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300win
Aug-17-2009, 2:39pm
Hey ya'll, I had a call from a friend of mine who is on vacation in West Virginia. He found in a pawn shop an F-4 Blackface, that seems to be all original, minus any strings, has a craked headstock that can be repaired, he builds conversion TB Gibson banjos to 5 strings, so he does know about repairs. What we need to know is the serial number 9365, is that around a 1907 ? He says that the mandolin is in good shape but for the crack. What do ya'll think this one would be worth ? I appreciate a quick answer by someone who knows here. thanks.

f5loar
Aug-17-2009, 2:55pm
That would be around 1908. Hard to give value without seeing it of coarse but should be around $3500 to $5500.

danb
Aug-17-2009, 2:57pm
9365 places it in 1909.

Depends on the crack in the headstock for value.. if it's a peghead scroll only, not too big a deal. The F4 would have back binding and a red maple back (most of them from that age were orange tops, but many F2s were black). so.. assuming it really is an F4 and has just a peghead scroll repair, no missing pickguard or tailpiece cover/handel tuners.. I'd say ~$6000 value

300win
Aug-17-2009, 3:20pm
Thanks guys, I was looking in the Mandolin Archives about the serial number listings, the closet number they had to 9365 is 9100, and it was made in 1909, and they had another with a little higher number in the 9100's it also was 1909, but I noticed the higher the number the years progress acordingly. So would that not make the 9365 made in 1910-1911 ?

300win
Aug-17-2009, 3:26pm
My friend says that it has everything that looks original on it, Tailpiece, cover, tuners, tuner buttons, etc. finish is worn but still looks good, no blemishes except the cracked headstock. I'll let ya'll know if he gets it, he has a few old Gibson banjos and guitars, has never gotten a mandolin.

jefflester
Aug-17-2009, 5:42pm
Thanks guys, I was looking in the Mandolin Archives about the serial number listings, the closet number they had to 9365 is 9100, and it was made in 1909, and they had another with a little higher number in the 9100's it also was 1909, but I noticed the higher the number the years progress acordingly. So would that not make the 9365 made in 1910-1911 ?

9100 1909 Gibson F4 Mandolin
9171 1909 Gibson F4 Mandolin
9174 1910 Gibson A Mandolin VGC-, natural top,
9265 1909 Gibson U Harp Guitar 1909
9419 1909 Gibson H2 Mandola Black finish
9501 1909 Gibson A Mandolin
9790 1909 Gibson H1 Mandola
9828 1909 Gibson A Mandolin G-VGC, black face,
9848 1909 Gibson A Mandolin black finish,

9365 seems to be solidly in 1909

300win
Aug-17-2009, 5:48pm
9100 1909 Gibson F4 Mandolin
9171 1909 Gibson F4 Mandolin
9174 1910 Gibson A Mandolin VGC-, natural top,
9265 1909 Gibson U Harp Guitar 1909
9419 1909 Gibson H2 Mandola Black finish
9501 1909 Gibson A Mandolin
9790 1909 Gibson H1 Mandola
9828 1909 Gibson A Mandolin G-VGC, black face,
9848 1909 Gibson A Mandolin black finish,

9365 seems to be solidly in 1909

So they don't really go by higher numbers to later years. Thanks for the info to everyone. Apprecitate it guys.

jefflester
Aug-17-2009, 5:57pm
So they don't really go by higher numbers to later years.
Not really sure what you are trying to say here. The serial numbers do go up as the years get later.

300win
Aug-17-2009, 6:13pm
Not really sure what you are trying to say here. The serial numbers do go up as the years get later.

What I thought until I looked on the mando archives. Maybe I was reading them wrong on the ones they have listed, it seemed there was a gap or something that made me think it was later on in 1910-11. But it's cleared up know.

allenhopkins
Aug-17-2009, 10:19pm
This Vintage Guitars site (http://www.provide.net/~cfh/gibson.html) is the best single source I've found for Gibson serial numbers, factory order numbers, model descriptions and timetables, and other info. Not saying it's perfect, but there's a lot of info there -- label pictures, serial number format evolution, related stuff. They put the mandolin's vintage as 1908, by the way (range 8300-9700).

Darryl Wolfe
Aug-18-2009, 7:46am
Not saying it's perfect, but there's a lot of info there -- label pictures, serial number format evolution, related stuff. They put the mandolin's vintage as 1908, by the way (range 8300-9700).

There really isn't alot of hard evidence on dating the earlier instruments to an exact year. One can only extrapolate an make a few assumptions. I have a mandola 10061. It has the violin chin rest type of pickguard bracket instead of the traditional clamp with the 1911 patent date on it. With that in mind we think of instruments in the 10000 serial numbers as 1910 and 9000 serial numbers as 1909. It is not an exact science. Heck, they may not have received their first delivery of pickguard clamps with 1911 on them until 1912, who knows

danb
Aug-19-2009, 12:11pm
This Vintage Guitars site (http://www.provide.net/~cfh/gibson.html) is the best single source I've found for Gibson serial numbers, factory order numbers, model descriptions and timetables, and other info. Not saying it's perfect, but there's a lot of info there -- label pictures, serial number format evolution, related stuff. They put the mandolin's vintage as 1908, by the way (range 8300-9700).

I'm going by a combination of old advertisements and the patent stamp. The stamp date for the raised PG is 1909, and there is an ad with a raised guard 3pt from a 1909 Popular Mechanics i have in my posession..

I'm hoping to improve on the older serial charts with evidence. Also note that there are no documented instruments with serials below 2500 (think of starting your check book at 500..), which yet appear in most old charts. room to improve for sure.

lenf12
Aug-24-2009, 1:35pm
Also note that there are no documented instruments with serials below 2500 (think of starting your check book at 500..), which yet appear in most old charts. room to improve for sure.

Hi all,

That's a very interesting point Dan which may have a simple explanation. There may not have been a need to use serial numbers early on at Gibson. As the company grew and encountered needs for manufacturing controls and honoring warranties, a system for tracking production and sales would mandate the use of serial numbers. Perhaps someone guessed that they had produced about 2500 instruments to the point when serial numbers went into common practice at Gibson.

As an aside - A friend and I once owned a small manufacturing company and we decided that our first production run would carry serial numbers starting with #500 (along with some numbers for dates of mfg). That practice gave the impression that we had been in business for longer than we actually were at startup. We were trying to give potential customers the "warm fuzzies" by implying that we had already made 500 of these things, so they must be good.

Len B.
Clearwater, FL

allenhopkins
Aug-24-2009, 3:58pm
Perhaps someone guessed that they had produced about 2500 instruments to the point when serial numbers went into common practice at Gibson.

That procedure is the one that C F Martin Co. followed. In 1898 they started numbering instruments serially with the number "8000." This was based on a guesstimate that the company had built 8,000 (or, I guess, 7,999) guitars between 1833 and 1898. Martins built before 1898 aren't serially numbered.