the finish was dead on.

Rick Turner
May-30-2006, 8:50am
Don't ever discount just how weird an authentic Gibson might be. Also, they did a lot of post-manufacturing customizing of instruments through the years. There are to this very day unique one-of-a-kind instruments that escape the factories to confound and confuse collectors of the future.

Darryl Wolfe
May-30-2006, 12:14pm
Here is another pic of the "Bushlike" F-12 conversion. #It is on the right, a real F-5 is on the left. #The only significant tip-off is the width of the body binding. The finish is virtually identical save for the difference in shape of the sunbursting.

May-30-2006, 6:11pm
Darryl, why did you let me sell that F12? http://www.mandolincafe.net/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/sad.gif http://www.mandolincafe.net/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/laugh.gif

Darryl Wolfe
May-31-2006, 11:41am
OK, so can anyone tell me what is queer about this? It could be one of those "Gibson" things, or it could be an indication of repair of some sort. 69147

Darryl Wolfe
May-31-2006, 12:23pm
I'll give you a hint

Jerry Byers
May-31-2006, 12:27pm
I'm guessing the flowerpot is wrong.

Darryl Wolfe
May-31-2006, 12:51pm
The instrument is sporting arrow-end tuners from mid to late 1923, they are mounted in the mid-23 position and it has "The Gibson" script that I have not seen prior to mid-23. #So is it repaired or original?, Hard to say. #All this on a late 21 orearly 22 mandolin

Jerry Byers
May-31-2006, 1:04pm
That was going to be my second guess.

This is a great thread - very informative. Keep up the good work, Darryl.

Rick Turner
May-31-2006, 1:37pm
Love that truss rod cover...NOT!

Philip Halcomb
May-31-2006, 1:51pm
Darryl, what nut material did they standerdize on with the F4 pre 1923. All the ones I see these days mostly have what looks like bone and sometimes they have pearl. Of course after 80 years they could have been swapped out. But which would be the original? Did customers have the option to choose back then? I just ask that because one of the things I noticed about the F4 above is it looks like it has a pearl nut, but it's also hard to tell sometimes from pictures. Thanks...

Darryl Wolfe
May-31-2006, 3:04pm
I believe they introduced pearl nut on the Loar F5, and essentially carried it over to the F-4. Maybe they introduced it on the F-4 a little bit earlier, but I am not certain.

Darryl Wolfe
May-31-2006, 3:10pm
The F-4 above was owned by our K Waltham. He may be able to shed some light on the anomoly. The point of the F-4 post is to draw attention to changing little details that appear over time. That instrument could be absolutely the way it left the factory, or could be repaired on the neck in some fashion. At any rate if fully original, it appears that it was completed and strung up in 1923. Otherwise it was repaired in 1923.

Ken Waltham
May-31-2006, 4:13pm
Hhhhmmm... I don't think I've ever owned that one, I think maybe you are mistaken Darryl. But, I have forgot about some, still, I would remember that truss rod cover.
I can tell you what I see as odd, though. Nickel truss rod covers only appear in early 1922. Many folks had them engraved like that, and I think they're cool. I am not near a list of Gibson Serial Numbers, but, I think the number you quote is probably a 1921... no truss rod yet...
And, the logo " The Gibson" is really a 1924 style logo. So.. perhaps, if it does have arrow end tuners, this is a 1921, repaired, retrofitted with truss rod in late '23 or 24? The truss rod cover doesn't quite fit that guess, though.
One thing I know for certain, all F4's have pearl nuts through the years of production, until late in the game. ( the crummy 30's and 40's ones)
I have never seen this "Lil Pup", but, that's a Gibson finish.

May-31-2006, 8:30pm
99%?? I'm pretty sure I submitted more than 1% to the journal of Loars/Ferns personally photographed in person by me(regardless of the quality of the photo I was there first). And there were others that submitted authoritative information like from luithers who worked on some. And many numbers were verified by dealers with their photos.
While the Journal does not have all the known serial numbers it's got the majority of them. Some simply passed through hands without documentation and put away in collections. If one was out in public it was documented.
With today's digital close ups it's really easy to see details and spot fakes. Not so in the days of old where all you got was a Polorid shot from across the room from the seller. But back to the situation of being fooled and how bad is it. Darryl has mentioned a few but there are at least a few dozen built in the late 60's to early 70's before Gibson got serious about trying to stop it that have fake labels with serial numbers that at the time fit. That means they picked a number not known at the time. However since that time some 30 years later the real serial number Loar/Fern has turned up and documented meaning the fake one is still out there and undocumented, meaning the Journal could have both a fake and a real number. Now many of the dupped copies are meant to be just that copies and not intended to fool anyone but there are many that got pretty darn close. Some copies have been redone to go after the real look. Conversions especially are harder to detect. So bottom line best get a 2nd or 3rd opinion before spending the big bucks. I've always felt the 48 hour approval time to back out of a deal is a good one in regards to any musical instruments. A Loar may be a Loar but it may not be the Loar for you.

Darryl Wolfe
Jun-01-2006, 8:09am
Thanks for comments F5LOAR. #I am merely drawing attention to the fact that a few of the early listings could be suspect. #This is due as you say to the advance in technology since then. #Back then we didn't have email and digital pictures, and yes we did rely more on photos that were not as clear. My 99% comment was not relating to your contribution. You have certainly contributed significant info.

Woops, Sorry Ken, I thought I saw those photos credited to you on the archive.

Jim Hilburn
Jun-01-2006, 8:44am
I looked at that F-4 without thinking a thing about it until Ken said it wasn't his. Then I realized I took those photo's right in my living room.
This mandolin was owned by Don Julin. I don't know if it was done when he had it, but the fingerboard has been radiused, the extension scooped and large frets installed.
It's now in Denver and I know the owner if there's any questions about it. I had it to try to get the pickguard clamp to work correctly.

Charles Johnson
Jun-01-2006, 9:44pm
I looked at and played the "Lil Pup" at the Nashville show when George Gruhn was selling it. Its all original and one of a kind. Sounded ok but not killer. This was 4 or 5 years ago, I think.

Charles Johnson

Darryl Wolfe
Jun-07-2006, 12:18pm
Here is a picture I borrowed from Lowell Levingers site. #Now let's imagine that this had been a '23 or '24 F-4, had one of Gilchrist's spot on Loar finishes and repro labels in it. Hmmm.

So, what are the givaways on this one

Jun-07-2006, 1:06pm

The first thing I notice is the tuners are wrong. Not sure that the Script is in the right location, but I could be way off base on that. (How did I do?)

Jun-07-2006, 1:21pm
First thing I notice is that the neck heel on the F4's are different than F5's...


Tom C
Jun-07-2006, 1:29pm
15th fret cross piece (Probably not counting that I guess though) F4 would be 12.

Do F4s have 3piece necks?

Jun-07-2006, 2:42pm
double flowerpot, tuners, singlebound, neck heel, and f-4 tailpiece

Tom C
Jun-07-2006, 2:56pm
The question was...
Now let's imagine that this had been a '23 or '24 F-4.

Jun-07-2006, 3:48pm
I understand the question to be "what if Gilchrist had converted a '23 or '24 F-4 into an F-5", instead of a 1920 F-4 that the example was based on...

Philip Halcomb
Jun-07-2006, 4:01pm
no truss-rod...

Darryl Wolfe
Jun-07-2006, 4:01pm
OK, I'm confusing things. #Had this been a 23 or 24 F-4, it would be much much closer to a Loar. #But since it's earlier, we have the double flowerpot inlay with non-Loar period script, 3-piece neck (which a few Loars have), and period, but not exactly right parts. #It also has double binding and an earlier heel profile. #He retained the F-4 look in that the back and sides may not be refinished.

Had it been a 23 or 24. #The peghead could be dead spot on. #The binding could be replaced with triple binding on sides during a Loar color refinish, it would have a Loar bridge and the tuners could be silver plated and converted to pearl buttons. Add a repro tailpiece and pickguard. #In all, a conversion by Gilchrist, performed on a 23 F-4 could be a real fooler. #This one posted above is not intended to fool.

Philip Halcomb
Jun-09-2006, 1:49pm
True, I'm not sure about the serial number sequences, but if the F4s were in the same sequence, it might even have a real serial number to match too. Anyhow, if Steve did that it would still be one killer mandolin. http://www.mandolincafe.net/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/smile.gif

Darryl Wolfe
Aug-11-2006, 11:29am
I think you will find this one interesting

old a-model (http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item=220015265424&ru=http%3A%2F%2Fsearch.ebay.com%3A80%2Fsearch%2Fse arch.dll%3Ffrom%3DR40%26satitle%3D220015265424%26f vi%3D1)

There is little that is original on this. #Refinished sometime in the later 40's. #The tailpiece is early 60's, the label is 40's-50's. #It has been rebound, the tuners are original teens and the wood parts appear to be original to the teens.

Aug-14-2006, 12:18am
If Gibson did the repairs (and it looks that way to me) then it was done between 1964 and 1970)since the pickguard has the screw down at the top. Pre'64 was pinned on the side of fingerboard. Looks like a 60's TP and bridge. I'm surprised it did not get new tuners but I'm more suprised a sweet little old lady would lie like that!

Darryl Wolfe
Aug-14-2006, 2:59pm
I based the refin/rebind on the late 40's based on the logo. I agree on the guard and TP