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Thread: Mystery Mandolin Arriving Wed.

  1. #1
    Registered User lflngpicker's Avatar
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    Question Mystery Mandolin Arriving Wed.

    I am anticipating the arrival of a vintage mandolin from a family member. I received the Gibson A4 (1909) in 1982 and that one started me on the mandolin journey. There were two being passed down at the time. The second mandolin is being given to me this coming week because it was never played. I am not expecting a Loyd Loar Gibson. I don't what it is. It has been in the family since the teens. I would guess I am getting my first bowl back of unknown make. I know there were a few US makers at the time. I will let my fellow Cafe members know what arrives in the hands of my cousin. I am looking forward to it. The long shot is that is an oval F style, F4. This would mean it is another Gibson. I saw it once thirty six years ago, so I do not recall what it was. Now it is going to be mine to play and pass down to the family.
    2017 Collings MT (Gloss Top, Wide Nut)
    1999 Ratliff R-5
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  3. #2
    The Amateur Mandolinist Mark Gunter's Avatar
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    Default Re: Mystery Mandolin Arriving Wed.

    Well, this is exciting news, most everyone loves a mystery, and most everyone loves a story that spans a century -- especially having to do with family, music, and musical instruments. Thanks for sharing it with us, I'm looking forward to reading all about it, whatever it is.
    Technique, theory and fun, fun, fun. I love playing, studying and sharing MUSIC.
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  5. #3
    Registered User lflngpicker's Avatar
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    Default Re: Mystery Mandolin Arriving Wed.

    Quote Originally Posted by Mark Gunter View Post
    Well, this is exciting news, most everyone loves a mystery, and most everyone loves a story that spans a century -- especially having to do with family, music, and musical instruments. Thanks for sharing it with us, I'm looking forward to reading all about it, whatever it is.
    Ah, yes. Mark, you captured my intent, so well. It is interesting that the same family who gave me the ol' Gibson has recognized my love for mandolins and wants me to complete the story with the other one which was available way back when. I am expecting to love restringing it, intonating it and playing and singing with it. Maybe I will expand my musical vocabulary to include classical mandolin.
    2017 Collings MT (Gloss Top, Wide Nut)
    1999 Ratliff R-5
    1913 Gibson A Oval
    1912 Gibson A Oval

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    Registered User Louise NM's Avatar
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    Default Re: Mystery Mandolin Arriving Wed.

    Cool! If your family tended to value things like this, and spend ample money on them, you could be in for a huge treat. In any case, let's hope it's in good shape.

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    Mando-Accumulator Jim Garber's Avatar
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    Default Re: Mystery Mandolin Arriving Wed.

    I am guessing that the family member is not so computer savvy to send you any photos. Anyway, mysteries can be fun. Waht could be especially interesting to some of us here would also be the provenance of these instruments. Who in your family owned them and possibly what kind of music they played? Also if there were any photographs of them with these mandolins. I have a feeling i lnow what the answer will be, but I can hope can't I?
    Jim

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    Default Re: Mystery Mandolin Arriving Wed.

    Cool story. Who doesn't love a good mandolin mystery? Here's to a safe journey!

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  12. #7
    Registered User lflngpicker's Avatar
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    Default Re: Mystery Mandolin Arriving Wed.

    Thanks friends. I know this much: my spouse's Grandparents were in leadership in service work as Salvation Army Officers in the early 20th Century (and throughout their lives into the 80's and 90's). The played these mandolins-- both my Gibson A and the mystery mandolin to accompany Hymns like, "Onward Christian Soldiers" in a rehabilitation setting for people down on their luck in life. This 100 year old mandolin that is coming would not have been played much since the 1950's. When I received the A in '82, it had the original silver wound strings. I would imagine I will be restringing right off the bat. My wife's cousin is flying with it 1500 miles and then dropping it by on Wed. by car. Stay tuned.
    2017 Collings MT (Gloss Top, Wide Nut)
    1999 Ratliff R-5
    1913 Gibson A Oval
    1912 Gibson A Oval

  13. #8
    The Amateur Mandolinist Mark Gunter's Avatar
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    Default Re: Mystery Mandolin Arriving Wed.

    Aw c'mon, you've been communicating with this cousin -- you gotta know enough about that mandolin to at least eliminate whether it's more likely to be a nondescript bowlback or an F4.


    No matter, I do like a mystery. I'll be checking for info Wednesday, before I head out of town early Thursday morning.
    Technique, theory and fun, fun, fun. I love playing, studying and sharing MUSIC.
    "Life is short. Play hard." - AlanN
    ------------------------
    HEY! The Cafe has Social Groups, check 'em out. I'm in these groups:
    Newbies Social Group | The Song-A-Week Social
    The Woodshed Study Group | Collings Mandolins | MandoCymru
    - Advice For Mandolin Beginners
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  14. #9
    Registered User lflngpicker's Avatar
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    Default Re: Mystery Mandolin Arriving Wed.

    Quote Originally Posted by Mark Gunter View Post
    Aw c'mon, you've been communicating with this cousin -- you gotta know enough about that mandolin to at least eliminate whether it's more likely to be a nondescript bowlback or an F4.


    No matter, I do like a mystery. I'll be checking for info Wednesday, before I head out of town early Thursday morning.
    Honestly, Mark G, I don't know. My wife has been texting with her about it and I haven't pressed. I did see it 36 years ago when I chose the Gibson A out of the pair. I didn't want anyone to have to sweat it by asking and seeming as though I was being choosy when they are seeing me as the family mandolin player. This mandolin has been getting very lonely in its case all these years.
    2017 Collings MT (Gloss Top, Wide Nut)
    1999 Ratliff R-5
    1913 Gibson A Oval
    1912 Gibson A Oval

  15. #10
    Mando-Accumulator Jim Garber's Avatar
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    Default Re: Mystery Mandolin Arriving Wed.

    You are doing your family a big favor by caring for unloved mandolins. They are meant to be played. Strange that your wife has been texting with your cousin. Why not you?
    Jim

    My Stream on Soundcloud
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    19th Century Tunes
    Playing lately:
    1923 Gibson A2 black snakehead -- '83 Flatiron A5-2 -- Brentrup A4C -- 1915 Frank Merwin Ashley violin -- Huss & Dalton DS -- 1939 Gibson L-00 -- 1936 Epiphone Deluxe -- 1928 Gibson L-5 -- 1937 Gibson L-Century -- ca. 1890s Fairbanks Senator Banjo -- ca. 1923 Vega Style M tenor banjo -- ca. 1920 Weymann Style 25 Mandolin-Banjo -- National RM-1

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  17. #11
    Mando-Accumulator Jim Garber's Avatar
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    Default Re: Mystery Mandolin Arriving Wed.

    You are doing your family a big favor by caring for unloved mandolins. They are meant to be played. Strange that your wife has been texting with your cousin. Why not you?
    Jim

    My Stream on Soundcloud
    Facebook
    19th Century Tunes
    Playing lately:
    1923 Gibson A2 black snakehead -- '83 Flatiron A5-2 -- Brentrup A4C -- 1915 Frank Merwin Ashley violin -- Huss & Dalton DS -- 1939 Gibson L-00 -- 1936 Epiphone Deluxe -- 1928 Gibson L-5 -- 1937 Gibson L-Century -- ca. 1890s Fairbanks Senator Banjo -- ca. 1923 Vega Style M tenor banjo -- ca. 1920 Weymann Style 25 Mandolin-Banjo -- National RM-1

  18. #12
    The Amateur Mandolinist Mark Gunter's Avatar
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    Default Re: Mystery Mandolin Arriving Wed.

    Jim, he wrote this earlier

    Quote Originally Posted by lflngpicker View Post
    My wife's cousin is flying with it ...
    Technique, theory and fun, fun, fun. I love playing, studying and sharing MUSIC.
    "Life is short. Play hard." - AlanN
    ------------------------
    HEY! The Cafe has Social Groups, check 'em out. I'm in these groups:
    Newbies Social Group | The Song-A-Week Social
    The Woodshed Study Group | Collings Mandolins | MandoCymru
    - Advice For Mandolin Beginners
    - YouTube Stuff

  19. #13
    Mando-Accumulator Jim Garber's Avatar
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    Default Re: Mystery Mandolin Arriving Wed.

    Quote Originally Posted by Mark Gunter View Post
    Jim, he wrote this earlier
    Ah, so it is a flying mandolin. Maybe associated with the Wright Brothers? In that case it is probably a Washburn like Orville's.

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    Jim

    My Stream on Soundcloud
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    19th Century Tunes
    Playing lately:
    1923 Gibson A2 black snakehead -- '83 Flatiron A5-2 -- Brentrup A4C -- 1915 Frank Merwin Ashley violin -- Huss & Dalton DS -- 1939 Gibson L-00 -- 1936 Epiphone Deluxe -- 1928 Gibson L-5 -- 1937 Gibson L-Century -- ca. 1890s Fairbanks Senator Banjo -- ca. 1923 Vega Style M tenor banjo -- ca. 1920 Weymann Style 25 Mandolin-Banjo -- National RM-1

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  21. #14
    Registered User lflngpicker's Avatar
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    Default Re: Mystery Mandolin Arriving Wed.

    That is a great line Jim. It has arrived. Yes, she was my wife's cousin but I have been in the family 38 years, so she is family to me as well. I was surprised when it arrived-- a Gibson A4-- slightly different than mine. It has white top binding and is in VG condition. The action is straight and low! I can't wait to swap the strings and start playing 'er. It comes with the original, funky but still operational leather case. A strange little capo was left on it. Seems to be original nickle silver strings with one broken. I now have the matched set of these that were in the family for 100 plus years.
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    Last edited by lflngpicker; Jun-06-2018 at 12:52pm. Reason: more info and photos
    2017 Collings MT (Gloss Top, Wide Nut)
    1999 Ratliff R-5
    1913 Gibson A Oval
    1912 Gibson A Oval

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  23. #15
    acoustically inert F-2 Dave's Avatar
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    Default Re: Mystery Mandolin Arriving Wed.

    Not an A-4. Maybe an A-1. I’d like to see a better shot of the head stock logo. Really cool that you got the mandolin. Congratulations. Oops, there’s the picture now. Do you know if it was ever sent back to the factory for work?
    "Mongo only pawn in game of life." --- Mongo

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    Registered User Roger Moss's Avatar
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    Default Re: Mystery Mandolin Arriving Wed.

    Can I join your family?
    When the sun beats down and I lie on the bench, I can always hear them talk.
    Me, I'm just a lawnmower - you can tell me by the way I walk.

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  27. #17
    Registered User lflngpicker's Avatar
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    Default Re: Mystery Mandolin Arriving Wed.

    Quote Originally Posted by F-2 Dave View Post
    Not an A-4. Maybe an A-1. I’d like to see a better shot of the head stock logo. Really cool that you got the mandolin. Congratulations. Oops, there’s the picture now. Do you know if it was ever sent back to the factory for work?
    Click image for larger version. 

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ID:	168292Oh, I see, Dave. A1. Thanks. The serial is written on the label inside.
    2017 Collings MT (Gloss Top, Wide Nut)
    1999 Ratliff R-5
    1913 Gibson A Oval
    1912 Gibson A Oval

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  29. #18
    Registered User lflngpicker's Avatar
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    Default Re: Mystery Mandolin Arriving Wed.

    Getting to work on it. J75's are a smaller dia than it already has on it...
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    Last edited by lflngpicker; Jun-06-2018 at 1:56pm.
    2017 Collings MT (Gloss Top, Wide Nut)
    1999 Ratliff R-5
    1913 Gibson A Oval
    1912 Gibson A Oval

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    Default Re: Mystery Mandolin Arriving Wed.

    Quote Originally Posted by Roger Moss View Post
    Can I join your family?
    Yeah, right?

    I'm sending these pictures to all my relatives asking if they would check the attic, under the bed, or in the closet.

    Congrats! Dan Looks very cool. I love those old pumpkin top Gibsons

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  32. #20
    Registered User lflngpicker's Avatar
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    Default Re: Mystery Mandolin Arriving Wed.

    Quote Originally Posted by Mark Wilson View Post
    Yeah, right?

    I'm sending these pictures to all my relatives asking if they would check the attic, under the bed, or in the closet.

    Congrats! Dan Looks very cool. I love those old pumpkin top Gibsons
    You should, Mark W.!! Wow, our cousin traveled a long way and out of her path on a trip to meet my wife and deliver this while I was teaching my guitar student. I was surprised that these were both A Oval Gibby's. The one we have had since '82 is with pickguard and is a 1909. The Mystery Mandolin has the white binding and the clamshell tailpiece with no strap pin.I removed the pickguard for the sake of intonating the bridge and it was missing a nail near the fretboard. I stored it carefully. I am looking into the year with the serial. Click image for larger version. 

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    11249 Serial Number is 1912? My first estimation...
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    Last edited by lflngpicker; Jun-06-2018 at 4:33pm. Reason: Gibson A Serial Year
    2017 Collings MT (Gloss Top, Wide Nut)
    1999 Ratliff R-5
    1913 Gibson A Oval
    1912 Gibson A Oval

  33. #21
    Registered User lflngpicker's Avatar
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    Default Re: Mystery Mandolin Arriving Wed.

    The volume and tone are overwhelmingly loud and woody, respectively. What a nice instrument! More room for my big mits on this one.
    2017 Collings MT (Gloss Top, Wide Nut)
    1999 Ratliff R-5
    1913 Gibson A Oval
    1912 Gibson A Oval

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    Default Re: Mystery Mandolin Arriving Wed.

    Quote Originally Posted by lflngpicker View Post
    The volume and tone are overwhelmingly loud and woody, respectively. What a nice instrument! More room for my big mits on this one.
    Let me know when you're done with it. Cousin Mark will be around to pick it up.

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  37. #23
    The Amateur Mandolinist Mark Gunter's Avatar
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    Default Re: Mystery Mandolin Arriving Wed.

    That's way cool for a nondescript A-style mandolin! Congrats, and play it in good health.
    Technique, theory and fun, fun, fun. I love playing, studying and sharing MUSIC.
    "Life is short. Play hard." - AlanN
    ------------------------
    HEY! The Cafe has Social Groups, check 'em out. I'm in these groups:
    Newbies Social Group | The Song-A-Week Social
    The Woodshed Study Group | Collings Mandolins | MandoCymru
    - Advice For Mandolin Beginners
    - YouTube Stuff

  38. #24
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    Default Re: Mystery Mandolin Arriving Wed.

    And now you have the his-and-hers set. How cool that they are together again. If there is a local Salvation Army, go play during one of their meals for the homeless, or at Christmas, see if they would like you to play for one of their bell-ringers. Full circle.

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  40. #25
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    Default Re: Mystery Mandolin Arriving Wed.

    Nice, two nice instruments with family history, how much better can it get than that.
    THE WORLD IS A BETTER PLACE JUST FOR YOUR SMILE!

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