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mandoman15
Aug-25-2006, 3:48pm
So heres the story, i go to Chatham once a year to visit my aunt Judy who owns a shoe store there. I always go to visit my friend Rob at the music store down there, and this time he had an incredible story for me.

he had a friend come down from up the street with a dusty old case... Rob sensing what could be inside, called a local mando afficianado in to see it. when he got there, the opened the lid to find a perfectly mint never been touched Lloyd Loar mandolin with original strings on it, and original warranty etc. the mando guy nearly passed out and when he could stand gawking he squeaked incomprehensibly for about half an hour... when he calmed down, they looked over the mandolin to find it in perfect condition. when the strung it up with some new string (sorry i didn't ask the brand" they played it for a while and let it open up. Apparently the mando guy said he had to go home and lay down, but quickly returned to play the mandolin some more. i don;t believe the own has any intentions of documenting it/selling it, or and get this, learning to play it... he's a guitar player.... http://www.mandolincafe.net/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/sad.gif
i may get a chance to play it and see it in person (i've only seen some ###### polaroids. Its a 1922, i know no more... excuse me while i go pee myself. if anyone here watches the F-5 journal for updates can they please post a link for any new loars... i can't believe i have to leave tomorrow.... what a story!

kudzugypsy
Aug-25-2006, 4:11pm
i bet he will sell it when he finds out how many old fender strats he can buy with the profits.
there aint a guitarist i know that wouldnt pass up a possible $200K for a dead mint early Loar they aint gonna play.

bgmando
Aug-25-2006, 4:12pm
Good story.

I wonder what the original strings would have sounded like on it. Were they all deteriorated or in decent shape?

mandoman15
Aug-25-2006, 4:19pm
he said the original strings unraveled when he tried to put any tension on them, but there was another set of original strings in teh case... also unusable... i guess teh mandolin (which is owned by a man named michael squiers) was originally owned by his grandfather who bought it, went off to war, and was promptly killed...

mandopete
Aug-25-2006, 4:38pm
http://www.mandolincafe.net/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/rock.gif

PaulD
Aug-25-2006, 4:50pm
It is an interesting story... especially considering it ain't the first of April. http://www.mandolincafe.net/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/wink.gif One question I've got is what war the grandfather went off to... we weren't involved in any wars at the time, were we? http://www.mandolincafe.net/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/rock.gif Maybe he was in the Foreign Legion? Maybe the War Against Prohibition? That seems like an odd inconsistency in the story to me. It will be way cool if you can lay your hands on this beast... and point a digital camera at it... get Darryl to authenticate it. Offer the guy $5000 before he figures out what he's got! I'm curious to see how this turns out... pretty awesome if it's true!

Paul Doubek

tope
Aug-25-2006, 5:18pm
Oooohhh, Thats one story that we all dream of.
I was playing a house party a while back and a fellow came out of the house with an old 20s Gibson A that had a couple rusty strings broken and flying in the breeze. Looked like it hadn't been played in 50 years but he didn't want to talk of getting rid of it.

bootinz
Aug-25-2006, 6:15pm
I saw Lloyd himself get off a flying saucer with bigfoot riding a unicorn. They all had undocumented '22 F-5's! The hobbit who was with them was trying to get the wizard to conjour one up for him too!

mrmando
Aug-25-2006, 6:49pm
Is it this (http://www.google.com/maps?hl=en&hs=X0k&lr=&client=firefox-a&rls=org.mozilla:en-US:official&q=music+store&near=Chatham,+NY+12037&radius=0.0&latlng=42364167,-73595278,273219456349463349&sa=X&oi=local&ct=authority) music store?

mandoman15
Aug-26-2006, 7:48am
yes, it's called musica... in response to the war story, i assume he means WWII but i don't really know, i'd have to ask again...

Matt Bowe
Aug-27-2006, 4:06pm
Gentlemen....
The instrument you describe is NOT an undocumented LL F-5.
It IS a 1921 F-4 in mint condition which in fact DID have
a very old set of strings (possibly original) on it which I removed, rolled up and placed in the case. I then replaced
these strings with a set of D'Addario J-74's supplied by the store owner, tuned it and did play it for 1 hr. Interestingly
it had an adjustable bridge w/ patent stamp and thumbscrews above AND below the adjustable portion on each threaded post. Form fitted green felt lined case as I recall. A very special instrument and of sentimental importance to the grandson of its purchaser.
MJB
PS- SN #68130 or 68160.
Sorry gang. Keep hoping and check out those yard sales!

sunburst
Aug-27-2006, 6:42pm
Thanks for clearing that up!

As for the bridge, I've seen at least one of those. Seems Gibson wasn't sure string tension was enough to hold the saddle down on the posts, so there was another set of nuts on top of the saddle. That wasn't very comfortable for the player, however, and most have since been converted to normal looking adjustable bridges, so I'm told.

Even though it isn't a Loar, I'd sure like to see a mint 1921 F-4!
(Truss rod? Didn't adjustable bridges and tuss rods show up at about the same time?)

Matt Bowe
Aug-27-2006, 6:53pm
I don't recall it having a truss rod cover.
I do recall the tailpiece cover & pickguard
still being on board. A really sweet instrument.
Think if it were played...
Perhaps a service the cafe could offer... "Open up those old mandolins, folks.. (virgins converted?)"

sunburst
Aug-27-2006, 6:58pm
Shouldn't have too much trouble finding volunteers for that!

By the way, neither SN brings up a documented instrument in the archives, so that doesn't eliminate one of them.

Gibsonman
Aug-27-2006, 8:36pm
I sure would love seeing some pictures of that baby.

Big Joe
Aug-28-2006, 8:51am
It would not have had a truss rod cover. The truss rod was invented by Gibson in 1921, but not found in many mandolins until late that year and was standard by 22. Many of the 21 models do not have truss rods, therefore no need for the cover http://www.mandolincafe.net/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/smile.gif .

danb
Aug-28-2006, 9:44am
Usually you'll see a nickel silver cover on a paddle head or F model late '21 or early '22. Not uncommon to see an aluminum saddle with the top locking nuts like so.. this is the *first* type of adjustible saddle, a flat beam, with a normal Gibson style bridge cut short below it.. (serial 66653, photo by Lowell Levinger)

http://www.mandolinarchive.com/images/66653_a2_bridge.jpg

Note that the first ones, the truss rod cover was not properly accounted for. Cuts right through the A3 inlay:



Slightly later, 69027 shows the nickel silver truss cover, and lock-nut style saddle on a wooden adjustible bridge:

http://www.mandolinarchive.com/images/69027_front2.jpg

67328 is an f4 with double flowerpot obscured by truss rod cover:

http://www.mandolinarchive.com/images/67328_11.jpg

PaulD
Aug-28-2006, 9:51am
Thanks Mandoman15 and Mandophilus for introducing us to this instrument... now somebody needs to get some pics for the archive and this forum. Even though it's not a Loar, that's an incredible find; an almost mint F-4.

I hope I didn't come off as too big a pr!ck with my skepticism... it just seemed to good to be true. Even if the grandpa had run off to WWII before the U.S. was involved he could have gotten close to 15 years of picking in. Loar or not... I wish I had that kind of family hierloom kicking around. For the owner not being a mando picker he's better off insuring a mint F-4 rather than a mint Loar F-5.

Paul Doubek

Glassweb
Aug-28-2006, 1:43pm
The fact of the matter is that MANY Loar and Fern F5's that were previously unknown and undocumented have come to the light of day (and often to the marketplace and auction houses) in recent years. There may be dozens of these instruments still lurking around out there, so don't be at all surprised if the next posting for an "unknown" Loar turns out to be for real. They're out there my friends!

Ken Waltham
Aug-28-2006, 2:46pm
You bet they are, Steve. And more to be found for sure. I found an undocumented 1925 Loar signed L5 just a couple of months back, so, they're out there. I'll post photos soon, it walked into a music store to be fixed up for a Downs Syndrome son the fellow had, so he could "bang around on it" according to the owner.
As for truss rods, I don't think you'll see any before 1922, early ones are through the 1921 style inlays, for sure. And many of the early 1922's have nickel truss rod covers.
1921 models have the adjustable bridge as we know it, some have the early style, which looks like a solid bridge, with a saddle cut of it, held on with the posts and thumb wheels. Then, you get the aluminum top ones, with two thumb wheels as shown above. Then, soon enough, you get the regular, what we think of a Loar style adjustable bridge. All this in 1921.
But, I don't think you get any truss rods until 1922.
Ken

danb
Aug-28-2006, 3:12pm
Ken: a 1925 Loar L5?

Ken Waltham
Aug-28-2006, 4:16pm
My typing leaves a lot to be desired. I thought I corrected that before I posted, but, guess not. A 1924 L5. Sincere apologies.

kudzugypsy
Aug-28-2006, 4:19pm
dan would know for sure, but my best guess from the past few years are around 6 undocumented Loar and *unsigned* Loar F-5 per year showing up. i have no doubt that this may continue for the next few years because of the internet and info available about grandpa's old mandolin.

i had a similiar scenerio happen about 10-12 years ago to me while i was playing a gig at a high-dollar art museum auction. A little old lady (obviously from old money) comes up to me during the break and said she was so glad to see someone play the mandolin, that she hadnt seen one played since her mother was in a mandolin orchestra in Charleston, SC. so, i prodded more and said - do you still have it - Oh YES! - did it have this shape (i was playing an F5) or did it have a pear shape. she said, oh, it looked JUST LIKE THAT....ok, did it have a name on it - like this "the Gibson" - oh YES, i remember when she ordered it from her teacher...ok, as i am sweating and choking...did it have these F holes like a violin, or a round hole like a guitar...oh, yes, it did have the round hole!...i was heartbroken, but back then, i didnt really care to have an F2/4 and said thats great and went back to the buffet line.

Matt Bowe
Aug-28-2006, 6:12pm
PS-
The bridge was wood and appeared identical to the one shown in the #69027 photo above.
MJB

Willie Poole
Aug-29-2006, 10:56am
Kudzugypsy....About 15 years ago a lady asked me the same questions and I asked to take a look at the mandolin she described so she gave me her address and when I went to look at it she said she had since taken it to a dealer and he offered her a good price and she sold it...I never did see it but that might have been my last shot at a Loar, who knows...Also I could never find the dealer, he probably retired right after buying it for $500....Willie

Glassweb
Aug-29-2006, 11:07am
There will be a 1923 Loar F5 up for auction at Skinner next month. Not undocumented, but not much more known about it. More details to follow...

Bob Simmers
Aug-29-2006, 2:33pm
"I saw Lloyd himself get off a flying saucer with bigfoot riding a unicorn. They all had undocumented '22 F-5's! The hobbit who was with them was trying to get the wizard to conjour one up for him too!"
Someone needs to write a melody to these lyrics! This is definitely a bluegrass song.

mandoman15
Aug-29-2006, 4:52pm
sorry all for decieving you, i was told by the shop owner that the mandolin in question was a loar, hands down a loar f-5, i hadn't seen it and had i it obviously would have been easy to identify it as as an f-4 duh.... anyway sorry for all the excitement....

Ken Sager
Aug-29-2006, 5:45pm
As for truss rods, I don't think you'll see any before 1922, early ones are through the 1921 style inlays, for sure. And many of the early 1922's have nickel truss rod covers.
1921 models have the adjustable bridge as we know it, some have the early style, which looks like a solid bridge, with a saddle cut of it, held on with the posts and thumb wheels. Then, you get the aluminum top ones, with two thumb wheels as shown above. Then, soon enough, you get the regular, what we think of a Loar style adjustable bridge. All this in 1921.
But, I don't think you get any truss rods until 1922.
Ken
I have a late '21 A with truss rod and adjustable bridge. I don't have it handy so I can't give the SN, but I'll find it.

KS

sunburst
Aug-29-2006, 5:46pm
Not to worry, mandoman.
That's how you learn to be skeptical. I bet if that ever happens again, you won't believe it untill you see it!
There are still people finding "real" Stradivarius violins (made in Germany) every time you turn around.

PaulD
Aug-30-2006, 11:31am
There are still people finding "real" Stradivarius violins (made in Germany) every time you turn around.
I thought all the real Strads were made in Romania and Korea. http://www.mandolincafe.net/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/tounge.gif

pd

danb
Aug-30-2006, 11:37am
I think assigning dates to the first truss rod is a little bit of guesswork. Honestly we're only using '22-24 as loar period by the signature labels, but should we use the date the plates were carved? The shipping date? if you see my point, we have a pretty good idea *roughly* where transitions occur, but so far no great evidence to tie to a calendar date.

I have a couple interesting pieces of paperwork though that do tie specific instruments to a date on old gibson letterhead. More of these are definitely sought!