View Full Version : Introducing "Pokey"

Aug-06-2004, 3:52am
Here's "Pokey", or Gibson F #3263 (http://www.mandolinarchive.com/gibson/serial/3263), picked up from Gruhn's a few days ago. It's been very probably refinished (very well), and has a new tailpiece base.. but is otherwise in fantastic shape. Nice tone even, I played a few others that sounded very "Fragile" but this one has quite a punch to it. It's treble-heavy, but a very unique cool anachronistic sound.

I was quite surprised to look up close and see that it's very non-symmetrical.. the treble & bass points don't "line up" and make a "+" with the neck line.. the soundhole is only really "oval" if viewed directly on, otherwise it's bizzarely shaped due to the thick scroll end vs the treble side.


Love that Scroll..


Couple new observations on 3-pointers.. the cases are about 15% bigger than a later F2, and the body is a couple inches longer. The scroll side is all "puffed up" compared to the treble which slopes dramatically down thinner. It's cool to look inside and see the carving marks on the back, it's not sanded totally smooth in there compared with a later birch or maple back. The peghead logo is also proportionally larger- at first I thought this was a mandola!

This isn't the earliest known F, but it's the first I have pictures of at the mandolin archives. If anybody else out there has an orville label gibson that's not in the mandolin archive, please post 'em here http://www.mandolincafe.net/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/smile.gif I'd love to compare scroll carvings especially. Mine seems "Smooth" compared to any others I have seen, so I'm wondering if this started life as a black face and got sanded down to refinish, or... ?

Aug-06-2004, 3:53am
Check out how thick the pieces of wood used for the top and back were..


This is a very early serial number to *not* have sides that were carved rather then bent.. earlier models had sides (and neck heel) carved like a toilet seat out of a big block of wood rather then thin strips bent into shape like this one.. here're a couple shots showing the earlier carving style on Rick Van Krugel's 1903 (?) A #2526 (http://www.mandolinarchive.com/perl/show_mando.pl?2782)



Aug-06-2004, 3:59am
I wonder what this hole in the early "pineapple" style tailpiece cover was for..


and why it went away on slightly later Orville (http://www.mandolinarchive.com/perl/show_mando.pl?45) label mandolins (http://www.mandolinarchive.com/perl/show_mando.pl?2876)



Aug-06-2004, 4:09am
The peghead logo is also an earlier script style..


Compare with this inlay from the teens..


Note that the little "tail" is on the h instead of the T.. size, script differences.. the "o" Gibson, for example.. the "b" looks more like a "b" on the earlier one.. and scale comparisons (bigger script on the old one, slightly less steep angle, etc)

Aug-06-2004, 7:06am
That's really nice, Dan. There's no binding inside the scroll, was this removed? Is it loud-trebble-y or quiet-trebble-y? There certainly would be a market for Gibson to return to making some of these beauties,eh?

Pokey? The points, right?

Jim Garber
Aug-06-2004, 8:35am
I wonder what this hole in the early "pineapple" style tailpiece cover was for and why it went away on slightly later mandolins.
Hmmm.. maybe folks tied a string onto the endpin so they wouldn't lose the cover?


Skip Kelley
Aug-06-2004, 9:51am
Beautiful!! Thanks for sharing a piece of history with us!

Aug-06-2004, 9:56am
Neal- it's actually reasonably loud (not super loud) but louder than the average A model anyway..

Inside scroll binding has been a topic of discussion for me and friends lately. Some F2s have it, some don't. I'll need to dig out my old Gibson catalog to see if there is a picture or description.. I'm pretty sure binding was never there as there'd be a scar from it being removed (there isn't)

Here's a later F2 that has no inside scroll binding, though another one that was at Gruhn's (probably still there) does have it. I used to think that only F4s got it, but that one was definitely an F2..

Skip- this piece of history will probably become my daily driver http://www.mandolincafe.net/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/smile.gif

Aug-06-2004, 11:08am
Hey All,

I was with Dan in Nashville when he bought this. #I only wish I could describe the emotions #http://www.mandolincafe.net/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/mad.gif http://www.mandolincafe.net/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/wow.gif he went through the two days he was trying to decide if he should purchase this or not. #Then his excitment
http://www.mandolincafe.net/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/mandosmiley.gif once he did.
Not sure if you will all agree but a three point fits Dan real well.


Aug-06-2004, 11:24am
congrats Dan! Im a big fan of the 3-pointers visual asthetics...now if I could just spell the durn word!http://www.mandolincafe.net/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/smile.gif

Aug-06-2004, 11:31am
Thanks for the great pics! As a builder of F5 style mandos I like to look at any older Gibsons that I can.
I feel that seeing the early elements of the F design help me to understand and interpret the F5 more fully.
I particularly like the older script logo. Whoever cut that pearl had a real sense of style.

A friend of mine has a black face 3 point 4. It's later, Gibson Co., not Orvil. That makes me want to take another look at his.

Aug-06-2004, 11:36am
"Not sure if you will all agree but a three point fits Dan real well."

No, I'm all aboard on that one...
Sure is a lot classier looking and I'm sure a lot less muted sounding than that last old Gibson F5 I heard him playing, no?... #http://www.mandolincafe.net/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/wow.gif

Hey, that's mahogany on both Pokey and Rick's, right?
How many mandos of that era are mahogany? #I thought it was all about Birch, even that early?

Aug-06-2004, 11:45am
Bruce, I think Orvil used walnut on the early ones. That looks like walnut on Ricks to me.

Aug-06-2004, 12:08pm
Oh, OK.....

How about Pokey?

Aug-06-2004, 1:49pm
let's see the back full on, but it does look more like walnut from what I can see.

Aug-06-2004, 4:01pm
Here tis...
I'm having a hard time getting a handle on it...

Aug-06-2004, 4:03pm
Looks walnut to me too, though if anyone can be sure it'll be Bruce.

This is an Orville label, but it's from the very early Gibson company. Some people whose opinions I respect think the company ones start at serial 2500.. so this is a pretty early one but not a hand-made Orville job.

Heh, Jack was a saint, sitting there while Chip & I agonized over multiple mandos, and even through an 8 hour studio session (to get approx 10 mins of music!). I don't have a decent shot of the back now and the sun is down, so I'll do one soon.

Aug-06-2004, 5:50pm
Here tis...
I think so.

Aug-07-2004, 7:47am
From that pic it's still hard to tell for sure but now it kinda looks more like mahogany. Do ya have a full back shot? One identifing mark of mahogany is how the grain seems to "reverse" itself giving it a kinda curly look that runs WITH the grain instead of across it. Either/or it's one fine looking mandolin I'd be proud to care for during my short tenure on this 3rd rock from the sun!

Aug-23-2004, 12:53pm
Here's a try on the back..

Sep-02-2004, 6:16am
Any guesses? It's very hard to photograph it for some reason.

Jim Garber
Sep-28-2004, 8:45am
Inspired by this thread, I posted a few old photos of 3 pointers from my collection on this thread (http://www.mandolincafe.net/cgi-bin/ikonboard.cgi?act=ST;f=15;t=12825).


Sep-28-2004, 4:02pm
Dan, is this the one that didn't work out? Sell it yet?

Sep-28-2004, 4:11pm
No, pokey's working out just fine http://www.mandolincafe.net/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/smile.gif

Sep-28-2004, 4:54pm
My guess is definately walnut (how's that for a safe waffle?). Been walking back and forth from the shop to the living room looking at some black and english walnut stock and furniture, and just can't decide which it is from here. My guess though would be english. I have seen a couple other old ones that looked walnut as well (including an A or two).

Beautiful score there, regardless of it's species ancestry. And I was thinking the exact thing that sunburst wrote when I started looking at her. Thanks.

Sep-28-2004, 6:49pm
Thanks for sharing Pokey with us, it's amazing. I have an 06 F2 (7135 on the archive) but it's a blackface with the inlaid pickguard, and waaaaay more beat. I was comparing the carving of top of mine to Pokey's and it seems as though they are identical; mine has a little less definition on the "ridge" of the scroll (mine has none, it's puffed out like you were saying). I spent a lot of time staring in amazement at what went into carving those tops. The best thing about them, from a playability standpoint, is the way the treble side sweeps down. It's like having the neck joint at the 14th fret or something, very easy to get sweet high notes as a result.

Anyway, congrats on your new aquisition, it's fabulous!

Sep-29-2004, 12:45am
Your's is nice too Grouch, do you have any pictures you could post? I'm going through a 3-pointer phase these days.

Sep-29-2004, 6:20pm
I sent sent a few pics to the archive, I don't have much luck posting here (my camera or operator error, I'm not sure). As you can tell my poor F2 has had a pretty hard life (major nasty repairs to the neck, peghead, and the top looks like it went through a hail storm). But, she's structurally sound, notes perfectly and sounds pretty dreamy. Part of that is due to my local luthier. I was tempted to do something about the top, but decided she's earned every scar. After all she's a player, and my she's satisfied my 30 year search for a 3 point oval hole mandolin that I could afford. Thanks again for the 3 pointer discussion!