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Thread: How much would Monroe’s mandolin be worth

  1. #1
    Oval holes are cool David Lewis's Avatar
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    Default How much would Monroe’s mandolin be worth

    If it was in the condition it’s in, but if it was found under a bed, and not played by Monroe or anyone significant

    The answer if we put willie Nelson’s trigger is maybe 50 bucks. But a Loar?

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    Default Re: How much would Monroe’s mandolin be worth

    Are you talking all the repairs or just a played in unknown Loar? Well his is a poor refinish due to his scraping incident after that 50's Gibson refinish-dum da dum dum-There are a ton of Loars/ferns from the 20's that this happened to that got that treatment in the 30's and 50's "hey needs a fret job, lets make it look new again, some got lacquer overspray some got a complete refinish with the fancy pearl block inlays of the day."! new peg head inlays and the fire poker incident post repair, I'd pay 15G for that type of mojo with repairs But if it was a well played in Loar that was all original but finish beat and in need of a few dryness crack repairs/ neck set a bit more because its a Loar and has potential! What comes to mind is the recent H-5 Loar mandola with style 4 appointments-possibly the proto for the H-5? If I had brains I would've bid on that cause it went way cheap for an H-5! Less than half of what dealers charge! Also in the same auction a 24 Virzi F-4 with a Loar F-5 case-also practically givin away. F-4 and case needed some repair but well worth it, I know the case is already fixed and the virzi 4 had a bit of seam separation on lower bout and that will be fixed next.
    There are still many GREAT old Gibson's waiting to be found-I'm not that lucky!

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    Default Re: How much would Monroe’s mandolin be worth

    The '23 "Drunk Loar" has been offered at 75,000 for years. No one has paid it yet. So, the price would be somewhat less than that.

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    Registered User William Smith's Avatar
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    Default Re: How much would Monroe’s mandolin be worth

    Oh is that the same one that the one that has that real poor refinish? I know they've been offered 25G for it but turned that down. Yes that is a terrible price 75! Maybe 40 and have Mr. Gilchrist work his magic! Same with the one Loar at Gruhns that had a new neck and refinish in the late 30's, I think 90,000 for that? No way. Its usually best to buy from an individual where prices are realistic.

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    Oval holes are cool David Lewis's Avatar
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    Default Re: How much would Monroe’s mandolin be worth

    All the repairs and everything. How much value does the name add. Or the names one - Monroe. 2. Lloyd Loar
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    Default Re: How much would Monroe’s mandolin be worth

    At one time a group headed by the leader of The Cumberland Highlanders Band and the MC for his TV show on RFD-TV offered to buy Monroe`s mandolin for 2 million bucks but when they couldn`t come up with all of the money the deal was scrubbed, in my opinion the high price for any Loar mandolin is because Monroe played one and they are part of bluegrass history, there are a lot of mandolins now being made that sound as good or better for bluegrass but that really depends on a person`s taste....

    Willie

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    Default Re: How much would Monroe’s mandolin be worth

    Being Monroes, the sky is the limit on price! Not everyday someone invents a style of music/mando playing that's loved by millions! Monroe had another Loar but I have no idea if that was repaired because that got the fire poker incident as well I believe? I also heard it was stolen but may be wrong? I'm sure the experts are in the know! Also I'd like to know where his F-7 resides, that is an historical mandolin because that's what he used and recorded with his Bro "The Monroe Brothers" early on in the 30's up till he bought the Loar in the early 40's! I know around 1999 or so I was at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in Cleveland and they had a Monroe exhibit and there was an F-7 on display with Monroe memorabilia , I have no idea if that was his F-7-experts on Mr. Bill may would know??? I'm very curious, I heard he gave it away?
    Even a basket case Loar would bring some $ if it was poorly refinished/repaired because of that little Lloyd Loar label, I just don't think 75G like that one at Carters, that's why its still been sitting for over 3 years-maybe longer.

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    Default Re: How much would Monroe’s mandolin be worth

    Apparently if you take it apart and sell it piece by piece it might be worth a whole lot more.
    "Bargain instruments are no bargains if you can't play them". These are the words of J. Garber.

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    Default Re: How much would Monroe’s mandolin be worth

    Right on Mike, they want as much for the fingerboard as they do for a complete mandolin just because it was Bill`s...Even the broken peg head brought a high price a while back...GO FIGURE....

    Willie

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    Default Re: How much would Monroe’s mandolin be worth

    Quote Originally Posted by Willie Poole View Post
    At one time a group headed by the leader of The Cumberland Highlanders Band and the MC for his TV show on RFD-TV offered to buy Monroe`s mandolin for 2 million bucks but when they couldn`t come up with all of the money the deal was scrubbed, in my opinion the high price for any Loar mandolin is because Monroe played one and they are part of bluegrass history, there are a lot of mandolins now being made that sound as good or better for bluegrass but that really depends on a person`s taste....

    Willie
    Two million? Where'd you get that figure?

    The mandolin sold April 25, 2001 for just over one million to the Bill Monroe Foundation, ie., the dream of Campbell Mercer, a price never paid in full. They never even got close and the instrument was in limbo for several years. Documented on NPR and a more complete story of its selling history on CMT, Country Music Television.

    Self-proclaimed "philanthropist" Robert McLean purchased it and presented it to the Country Music Hall of Fame September 13, 2005 where it remains today. Only one problem. He turned out to be a ponzi scheme artist, ultimately taking his own life with a gun on September 25, 2007. Somehow the museum has secured permanent ownership of it but the complete story of that is unknown. We interviewed Mick Buck in 2010, the museum curator, he wouldn't provide details on questions about that.

    As far as all the excitement about the fingerboard as if it this just happened, its been sitting at Carter Vintage Guitars since February 15, 2015 at the same price. Great conversation piece. I don't think anyone there is remotely interested in selling it, but having it in the store is certainly a wonderful thing.

    There is a story we can't prove but passed onto us by a prominent employee that Gibson offered James $500K for the mandolin at one point. A meeting was set up and when the time came and everyone was in the room the price changed to $1 million at which point Henry J. stood up and walked out of the room. Meeting over.

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    Default Re: How much would Monroe’s mandolin be worth

    I wonder what Gibson and Henry would offer for Monroe's toaster.

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    Default Re: How much would Monroe’s mandolin be worth

    Henry already owned a toaster so he wasn't interested in it.
    "Bargain instruments are no bargains if you can't play them". These are the words of J. Garber.

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    Default Re: How much would Monroe’s mandolin be worth

    Quote Originally Posted by David Lewis View Post
    If it was in the condition it’s in, but if it was found under a bed, and not played by Monroe or anyone significant.



    What do you say?
    Only what any other pile of splinters that had been glued back together would be worth.

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    Default Re: How much would Monroe’s mandolin be worth

    Maybe I’m wrong but it seems most of the responses have missed the point. The question is what would that mandolin be worth in its current condition if Monroe had not owned it. Take Monroe’s ownership out of the equtation and it had been owned by someone unknown. Then how much would it be worth?
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    Default Re: How much would Monroe’s mandolin be worth

    Wouldn’t every mandolin be less valuable without the Monroe Lore. Anyhow, without Bill??? If someone sets it up to play like butter, and it sounds like a cannon....maybe $6,000???

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    Default Re: How much would Monroe’s mandolin be worth

    Quote Originally Posted by mandobassman View Post
    Maybe I’m wrong but it seems most of the responses have missed the point. The question is what would that mandolin be worth in its current condition if Monroe had not owned it. Take Monroe’s ownership out of the equtation and it had been owned by someone unknown. Then how much would it be worth?
    Not very much. Refinishing alone devalues an instrument 50% or more. A broken head, 50% or more. Dozens of cracks, a large percentage also.

    "Gibson F-5, 1923. Multiple repaired body cracks, repaired headstock, completely refinished, etc. etc."
    Supposedly Carter had an offer of 25K on the mandolin referred to earlier. This one is in much worse shape.

    The only buyers are going to be people who want a signed F-5 and can't otherwise afford one. My guess would be somewhere between 5 and 10 thousand dollars, maybe.

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    Oval holes are cool David Lewis's Avatar
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    Default Re: How much would Monroe’s mandolin be worth

    Quote Originally Posted by mandobassman View Post
    Maybe I’m wrong but it seems most of the responses have missed the point. The question is what would that mandolin be worth in its current condition if Monroe had not owned it. Take Monroe’s ownership out of the equtation and it had been owned by someone unknown. Then how much would it be worth?
    That's it: It wouldn't get the premium price of say, Thile's (bought for what? 250k), but it's still a Loar - the 6000 - 15000 suggested seems reasonable, given it's importance as an instrument. But then, ther's a fair few Loars around - It's just a fun question to kick around - I've enjoyed every answer so far. The other one is 'Trigger', which being a Martin might have some salvagable parts on it - tuners, bridge etc, so might get 50 dollars in it's condition...
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    Default Re: How much would Monroe’s mandolin be worth

    Quote Originally Posted by David Lewis View Post
    The other one is 'Trigger', which being a Martin might have some salvagable parts on it - tuners, bridge etc, so might get 50 dollars in it's condition...
    Interesting question, but I've been an enthusiast of vintage instruments since before the term "vintage instruments" was coined and I have NEVER seen a vintage Martin offered for $50, regardless of condition....Willie or not! Not sure where you are hanging out to suggest such a price, but I would love to buy a truckload of old Martins in any condition for $50 each.........? I did sell an early 70's Guild jumbo acoustic with hundreds of autographs carved into it (like Willie's) and it had a hole in the top (like Willie's) but it was not owned by anyone famous, but was super cool and I did purchase it in Texas -- I sold it within a week for $800. It had a "coolness factor" that was off the charts, IMHO and the utility of being a great sounding playable instrument alone made it a bargain at $800, again IMHO.

    Even more so with a signed Loar, regardless of condition. The utility combined with what it is, is STILL worth a lot, IMHO.
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    Default Re: How much would Monroe’s mandolin be worth

    Quote Originally Posted by mandobassman View Post
    Maybe I’m wrong but it seems most of the responses have missed the point. The question is what would that mandolin be worth in its current condition if Monroe had not owned it. Take Monroe’s ownership out of the equtation and it had been owned by someone unknown. Then how much would it be worth?
    Okay, but that Loar would still look exactly like the one Monroe owned. Which would make it worth quite a bit, 40k? However, while we're speculating, we may as well assume there was no such phenomenon as Monroe, bluegrass and its followers (you name them, Grisman, Thile & al.). In that case, Loar F5s in general wouldn't be worth much at all, maybe 1 - 2k for mint condition Loars, 200 $US for this beat-up F5?

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    Default Re: How much would Monroe’s mandolin be worth

    IMHO - it would depend on how playable the mandolin could be made again & it's tone. Most of us saw the incredible re-build that Steve Gilchrist did on Loar #1 & that was in pretty bad shape.(see pic.). I've heard from one Cafe member who's played it that it doesn't sound too bad either. If we forget the ''Monroe connection'',then maybe a tad less than Loar #1 because, that's a significant mandolin in it's own right.

    Refurbished & properly set up by somebody such as Steve Gilchrist,it would need to be appraised re.it's value in the context of it's condition & stability /tone & playability - only an expert could do that,the rest of us can simply guess,
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    Default Re: How much would Monroe’s mandolin be worth

    Fair enough. I don’t know enough about it. But I’m prepared to defer to someone who does.

    So if the IRS had got hold of it when they garnisheed all of willies stuff would they have said ‘800.00?’? Or would the provenance have pushed it?

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    Martin Stillion mrmando's Avatar
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    Default Re: How much would Monroe’s mandolin be worth

    We're forgetting that Monroe actually had two Loars and Priscilla Poker smashed both of them. Charlie D. repaired them both; part of the challenge was sorting out which shards belonged to which mandolin.

    Was that second Loar ever sold, and for how much? It might be the closest thing to a real-world example of what the OP is asking about.
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    Oval holes are cool David Lewis's Avatar
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    Default Re: How much would Monroe’s mandolin be worth

    Wasn’t the second Loar missing?

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    Default Re: How much would Monroe’s mandolin be worth

    I mentioned Loar #2 and the F-7 in post 7? I still wonder?

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    Adrian Minarovic
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    Default Re: How much would Monroe’s mandolin be worth

    Prices of old repaired instruments can vary wildly. Many STrad violins have dozens of cracks repaired (mostly invisible to ordinary human) and many other repairs or "corections" done and still bring top prices if they sound good.
    There was prewar D-28 in classifieds few weeks ago that had the neck and top replaced and was refinished (twice). The price was quite high considering that the only original parts were back and ribs (with some cracks as well), I don't know if it sold but I guess no.
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