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Thread: The only red burst Loar-signed F?

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    Default The only red burst Loar-signed F?

    Sharon Gilchrist mentions a particular Lloyd Loar signed F that is "the only red sunburst Loar" ever made. I did some searching, and found zero info on this mandolin. Does anyone have any info or pics?


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    Default Re: The only red burst Loar-signed F?


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    Default Re: The only red burst Loar-signed F?

    The liner notes talk of this Loar, need to dig them up
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    Unhappy Hindsight

    Quote Originally Posted by vanguard View Post
    Sharon Gilchrist mentions a particular Lloyd Loar signed F that is "the only red sunburst Loar" ever made. I did some searching, and found zero info on this mandolin. Does anyone have any info or pics?

    I could have bought this mandolin one time at a guitar show in Nashville. A gentleman from Pa had it and a Gilchrist for sale. He wanted 1200 for the Gilchrist and 2800 for the Loar. How many times do you think I've relived that in my mind. I had the money but not enough sense to pull the trigger. I tried to run it down later but the man --whose name escapes me had died and the mandolin had been sold to a Dr. from New York, or so I heard. Hindsight is 20/20 and it takes it's toll.

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    Registered User Hendrik Ahrend's Avatar
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    Default Re: The only red burst Loar-signed F?

    The late Henry Garris' infamous "Red Loar" was ordered by Eugene Claycomb in 1926, equipped with hard ware and received in 1926. That mandolin's ser.-# is 76787, signed on March 31, 1924. In the "LPOTD"-thread Darryl Wolfe tells of evidence (thin woods, slight stain residue) that this F5 may have been stripped off its original finish and finished in red to Mr. Claycomb's order (while still in the factory). Or did Gibson have unfinished F5s lying on the shelves for several years? Not sure.

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    Default Re: The only red burst Loar-signed F?

    Henry Garris... what a character! Back in the days when I could afford a Loar I had a couple of lengthy and completely bizarre conversations about perhaps purchasing his famous "Red Loar". I say perhaps because I wasn't quite sure that he really wanted to sell it. In any case I decided not to go for it... but chatting with this thoroughly eccentric and, in his own way, charming gentleman is something I'll remember for all my days. RIP Henry!

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    Default Re: Hindsight

    Quote Originally Posted by shylock3 View Post
    I could have bought this mandolin one time at a guitar show in Nashville. A gentleman from Pa had it and a Gilchrist for sale. He wanted 1200 for the Gilchrist and 2800 for the Loar. How many times do you think I've relived that in my mind. I had the money but not enough sense to pull the trigger. I tried to run it down later but the man --whose name escapes me had died and the mandolin had been sold to a Dr. from New York, or so I heard. Hindsight is 20/20 and it takes it's toll.
    Ouch!!!

    What year was that, if you recall?

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    Default Re: The only red burst Loar-signed F?

    Quote Originally Posted by Glassweb View Post
    Henry Garris... what a character! Back in the days when I could afford a Loar I had a couple of lengthy and completely bizarre conversations about perhaps purchasing his famous "Red Loar". I say perhaps because I wasn't quite sure that he really wanted to sell it. In any case I decided not to go for it... but chatting with this thoroughly eccentric and, in his own way, charming gentleman is something I'll remember for all my days. RIP Henry!
    Oh my gosh! I believe this was the first and best Loar that I got to play when it belonged to Henry. I lived near Philly and he had the this LL and a pre-war D-28 at the Lyons fiddle contest. I ran into some friends jamming and was told I should play this mandolin and that the owner didn't play but was fine with me playing it. I didn't get to play his Martin at this jam. I must have picked on it close to an hour. It was an amazing experience for me, a relatively new picker. I met with Henry later at his home to look at another mandolin he had for sale (it was closer to my budget, lol!). I don't remember who made this other mandolin except that he had it re-topped by Gilchrist. It didn't sound good (although it looked good) to me so I passed on it. Henry said he had provided wood to Gichrist and had asked him to re-top the mandolin as a favor. I had heard not too much later that Henry had sold the Loar (to Mandolin Bros?) for about $40,000. This was the early 90's.
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    Default Re: Hindsight

    Quote Originally Posted by vanguard View Post
    Ouch!!!

    What year was that, if you recall?
    I can't remember the exact year but it was at a guitar show at the Ramada Inn in Nashville. I went with a couple friends who weren't that interested in instruments but other things. We took a cab and went to a xxx bar, both the other fellows were between marriages.
    We got back about two in the morning, a little on the high side. On the way to my room I came by a room on the same floor that had 2 old men setting on a bed looking at an instrument.
    I was younger and a little cocky, thought I knew something about instruments. Henry Garris was in the room and told me to come on in. I ask did he have any good mandolins. Sure, and he showed me the Loar and Gilchrist. I was awed and saw I was kinda out of my league. I moved on and ask did he have any old martins. Yes, there's 3 or 4 Prewar Herringbones under the bed, get you one out and pick us a tune. Anyway the next day those 2 mandolins were on display and for sale. I walked by them several times but didn't buy them. Oh well.

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    Registered User jim simpson's Avatar
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    Default Re: The only red burst Loar-signed F?

    I wonder if the Gilchrist was the re-topped one that I had looked at? It seems to me that he said the original mandolin was made in Ohio by a builder unknown to me.
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    Default Re: The only red burst Loar-signed F?

    Quote Originally Posted by jim simpson View Post
    I wonder if the Gilchrist was the re-topped one that I had looked at? It seems to me that he said the original mandolin was made in Ohio by a builder unknown to me.
    I have no idea if it was the retoped one. It was the first Gilchrist I had ever seen. The next one I heard of--some time later, was Ronnie Mcqourys . I was at a festival with a cousin of mine, Doyle "Dobbin" Neikirk. I think we were in Summersville, West Virginia and Dale's band was playing. I remember Doyle saying Ronnie was playing a mandolin made by a surfboard maker from Australia. I remember him commenting, "that boys hands are the only one's I've ever seen that's fast as Bill Monroes. Doyle was a great mandolin and banjo picker.

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    Default Re: The only red burst Loar-signed F?

    I remember the first Gilchrist I got to see and play. I really liked the prominent red in the overall finish, much like Sharon's. I guess the later one's shifted away from this. My band had to follow Del and the band once at a festival. A humbling experience to say the least! Ron had his Gil mandola with him.
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    Default Re: The only red burst Loar-signed F?

    Quote Originally Posted by jim simpson View Post
    Oh my gosh! I believe this was the first and best Loar that I got to play when it belonged to Henry. I lived near Philly and he had the this LL and a pre-war D-28 at the Lyons fiddle contest. I ran into some friends jamming and was told I should play this mandolin and that the owner didn't play but was fine with me playing it. I didn't get to play his Martin at this jam. I must have picked on it close to an hour. It was an amazing experience for me, a relatively new picker. I met with Henry later at his home to look at another mandolin he had for sale (it was closer to my budget, lol!). I don't remember who made this other mandolin except that he had it re-topped by Gilchrist. It didn't sound good (although it looked good) to me so I passed on it. Henry said he had provided wood to Gichrist and had asked him to re-top the mandolin as a favor. I had heard not too much later that Henry had sold the Loar (to Mandolin Bros?) for about $40,000. This was the early 90's.

    OK. Hang onto your hat. I have that other mandolin that had a new top by Steve Gilchrist. I bought it from a well known dealer at the Gettysburg Bluegrass Festival around '96 or '97 for $1,500. The truss rod cover says "Henry Garris" on it. I had the opportunity to show it to Steve at the Noppet Hill Bluegrass Festival in Western Massachusetts a couple years later. He gave me a letter that says confirms he provided the top to Mr. Garris in exchange for some tone woods. He had no idea about the builder or who finally installed the top but he told me "if it sounds bad it's my fault." I showed it to John Bernunzio about 10 years ago and he offered me a big pile of cash for it. I would love to know who built the rest of the instrument. I have it upstairs in a good case. Haven't played it for years. Dick Staber put a new bridge on it for me. He said the bridge was carved for him by John Duffy as a wedding present....

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    Default Re: Hindsight

    She keeps saying "Henry Garrison." Does she mean Henry Garris?

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    Default Re: The only red burst Loar-signed F?

    I read the entire thread and watched the video twice, and I'm still slightly confused. Kinda like trying to solve the Black Dahlia murder 70 years after the fact........

    Are we talking about three mandolins total? The retopped Loar, Sharon's Gilchrist in the video, and another one that Boombloom owns that was also from Henry Garris?

    Boombloom's mandolin was not made by Gilchrist, but has a top that Gilchrist made, but somebody else installed, correct?

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    Default Re: The only red burst Loar-signed F?

    Yes I smell the making of a great novel! Add it all in and a John Duffey made bridge there is a story there for sure man!

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    Default Re: The only red burst Loar-signed F?

    The Mandolin Archive
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    Formerly F5JOURNL Darryl Wolfe's Avatar
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    Default Re: The only red burst Loar-signed F?

    I remember the event and the Ramada and Henry being there with the red Loar and a Gilchrist. My recollection was that it was a Gilchrist and had been retopped. I could be wrong The pricing mentioned earlier is way too low for that time
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    Default Re: The only red burst Loar-signed F?

    Quote Originally Posted by Darryl Wolfe View Post
    I remember the event and the Ramada and Henry being there with the red Loar and a Gilchrist. My recollection was that it was a Gilchrist and had been retopped. I could be wrong The pricing mentioned earlier is way too low for that time
    Perhaps. Brand new Gils were ~ $4K then.

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    Default Re: The only red burst Loar-signed F?

    Correct. Some unknown builder who may have been in Ohio. Peghead says Gibson. I bought the mandolin from Dave Musselwhite. If I remember correctly he was selling it for the owner's widow and it was in the mid to late 90's.

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    Default Re: The only red burst Loar-signed F?

    Quote Originally Posted by Boombloom View Post
    Correct. Some unknown builder who may have been in Ohio. Peghead says Gibson. I bought the mandolin from Dave Musselwhite. If I remember correctly he was selling it for the owner's widow and it was in the mid to late 90's.
    If you could post a pic, that would be great. I seem to remember that the re-topped mandolin did not have the dovetail riser block detail. Does this sound right? I do remember it being at $1500 asking price.
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    Default Re: The only red burst Loar-signed F?

    I went to the music closet and opened the case. I don't believe the instrument has seen daylight since 2006. The email from Mr. Gilchrist is dated 3/19/00 and says "In 1990 I visited Mr. Garris to purchase wood. I don't recall who was actually building the mandolin but Henry was not completely happy with the instrument and as part of a maple deal he had me build him a new soundboard. I simply sent him the top and he had it installed by someone, somewhere. Don't blame me if it sounds good." Click image for larger version. 

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    Registered User jim simpson's Avatar
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    Default Re: The only red burst Loar-signed F?

    Thanks for posting the pics, that looks a lot nicer than the one I was thinking about.
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    Default Re: The only red burst Loar-signed F?

    Quote Originally Posted by AlanN View Post
    Perhaps. Brand new Gils were ~ $4K then.
    in the early '90s Gilchrists f5's were around $4k. I bought two of them back then from Carmel.

    Got a Nugget for about the same price(ordered in 1992 rec'd in 1999.) Only a 7 year wait.

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    Default Re: The only red burst Loar-signed F?

    Quote Originally Posted by V70416 View Post
    Got a Nugget for about the same price(ordered in 1992 rec'd in 1999.) Only a 7 year wait.
    Were you otherwise happy with the instrument? 7 years does seem a little much.....

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