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Thread: What exactly do i have here?

  1. #1
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    Default What exactly do i have here?

    Bought a “project” to hopefully make a player out of for my 7 year old grandaughter to learn to play on. It needs some repair and has obviously been stripped for whatever reason, but other than the rear split (shown in pic) it appears structurally sound. Can anyone narrow down which A model it is and the approximate year? The serial number is gone from the label. Any insight is appreciated. Thanks
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  2. #2
    Registered User Lane Pryce's Avatar
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    Default Re: What exactly do i have here?

    Geez. Looks like an old Gibson to my eyes. Can you make out any of the script on the tailpiece? Lp
    J.Lane Pryce

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    Default Re: What exactly do i have here?

    Quote Originally Posted by Lane Pryce View Post
    Geez. Looks like an old Gibson to my eyes. Can you make out any of the script on the tailpiece? Lp

    Yes, it is a Gibson..tailpiece reads “The Gibson”

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    Registered User Timbofood's Avatar
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    Default Re: What exactly do i have here?

    You have found a real “project” piece, take your time and restore this as welll as you can, don’t rush, when you’re finished(bad pun) you will have something nice. Not earth shattering but, Nice!
    Try to see if you can read a stamped number on the neck block inside (looking inside the soundhole) that will greatly improve accuracy of dating.
    Timothy F. Lewis
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    Registered User Lane Pryce's Avatar
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    Default Re: What exactly do i have here?

    [ATTACH=CONFIG]162644[/

    Quick search turned up this photo.
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    J.Lane Pryce

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    Default Re: What exactly do i have here?

    Found the number on the neck block. 2542

  7. #7
    Mando-Accumulator Jim Garber's Avatar
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    Default Re: What exactly do i have here?

    I don't have my book handy but I think the FON dates it to around 1915-1916. Someone might have the book and can verify or correct me.

    It looks like it is in decent shape with the exception of the back separation and the de-finish. I would check the inside to see if braces need regluing and any other problems. Of course, we are just looking at a few photos and you can things better having it in hand. Best of luck. It looks like a worthy project for your budding young mandolinist. Do let us know about your project maybe post some pics here.
    Jim

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    Default Re: What exactly do i have here?

    Thanks guys for the info!

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    Default Re: What exactly do i have here?

    Quote Originally Posted by Timbro View Post
    Found the number on the neck block. 2542
    The Spann book shows that Factory Order Number as a 1913 A.
    "Bargain instruments are no bargains if you can't play them". These are the words of J. Garber.

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    Default Re: What exactly do i have here?

    Quote Originally Posted by Timbro View Post
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    Hope someone didn't glue that bridge onto the top (I've seen that done before, believe it or not). It's suspicious that the bridge is sitting there upright, even with no strings... If it's glued on, you'd have to add that to your "to do" list when considering repairs.

  11. #11
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    Default Re: What exactly do i have here?

    No its not glued. I just set it there for the pic. It had strings that i removrd.

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    Default Re: What exactly do i have here?

    Quote Originally Posted by Timbro View Post
    No its not glued. I just set it there for the pic. It had strings that i removrd.
    Excellent! That's good to hear.

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    Default Re: What exactly do i have here?

    Quote Originally Posted by MikeEdgerton View Post
    The Spann book shows that Factory Order Number as a 1913 A.

    Wow. So cool that these old things are still around

  15. #14
    Mando-Accumulator Jim Garber's Avatar
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    Default Re: What exactly do i have here?

    Quote Originally Posted by MikeEdgerton View Post
    The Spann book shows that Factory Order Number as a 1913 A.
    I stand corrected. Thanks, Mike! I really need to have the Spann FONs tattoed on my arms.
    Jim

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    Default Re: What exactly do i have here?

    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Garber View Post
    I don't have my book handy but I think the FON dates it to around 1915-1916. Someone might have the book and can verify or correct me.
    Nearly - 1913 according to Span. 18 earlier than one of mine.


    Edit - six posts whilst I looked it up!!!

  17. #16
    Mando accumulator allenhopkins's Avatar
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    Default Re: What exactly do i have here?

    Unbound back and no logo on the headstock says a Model A, just plain "A," not A-1, A-2 etc. The FON, as stated above, puts it in the early 19-teens. You have what look like the original pickguard, tailpiece and tuners, all of which are pluses. It's a major project, for sure, but the end product should be a nice mandolin.

    If you have restoration questions, the Builders & Repair forum is a great source for experienced advice and help.
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    Default Re: What exactly do i have here?

    Nice find. Just a quick note that a seven year old may have a tough time with a mandolin. Though the scale length is small, the double course strings with fairly high tension can be tough on hands that young.

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    Default Re: What exactly do i have here?

    [QUOTE=Nevin;1615772]Nice find. Just a quick note that a seven year old may have a tough time with a mandolin. Though the scale length is small, the double course strings with fairly high tension can be tough on hands that young.[/QUOT]

    I thought of that. My goal is to get her “playing” music before all the distractions that are offered up by society take hold. I took her to BG festival this summer and thats all shes talked about. I thought of fiddle, but am having difficulty finding a teacher in our rural area. Since i play a little mando, my thought is to get her chopping along with her dad and I playing guitar/banjo if nothing else just to develop her sense of timing and keep her interested. She loves to sing so maybe she will stay interested as she grows.

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