View Full Version : Loar-era 1924 gibson a junior mandolin & hard case

jim simpson
Jun-18-2008, 8:01pm
This is the way this particular auction is listed: Loar-era 1924 Gibson A Junior Mandolin & Hard Case, Item # 160250164788. (I'm sorry, but I'm not sure how to link this auction listing).
In the content of the listing, the seller includes a question mark as to whether or not it might be a Gibson. It has an aged weathered look to it but no label, etc.
I don't believe the snakeheads had this length neck, right?
I guess the pricing so far would suggest that most of the bidders aren't thinking that they are biddig on a Gibson snakehead.

Jun-18-2008, 8:09pm
Link (http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item=160250164788&ru=http%3A%2F%2Fsearch.ebay.com%3A80%2Fsearch%2Fse arch.dll%3Ffrom%3DR40%26_trksid%3Dm37%26satitle%3D 160250164788%26category0%3D%26fvi%3D1)...

Jim Garber
Jun-18-2008, 8:58pm
I have to admit that the headstock looks a little odd but otherwise it looks like a Gibson. The auction is almost over and the price is nearing the lowend for a AJr. I would think. I think this seller, who has a number of other mandolins for sale, is a Cafe member.

jim simpson
Jun-18-2008, 9:01pm
$765.00 winning bid! Seems like a good price even for a copy. The neck length is what I questioned the most. I believe some A's like F4's had their necks changed out (Randy Wood and others?) so could this have been the case here?

Charles Johnson
Jun-18-2008, 10:29pm
Looks renecked or a least a new peghead to me. Seems odd someone would change out the neck on a Ajr. The job would cost nearly as much as the mandolin itself.


Jonathan Peck
Jun-19-2008, 2:30pm
The add also said that it had a maple bridge if that might give a clue as to who did modifications before the seller. Anybody know who was using maple for bridges?

Tom C
Jun-19-2008, 3:03pm
Gibson "A" oval holes have a different shape than the ebay item. Notice on the ebay one the edges are striaght on the top and bottom of the 'ole.

Jun-19-2008, 4:48pm
Gibson "A" oval holes have a different shape than the ebay item. Notice on the ebay one the edges are striaght on the top and bottom of the 'ole.
Yeah, the sides of the hole running perpindicular to the strings actually go straight.



vs. this:

Jun-19-2008, 5:17pm
Woo, you used mine as the "pristine example" http://www.mandolincafe.net/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/smile.gif

Me for the win.

Seriously, I think this is a perfrectly normal one, albeit maybe refinished. We've really raised the bar here on photography, and I think these shots from ebay just show some lens aberrations or distortion.

I like to think, sometimes when I'm weak, that I've raised the scrutiny level for photos of vintage mandolins!

Humor me... please? http://www.mandolincafe.net/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/smile.gif

Jun-19-2008, 7:13pm
Hi there. I'm the seller, and the buyer is also a member here. I bought it on eBay advertised as a '24 Gibson Junior, and the ad didn't mention that there was no label. I did my best to advertise it carefully and accurately. The buyer and I have done business before--I bought from him. This thing has amazing volume--no exaggeration. Furthermore, I lost a couple hundred dollars on it, plus all the time I put into it. I believe it to be a Gibson Junior, but one person questioned the headstock length, and I posted his question on the ad. The headstock is essentially the same length as that of my '25 snakehead and the same width. It looks longer because the tuners are 1/4" closer to the nut than usual. But this info was all available to interested persons. Compare that with the probable Regal I received a couple weeks ago that was advertised as fully restored, when all but one of the braces was loose at the ends or worse. Also, I included a video so people could hear it. Seems to me like a pretty fair ad.

Jim Garber
Jun-19-2008, 7:18pm
I would say that the descriptions in your eBay listing are among the best I have seen. IMHO it is smart as seller to be as upfront as possible.

jim simpson
Jun-19-2008, 11:44pm
Thanks for bringing us up to date. Sorry you lost money on this one. Do you know if this was re-necked? I've looked at snakeheads before but found the access up the neck to be less comfortable than what I'm used to plus the neck profile it typically fatter.

Jun-20-2008, 12:20am
I thought that all the snakes had trussrods.....

Jun-20-2008, 8:37am
Well, I'm disturbed. I've just gone through all the Ajr. records that have photos on Mandolin Archive. There aren't many, and only a handful are large enough to see much detail.

Fretbear, NONE of the Snakehead Juniors that I saw on the archives had trussrods.

But Jim, boy, I don't know. You are right about that headstock. I didn't see any others with the frets that close to the nut. It's only 1/4", but it does make a difference. More to the point, all of the snakehead juniors that I saw had a shallow curve at the top on each side between that central cut and the edge. Mine doesn't have that. Disturbing. I mentioned in the ad that it looked to me like the missing label was rectangular, whereas the junior labels were oval. The detailing where the neck meets the body looks like the other photos. I saw no sign of a neck reset or a replaced headstock. There are a few juniors known with fancier wood on the back (one with curly maple).

It's possible that this is a prototype. (There is writing inside where the label was, and a cursive L is clearly visible, but I can't make it all out. Wouldn't it be cool if the buyer ended up with a signed Loar prototype for the Junior?)

I don't know. Why would anyone try to copy an Ajr.? If someone did, why not get the headstock right? But then there is the black-stained maple bridge and the lack of a steel pin on the fretboard to hold a pickguard.

What I stand on is the tone. The tone is not cultivated and beautiful, but it is LOUD and highly resonant and tight, extremely responsive to a light touch.

And if the buyer thinks I cheated him by accident, I'll take it back. Is that fair? I've sold six instruments in the past couple week that I restored. I made a slight profit on one and a good profit on one, but lost money on all the others (plus the labor), so all in all I pretty much broke even and rescued some nice instruments that weren't playable when I got them. It's a labor of love, especially with old flatbacks that can sound great when repaired, but don't sell for much. They are worth saving.

Jun-20-2008, 8:54am
Let see a label???

Jun-20-2008, 9:45am
If you read the thread there was no label. That was upfront in the ad as well. I seem to recall this mandolin being sold on eBay (did you buy it on ebay?) and a previous discussion of it. For the world it looks like an AJr to me with a funky headstock. That could have been for a dozen reasons. I almost pulled the trigger on this one myself. I'm sure the buyer will be happy.

Dec-10-2010, 4:07pm
The labels on juniors are unique - round, not oval.

barney 59
Dec-10-2010, 6:53pm
I have a '27 A-0 (same as jr. with a new name) with an oval label. The round labels were earlier models.

barney 59
Dec-10-2010, 7:06pm
The link didn't get me there. Did this one have or not have a truss rod. Ajrs did not have a truss rod. Also,the ad says '24 Loar Era how was that arrived at?

Dec-10-2010, 10:18pm
A 1924 Gibson mandolin would have been in the Loar Era.

barney 59
Dec-13-2010, 2:41pm
A 1924 Gibson mandolin would have been in the Loar Era.

I get that 1924 = Loar era but, without a label I assume that it had no serial number so how was it determined that it was a 1924? A shadow left by a possible "rectangular" label doesn't help much.

Capt. E
Dec-13-2010, 4:17pm
Correct me if I am wrong, but Gibson stopped making snakeheads not long after Loar left the company...thus, in general, snakehead = loar era.

barney 59
Dec-14-2010, 3:13pm
"not long after" is still after but I think maybe the snakehead went on into the late 20's. Would 1927 still be considered "not long after"? From this distance of 2010 I guess 1924--1927 what's the diff,right? "Loar Era" is a selling point that I think has little or no bearing on an A model mandolin from that period. Other than the one and only A5 did Lloyd Loar have any personal involvement in A model Gibson design or construction? He didn't sign any that is for sure. They seem virtually the same to me for at least some period of time after Loar left the building. I must be wrong about that because buyers tend to pay more for Loar Era A's and it's their money so they should know. I think that since it is a selling point and does add value, if your going to say it, then you should be dead sure that it is from that period before you advertise it that way.

Darryl Wolfe
Dec-15-2010, 11:36am
Snakehead ended mid 83xxx serials...Loar signatures ended Dec 24 80xxx. Production numbers were about 4000 per year during 22, 23 24

Dec-15-2010, 12:03pm
Bluemountain I commend you for your upfront ad and for your input here. Folks like you make ebay a safer place.

barney 59
Dec-15-2010, 12:25pm
83xxx,for sure? You tend to be right about this stuff. I have seen '27's ,at least I think I have, and that would put it at 86xxx or so. I have noticed that Loar Era only is referenced as the period that Loar signature Master Models were produced yet Loar joined Gibson in 1919. No one seems to call a 1919 A model mandolin "Loar Era". I tend to have a little problem with the term "Loar Era" in reference to A model production as I feel it is misleading. "Hart Era" would be more appropriate as he was the nuts and bolts man and actually spent time on the factory floor.

Jim Garber
Dec-15-2010, 12:32pm
It is very interesting how this thread suddenly revived itself to discuss a mandolin that was sold about 2 1/2 years ago. I would guess that a few of the recent posters may not realize that.

barney 59
Dec-15-2010, 7:19pm
I didn't ----That is probably why the link didn't bring it up---!!