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turkeypen
Nov-02-2009, 11:35am
How many numbers does one need to get the date of an Gibson Mandola?

allenhopkins
Nov-02-2009, 11:39am
This Vintage Guitars page (http://www.provide.net/~cfh/gibson.html#serial) is the best source I've found for determining the date of Gibson instruments. It's long, and confusing, but if you have a serial number and/or a factory order number (FON), both of which should be marked within the instrument's body, you can get a pretty accurate idea of when the instrument was made.

mrmando
Nov-04-2009, 6:40pm
I think turkeypen might be asking how many digits of the serial number have to be legible.

If it's post-1910, it'll have a 5-digit serial number, and the first 2 digits will get you within a year on any of the published lists. First 3 digits are better, of course.

Pre-1910 instruments have a 4-digit serial number.

If you post photos of the instrument here, our resident experts can, in most cases, put it within a 4- to 5-year window without even knowing the serial number.

turkeypen
Nov-05-2009, 4:45pm
Serial number looks like 49177, might be 48117 (second number ian't very clear.

Whats left of it, it has a white label. Style N 1, or N j (letter not very clear at all)

ebony, pearl dotted, extended fingerboard. bound fingerboard. Pearl peg head inlay, The Gibson. two inlayed sound holes rings. Single bound top.

Sorrry don't have any way of sending a photo. :mad:

allenhopkins
Nov-06-2009, 12:41am
Gibson mandolas had an "H" prefix; could your "N" be an "H"?

Using the Vintage Guitars website linked above, here's the 5-digit serial number series around the number you've ID'ed (last number for each year):

1916 32000
1917 39500
1918 47900
1919 53800

Using that as a reference, around 1919.

turkeypen
Nov-06-2009, 11:33am
Being Mandolas had an " H ", and it is a mandolla, that settles that. :grin:

Another question -- How many braces, back, and top, should this " Old Lady " have? :) Only has one, on top, up near the soundhole. None on the back.

Gail Hester
Nov-06-2009, 12:03pm
It should have just the one transverse brace on top as yours does.