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Thread: Undocumented Loar? Gibson Style H-5 Mandol

  1. #51

    Default Re: Undocumented Loar? Gibson Style H-5 Mandol

    NOTE - THIS WRITER IS THE CONSIGNOR OF THE GIBSON H-5 MANDOLA, SIGNED BY LLOYD LOAR (LOT 327) & THE GIBSON H-2 MANDOLA (LOT 328), BOTH OF WHICH ARE BEING AUCTIONED BY SKINNER THIS COMING SUN., NOV. 19 AT NOON.

    Good day, everyone. In reviewing this thread, I noted several instances in which the writers were, as danb put it, “looking for a bit of insight on this H5.” All things considered, I thought that such inquiries were not unreasonable. Accordingly, let’s see what I can to alleviate some of your anxiety about the provenance of these instruments.

    Joseph Rybka was my paternal grandfather’s brother, making him my Great Uncle Joseph. He was born in Blazown, Poland, on March 4, 1893, emigrated to the United States, arriving in the port of New York on June 25, 1913. He moved to L.A., and at some point moved to Portland, Oregon. In 1922, Joseph began organizing his orchestra, whose correct name is the “Rybka Imperial Plectrum Orchestra.” I have two wanted ads from 1922 issues of The Oregon Daily Journal. One ad indicated: “Mandolin and guitar players, join Prof. Rybka’s orchestra now organizing. No expense to you.” The other said: “HIGH class mandolin orchestra wants more mandolia and guitar players, no expense, instruments furnished.” According to a 1923 issue of Music Trades, “This orchestra, which is the only one of its kind on the Pacific Coast, uses the finest of Gibson instruments,…” Another interesting fact about Joseph’s orchestra is that Rudy Cipolla (who, as I’m sure you know, was a prominent mandolin player) was also a member.

    My understanding is that upon Joseph’s passing, all his instruments were distributed among Rybka family members. Ultimately, my Dad ended up with the two mandolas, and I inherited them from him. In other words, I literally grew up with the mandolas. There wasn’t a time in my life that I can remember, when the mandolas were not in my home, and I am 60 years of age.

    I will try to provide some additional information over the next day or two. Thank you. Jim Rybka

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  3. #52
    Registered User Timbofood's Avatar
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    Default Re: Undocumented Loar? Gibson Style H-5 Mandol

    This is one of the best reasons to be associated with this forum!
    Thank you Mr. Rybka for so kindly offering this information.
    Timothy F. Lewis
    "If brains was lard, that boy couldn't grease a very big skillet" J.D. Clampett

  4. #53
    Registered User Bob Clark's Avatar
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    Default Re: Undocumented Loar? Gibson Style H-5 Mandol

    Hello Mr. Rybka,

    Fascinating history of your family and these instruments. Thank you for sharing this with us.

    Have you considered writing this up and placing it in the case of each instrument? I am sure the purchasers will want to know this history, and I believe the written history should stay with the instruments for the benefit of future generations.

    What a wonderful family legacy. Do you play, or have you considered learning? As you can see, it is something that many of us enjoy immensely.

    Best wishes,

    Bob
    Purr more, hiss less.

  5. #54
    Martin Stillion mrmando's Avatar
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    Default Re: Undocumented Loar? Gibson Style H-5 Mandol

    Yes, I hope you'll make copies of this info available to whoever buys the instruments.

    There were various mandolin clubs and orchestras in Seattle in the early 20th century, so the claim about Great-Uncle Joe's orchestra being "the only one of its kind on the Pacific Coast" shouldn't be taken too literally. Gibson had contracts with music teachers all over the country: Gibson provided the sheet music and the teachers recruited orchestra members and sold them the instruments.

    In the 1980s and 1990s Ken Culver directed Portland's Mandophonic Orchestra; after Ken left town the group went dormant for a few years. Now it's back as the Oregon Mandolin Orchestra and going strong.
    Emando.com: More than you wanted to know about electric mandolins.

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  6. #55
    Registered User Timbofood's Avatar
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    Default Re: Undocumented Loar? Gibson Style H-5 Mandol

    But, there was ONLY one bearing the name Rybka!

    Way to steal thunder there Marty!
    Timothy F. Lewis
    "If brains was lard, that boy couldn't grease a very big skillet" J.D. Clampett

  7. #56
    Martin Stillion mrmando's Avatar
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    Default Re: Undocumented Loar? Gibson Style H-5 Mandol

    Quote Originally Posted by Timbofood View Post
    But, there was ONLY one bearing the name Rybka!
    Oh, well if THAT's what he meant ... then sure.
    Emando.com: More than you wanted to know about electric mandolins.

    Notorious: My Celtic CD--listen & buy!

    Donaldson Wood Thormahlen Andersen Old Wave Bacorn Yanuziello Fender National Gibson Franke Fuchs Aceto Three Hungry Pit Bulls

  8. #57
    Cafe Linux Mommy danb's Avatar
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    Default Re: Undocumented Loar? Gibson Style H-5 Mandol

    Thank you James, very interesting to hear from you and thanks for sharing.
    The Mandolin Archive
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  10. #58
    Registered User bluegrasser78's Avatar
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    Default Re: Undocumented Loar? Gibson Style H-5 Mandol

    I have a feeling there will be more Loars to surface in the future. Even Post Loar F-5's up to the 40's. seems like every year for awhile now there is a handful or so that come out of the woodwork. Loars and F-5's. It's so Kool that they are found and integrated "with some $$" back into playing again. That's when History comes to life once again.

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