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Thread: 1911 Gibson A mandolin

  1. #1
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    Default 1911 Gibson A mandolin

    There's a 1911 Gibson A project mandolin currently on eBay for $399 that ends in two days. It has attracted no bids, so the question is whether it's overpriced for it's condition, or too far gone. I'm a first-time builder, wondering if I want to be a first-time restorer as well.

  2. #2

    Default Re: 1911 Gibson A mandolin

    I expect if he gets no bids this time he might lower the price- he's done that with some of his items in the past. I bought a very nice G & S mandolin case off him a while back. This mandolin certainly needs a fair amount of work but it can be saved.

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    Registered User Vernon Hughes's Avatar
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    Default Re: 1911 Gibson A mandolin

    I usually snap those projects up in that price range but that one needs a lot of work and has has previous repairs done already.Lots of major ugliness going on there.The neck separation down the center seam would have me making a new neck for it though it could be fixed.
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    Default Re: 1911 Gibson A mandolin

    Here is a 1920s A series mandolin. It's a fairly low start and is nearly complete- no guard, replacement tuners but needs work. It might go a lot higher but I think it may stay sensible and might be worth keeping an eye on it.

    https://www.ebay.com/itm/1926-Gibson....c100009.m1982

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    Moderator MikeEdgerton's Avatar
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    Default Re: 1911 Gibson A mandolin

    Not much is original there except the carcass. The tuner, bridge, tailpiece and case aren't original. It looks like the label is gone but the serial is generally penciled in under the label and you can possibly ID it from the Factory Order Number that should be stamped on the neck block.

    It is a snakehead though and that makes it attractive.
    "Bargain instruments are no bargains if you can't play them". These are the words of J. Garber.

  7. #6

    Default Re: 1911 Gibson A mandolin

    Bonus original ferrules!

    It seems that the original mandolin that was being asked about- the 1911 Gibson made $440.

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    Registered User Roger Moss's Avatar
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    Default Re: 1911 Gibson A mandolin

    I didn't think Gibson used headstock decals.
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    Moderator MikeEdgerton's Avatar
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    Default Re: 1911 Gibson A mandolin

    Quote Originally Posted by Roger Moss View Post
    I didn't think Gibson used headstock decals.
    Might not be a decal might be silk screened. The only consistent thing about old Gibson mandolins is the inconsistencies.

    By the way, the old style tuner bushings can be purchased from Stewmac and the originals might be a little torn up. If they're good cool, if not, no biggie.

    Darryl Wolfe is famous (in my eyes) for being able to duplicate the old labels on these when the label was trashed.

    Amazingly enough old Gibson basket cases almost always sell for silly amounts of money on eBay.
    "Bargain instruments are no bargains if you can't play them". These are the words of J. Garber.

  10. #9

    Default Re: 1911 Gibson A mandolin

    Yes, indeed! Let's see what this one goes for.

  11. #10
    Martin Stillion mrmando's Avatar
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    Default Re: 1911 Gibson A mandolin

    That snakehead was originally posted for $2K. I made an offer on it that was more than the current starting bid, but got turned down. That was probably too hasty of me, though. Will keep an eye on it. It has a 1926 FON, 80xx.

    I'm intrigued that it has the fancy rosette that typically appeared on A4s, A3s and most A2Zs but is obviously none of those models.

    Here's a theory on why the headstock logo looks weird: What if it had a rectangular piece of tape covering up the logo for years, which has now been removed?
    Last edited by mrmando; Sep-21-2018 at 1:42am.
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    Default Re: 1911 Gibson A mandolin

    "Here's a theory on why the headstock logo looks weird: What if it had a rectangular piece of tape covering up the logo for years, which has now been removed?"

    It looks a bit like the headstock has been crudely painted black, so you may be right. I must admit that there are peculiarities with the appointments to this mandolin. I had a look at the Archive- 81653 shows the horizontal The Gibson script and has the same sound hole ornamentation. There was another A1 that was possibly similar.81355 but there was only one photo of the body.

  13. #12
    Martin Stillion mrmando's Avatar
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    Default Re: 1911 Gibson A mandolin

    The horizontal script is commonly seen from 1926 through 1928.

    If someone painted the headstock black, I wonder what they were trying to cover up?

    Yes, this instrument might have originally looked a lot like 81653. It's not uncommon for later snakeheads to have a mix-and-match approach to appointments like binding and rosettes.
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    Default Re: 1911 Gibson A mandolin

    It's all about price on that snakehead......could be an interesting mandolin, if it doesn't go crazy, IMO.

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    Registered User Timbofood's Avatar
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    Default Re: 1911 Gibson A mandolin

    Its a popcorn snake head for sure! I’m heating the pot right now!
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    Martin Stillion mrmando's Avatar
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    Default Re: 1911 Gibson A mandolin

    Lots of what looks like less-than-competent repair work there. Might take some effort to put things right.
    Emando.com: More than you wanted to know about electric mandolins.

    Notorious: My Celtic CD--listen & buy!

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    Registered User tonydxn's Avatar
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    Default Re: 1911 Gibson A mandolin

    The 1926 snakehead sold for $925. Seems like a lot of money for a mandolin in that condition.
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  19. #17
    Registered User Timbofood's Avatar
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    Default Re: 1911 Gibson A mandolin

    Quote Originally Posted by tonydxn View Post
    The 1926 snakehead sold for $925. Seems like a lot of money for a mandolin in that condition.
    Boy Howdy, that seems pretty dear to me too!
    Timothy F. Lewis
    "If brains was lard, that boy couldn't grease a very big skillet" J.D. Clampett

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