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davidb1
Sep-05-2013, 5:45pm
A friend of mine knows the owner of this..Originally owned by his Dad.
I thought some might appreciate this ..106405106406

F-2 Dave
Sep-05-2013, 7:19pm
Very cool. Thanks for posting.

mrmando
Sep-05-2013, 7:35pm
Fantastic.

Reportedly Bigsby made only four of these, and by process of elimination, this must be the one that belonged to Al Giddings. Is that correct?

(If not, then the Bigsby legend needs an update!)

Spruce
Sep-05-2013, 8:15pm
It's a 10-string!

John Soper
Sep-05-2013, 8:44pm
Awesome!

Pete Martin
Sep-05-2013, 9:50pm
WAY cool!!!

:mandosmiley::mandosmiley::mandosmiley:

Jim Garber
Sep-05-2013, 9:59pm
is this the only 10-string? Is it in the Bigsby book (http://www.gretschstore.com/catalog/index.php?main_page=product_info&cPath=6&products_id=36&zenid=q7n7jh9smo8f5a87lkrm9pffd5)?

mrmando
Sep-05-2013, 10:14pm
No, Paul Buskirk's Bigsby was also a 10-string.

I haven't seen the Bigsby book, but I doubt this one is in it. If it is Al Giddings' mandolin, these are the first photographs of it I've ever seen. I have photos of the others. Tiny Moore's, of course, was a 5-string; Eschol Cosby's was an 8-string.

delsbrother
Sep-06-2013, 2:07am
Why don't you have the Bigsby book? It is awesome! Though - admittedly - it isn't as mando-heavy as it could have been.

davidb1
Sep-06-2013, 2:11am
After further discussion with my friend who sent me the photos, this is some of the history of the owner and mandolin.I will post more as I get it.
As to whether it is in the book I have no knowledge of that and perhaps once more of the story is complete some of these questions will be resolved.
From my friend..the mandolin belonged to a man called Johnny Muessig who was a radio personality in Jefferson City, MO and was responsible for giving Leona Williams her start in country music.

mrmando
Sep-06-2013, 4:08am
If Johnny Muessig was the original owner, that means this mandolin is previously undocumented.

davidb1: Keep the info coming. I'm going to forward this thread to Andy Babiuk, author of the Bigsby book, and Deke Dickerson, a collector who helped out with the research on the book. Finding a previously unknown Bigsby is a big deal, and these guys may want to talk to your friend's friend.

If authentic, it is also a very valuable instrument ... your friend's friend might want to have it appraised by someone like George Gruhn. He might be very pleasantly surprised.

Is the mandolin currently in Australia, or elsewhere?

Charlieshafer
Sep-06-2013, 5:31am
Very cool information. It's great to hear that an electric mandolin is valuable enough to warrant potentially forging!

mrmando
Sep-06-2013, 7:42am
I don't have any doubt of its authenticity from looking at the photo, but judging from the price Gruhn put on a Bigsby tenor guitar not long ago, this mandolin is potentially worth a year's salary for some folks.

davidb1
Sep-06-2013, 9:01am
mrmando:the mandolin is in the US.Yes,I have no doubt that the instrument is authentic,and yes , it is a very valuable instrument.My friend has just supplied these details.The mandolin is no.4 that Paul Bigsby made.Serial number 113051.And as fantastic providence..a letter to Paul Bigsby from Mr John J Muessig Jr.106423 confirming order and purchase of the instrument with requests for specifics regarding the tail piece.I have 2 other photos I will post.I believe the case is also original and made by Mr Bigsby.
As an aside I saw a recent sale of a Paul Bigsby guitar at Heritage auctions go for $266,550.00 so that gives an indication of what we are talking about here.

Spruce
Sep-06-2013, 9:55am
Yikes... :disbelief:

EdHanrahan
Sep-06-2013, 10:41am
... going to forward this thread to ... Deke Dickerson, a collector who helped out with the research on the book.

For those who may not be aware, there was an article on Mr. Dickerson in the Fretboard Journal several years ago.

Edit: As well as another on Paul Buskirk!

mrmando
Sep-06-2013, 1:13pm
Deke also tracked down Tiny Moore's Bigsby at Skip's Music in Sacramento, and wrote a nice article about it for Vintage Guitar magazine -- which also appeared on Deke's blog.

I've contacted Deke and Andy, so we'll see if they check in here.

I doubt any of Bigsby's mandolins would sell for $266K, but I don't think $50K is out of the question. Maybe more for Tiny's.

Spruce
Sep-06-2013, 2:22pm
I doubt any of Bigsby's mandolins would sell for $226K...

Uh, that was $266,550.00...
No way, but weirder things have happened... ;)

Sure would be a relatively easy instrument to copy, if you had some pickup winding skills...

Perry Babasin
Sep-06-2013, 4:07pm
The same guy that invented Bigsby Tailpieces? Had one on my old SG purchased in '72. That thing is crazy, 10 strings?

davidb1
Sep-06-2013, 4:37pm
I doubt any of Bigsby's mandolins would sell for $266K, but I don't think $50K is out of the question. Maybe more for Tiny's.
Hey, it's got 4 more strings than the guitar that sold for $266..thats got to be worth something..:mandosmiley:

fantastic providence that letter though I thought

Django Fret
Sep-06-2013, 6:43pm
A quick calculation on a per string basis says that it should be worth at least $444,250!

Even if it doesn't get anywhere close to that amount, it is a really cool piece of electric mandolin history so thanks for sharing it here!

Bill Snyder
Sep-07-2013, 10:53am
Forgive me but I am going to be just a bit pedantic (http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/pedantic). The word is provenance (http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/provenance) not providence (http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/providence).

Tom Wright
Sep-07-2013, 12:18pm
Forgive me but I am going to be just a bit pedantic (http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/pedantic). The word is provenance (http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/provenance) not providence (http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/providence).

You could say it's both confirming the provenance of the instrument and providence smiling on the owner by providing the letter proving said provenance. ;) But the original use of providence is correct, I think, since provenance was pretty much settled with serial number, etc.

mandotool
Sep-07-2013, 12:47pm
Here's a recently found Photo of Paul Buskirk w/ his 10 String..106456

mrmando
Sep-07-2013, 2:19pm
That's a good'un. Where'd you come upon that?

mrmando
Sep-07-2013, 2:25pm
Given that Bigsby did not keep a journal or any shop notes about his instruments, the letter is the best sort of provenance we could hope for. It is an act of providence that Mr. Muessig hung on to the letter.

Are there any extant photos of the Al Giddings mandolin?

FL Dawg
Sep-07-2013, 3:11pm
What a find! Thanks for the pictures.

Bigsby's design sense was so unique and outstanding. It's not surprising that his work is treated like rare art these days.

Ben Milne
Sep-12-2013, 1:22am
Interesting that it doesn't appear that the request for a tailpiece to take loop end strings wasn't followed through, also that it isn't the traditional bigsby style tailpiece that Paul Buskirk's 10 string features.

davidb1
Sep-13-2013, 8:43am
I have received some new photos with lots of detail.I believe this instrument will be placed up for sale with a major auction house very soon,although I have nothing at all to do with the sale of this.106717106718106719106720106721106722106723106 724106725106726
Some great shots showing much more detail .

mrmando
Sep-13-2013, 11:14am
Well, an auction will allow me to pretend that I have a shot at buying it, whereas if it were consigned straight to Gruhn's it would be immediately out of reach.

Jim Garber
Sep-13-2013, 11:30am
Nice shots in the blue light... boy that headstock makes me nervous for some reason. Very cool. Let us know when it is at auction. Any idea in what country? UK? US?

Pete Jenner
Sep-13-2013, 2:02pm
I'm equally as nervous Jim.

mrmando
Sep-13-2013, 2:41pm
boy that headstock makes me nervous for some reason.
Is that a crack or a joint?

(Said one addict to the other.)

Jim Garber
Sep-13-2013, 3:39pm
Possible implosion of the headstock. I wonder when it was last tuned to pitch.

davidb1
Sep-13-2013, 3:51pm
Regarding the "blue light" they are the photos that were sent to me by my friend in the US.I have not personally touched the instrument so I cannot comment as to the "crack or joint" question.To Mr Pete Jenner and Mr Jim Garber who expressed concern over the headstock I am uncertain as to how to respond and in what context.I think that the mandolin will be sold in the US,but I am not privy to any details at this time.I posted these and the original photos and letter in the spirit that some here would be interested to see them as I was, and that as a very rare instrument, previously undocumented it would be appreciated for what it is.

Jim Garber
Sep-13-2013, 4:04pm
I actually did not notice the crack and BION that wasn't what made me nervous -- more the number of strings all stretched in various directions. Wonderful... I have to get that Bigsby book.

George R. Lane
Sep-13-2013, 4:34pm
I don't believe that is a crack. It appears to be a joint, much like the wings on a paddle head.

mrmando
Sep-13-2013, 4:41pm
I posted these and the original photos and letter in the spirit that some here would be interested to see them as I was, and that as a very rare instrument, previously undocumented it would be appreciated for what it is.
Indeed, and we're very grateful. Discussion of the instrument's apparent condition is completely normal here, especially if there's an indication that it could be up for sale. It looks to me as though the headstock "ear" consists of a second piece of wood laminated onto the neck, and the glue joint there looks as though it might be starting to separate. But it's normal for an instrument of this age to have a few "issues." The blue cast of most of the photos is simply what you get when you shoot in low light without a flash.

rockies
Sep-13-2013, 4:46pm
It looks to me that indeed the tailpiece would handle both loop and ball end strings. All you would need is balls off old guitar strings and put them in the loop as you feed them through the holes in the tailpiece. IMHO without actually seeing the tailpiece to do it. A lovely instrument, wish I owned it or a least got a chance to play it.
Dave

davidb1
Sep-13-2013, 5:00pm
.. boy that headstock makes me nervous .

perhaps I should have said :Doctor, that headstock makes me nervous..OK play these "relaxaTabs" and if necessary repeat in small intervals
:)

davidb1
Sep-13-2013, 5:38pm
It looks to me that indeed the tailpiece would handle both loop and ball end strings. seeing the tailpiece to do it.
Dave
If you check pix 9 you will see the tailpiece does handle ball end strings..
The last few pix I have including the serial number 113051..although it's difficult to see the complete serial..106744106745106746

mrmando
Sep-13-2013, 6:43pm
If you check pix 9 you will see the tailpiece does handle ball end strings.
That is not in dispute. Rather, the question is whether it can handle loop-end strings.

It looks to me that indeed the tailpiece would handle both loop and ball end strings. All you would need is balls off old guitar strings and put them in the loop as you feed them through the holes in the tailpiece.
Um, that's like saying your tailgate party is open to Viking fans as long as they're wearing cheeseheads.

davidb1
Sep-13-2013, 7:09pm
That is not in dispute. Rather, the question is whether it can handle loop-end strings.

Um, that's like saying your tailgate party is open to Viking fans as long as they're wearing cheeseheads.

I am afraid the analogy of American sports fans activities and vernacular is rather lost on me..:confused:
I was meaning that if you download jpg 9 as posted above the instrument is set up with ball end strings through the tailpiece.

mrmando
Sep-13-2013, 7:57pm
I am afraid the analogy of American sports fans activities and vernacular is rather lost on me..:confused:
A bit like saying you don't mind New Zealand fans as long as they don't wear black, perhaps...

I was meaning that if you download jpg 9 as posted above the instrument is set up with ball end strings through the tailpiece.
Again, no one is questioning whether it takes ball-end strings. The question is whether it also accommodates loop-ends.

Ben Milne
Sep-13-2013, 8:15pm
It looks to me that indeed the tailpiece would handle both loop and ball end strings. All you would need is balls off old guitar strings and put them in the loop as you feed them through the holes in the tailpiece.
Dave

This reads to me as: 'The tailpiece will take loop end strings, as long as you convert them to ball end stings.'

Jon Hall
Sep-14-2013, 7:14am
Mandotool: Who is the front man (at the microphone) in the photo showing Paul Buskirk? It looks like Merle Travis. I became friends with Paul before his passing. He thought the world of Merle Travis, Tex Ritter, Maybelle Carter, Charlie Louvin and Willie Nelson.

mrmando
Jan-27-2014, 4:49pm
As noted elsewhere, this Bigsby mandolin is now in the hands of the auctioneers. The opening bid is not for the faint of heart.
http://entertainment.ha.com/c/item.zx?saleNo=7102&lotIdNo=29001#Photo

mandotool
Jan-27-2014, 6:38pm
Mandotool: Who is the front man (at the microphone) in the photo showing Paul Buskirk? It looks like Merle Travis. I became friends with Paul before his passing. He thought the world of Merle Travis, Tex Ritter, Maybelle Carter, Charlie Louvin and Willie Nelson.

there's a handwritten note on the back that was partly covered with glue and paper... I was able to scrap it off enough to make it out ...
says here..

"Bobby Williamson and his band.
(that is Bobby with guitar, standing at microphone) "

a little digging around and viola!

http://countrydiscography.blogspot.com/2010/03/bobby-williamson.html

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VMcH9Ayk3pE
Nice mando break from Buskirk at 1:22

Spruce
Jan-27-2014, 7:23pm
"Take 4 Months to Pay"... :)

Even with the Bigsby-made pups, it sure would be relatively easy to whip up a copy that would fool the "experts"...
Yikes...

notneils
Feb-01-2014, 2:02pm
As noted elsewhere, this Bigsby mandolin is now in the hands of the auctioneers. The opening bid is not for the faint of heart.
http://entertainment.ha.com/c/item.zx?saleNo=7102&lotIdNo=29001#Photo


Estimate that it will go for $40K? Hey, we get 80 of us together, put up $500 each, we can buy that mofo and share it out 4.9 days a year each! Who's in... ?

Mark Seale
Feb-03-2014, 2:18pm
If that doesn't work out, you can contact Larry Wexer about this one....

http://www.gbase.com/powered/geardetails.aspx?dealer=8144f611-4c01-4305-8e70-97e811d47f38&item=3272772

AlanN
Feb-03-2014, 2:58pm
pix

Steve Ostrander
Feb-03-2014, 3:14pm
That's one whopping big headstock on that 10-string.

mrmando
Feb-04-2014, 4:48am
Here's a little slide show I put together with photos of all seven of Bigsby's known electric mandolins. This is the first time they've all been collected in one place:

http://emando.com/builders_inactive/Bigsby_slideshow.htm

acowboy
Mar-12-2014, 10:48am
Howdy Mando Men,
Back in Austin I had Paul Buskirks 10 string in the shop for some repairs, frets , set up maybe electronic tune up. Most likely through Paul Glasse or Johnny Gimble. I feel lucky to have known Paul. The last time I saw him was Austin City Limits with Freddy Powers, Merle Haggard, Willie Nelson , Paul and another fellow with a small funny Russian looking hat. That fellow had some sort of heart trouble on stage ! Great player. Paul was on guitar all night and smoked the joint. I enjoyed the slide show above. I had thought that Paul's was the only 10 till this.
Michael Stevens

Spruce
Mar-12-2014, 11:11am
Howdy Mando Men,
Back in Austin I had Paul Buskirks 10 string in the shop for some repairs.....

Long shot here, but does anyone have body and/or peghead drawings, dimensions, etc., of any of the Bigsby mandolins...??
Love to see 'em if "yes"...