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Thread: CF Martin Mandolin Serial Number 2604

  1. #1

    Default CF Martin Mandolin Serial Number 2604

    Hello! I am new to this forum; looking for any information on a mandolin that has been in my family for at least 40 years and is now just sitting in my basement.

    CF Martin, Serial #2604

    Any information would be greatly appreciated!

  2. #2
    Moderator MikeEdgerton's Avatar
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    Default Re: CF Martin Mandolin Serial Number 2604

    The serial number dates it to 1909. Can you post some pictures?
    "Bargain instruments are no bargains if you can't play them". These are the words of J. Garber.

  3. #3
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    Default Re: CF Martin Mandolin Serial Number 2604

    The basement is a bad place to store a mandolin. Temperature and humidity fluctuations and mold can damage the instrument.
    Whatever the model might turn out to be, the mandolin has at least a bit of value and should be stored in your living space.

  4. #4

    Default Re: CF Martin Mandolin Serial Number 2604

    Here are some photos. I'm new to this so please bear with me!

    - - - Updated - - -

    The mandolin is now upstairs...
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  5. #5
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    Default Re: CF Martin Mandolin Serial Number 2604

    That is a style 000 mandolin, made in 1909. 25 were made that year. It was Martin's plainest mandolin model at that time. They were built from 1909 until 1917, with a total production of 462 instruments. The price was $12 when new.

    Yours is in unusually fine condition for an instrument of that age. Even Martin's plainest instruments were instruments of quality. I'm glad you brought it upstairs.

  6. #6

    Default Re: CF Martin Mandolin Serial Number 2604

    <Removed by Moderator. Please limit commerce to the classifieds>
    Last edited by MikeEdgerton; Sep-25-2020 at 9:10am.

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    Default Re: CF Martin Mandolin Serial Number 2604

    Quote Originally Posted by JMW View Post
    <Removed by Moderator. Please limit commerce to the classifieds>
    You can place it for sale on the classifieds section of the cafe.
    Last edited by MikeEdgerton; Sep-25-2020 at 9:09am.
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  8. #8
    Mando accumulator allenhopkins's Avatar
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    Default Re: CF Martin Mandolin Serial Number 2604

    Per the catalog pic in Longworth'a book, it should have had a "cloud" tailpiece cover.
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  9. #9

    Default Re: CF Martin Mandolin Serial Number 2604

    Please, what is 'Longworth's Book?

  10. #10
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    Default Re: CF Martin Mandolin Serial Number 2604

    Many years ago, a fellow by the name of Mike Longworth worked for Martin and spent a couple of decades going through old factory records and examining old Martin instruments. He became Martin's historian and published three editions of a book detailing Martin's instrument models over the years. After Mike passed, a fourth edition based upon his work and updated by Dick Boak and Richard Johnston was published.

    The "Longworth book" is considered to be the definitive reference on Martin instruments.
    It is called "Martin Guitars: A History."

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  12. #11
    Mando accumulator allenhopkins's Avatar
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    Default Re: CF Martin Mandolin Serial Number 2604

    Quote Originally Posted by JMW View Post
    Please, what is 'Longworth's Book?
    Martin Guitars: A History, first published 1975, revised 1980, Falcon Press, Philadelphia PA. Mike Longworth worked for C F Martin for years, doing custom work, and became their semi-official historian. His book has catalog illustrations and/or photos of nearly every model of instrument Martin produced from around 1900 to the date of its publication. It also contains a company history, biographies of the various generations of the Martin family, and listings of prices, serial numbers, and production totals, taken from company records.

    There have been subsequent books that bring Martin history more up to date, but I've yet to find one as comprehensive as Longworth's. Almost 40 years since I was given this book, and I still use it for reference a dozen times a year or more.
    Allen Hopkins
    Gibsn: '54 F5 3pt F2 A-N Custm K1 m'cello
    Natl Triolian Dobro mando
    Victoria b-back Merrill alumnm b-back
    H-O mandolinetto
    Stradolin Vega banjolin
    Sobell'dola Washburn b-back'dola
    Eastmn: 615'dola 805 m'cello
    Flatiron 3K OM

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    Mando-Accumulator Jim Garber's Avatar
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    Default Re: CF Martin Mandolin Serial Number 2604

    There is an updated two volume set that was authorized by Martin Company and built upon Longworth's work published in 2008 and revised by Richard Johnston and Dick Boak. I have it in a slipcased set along with Martin Guitars: A Technical Reference. I have Mike Longworth's original book as well since I am an instrument book collector as well as a instrument collector.
    Jim

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    Default Re: CF Martin Mandolin Serial Number 2604

    I asked a Martin historian to take a look at the serial number. Here's what he sent me.


    This mandolins is a little more interesting that it appears. This is an example of a prototype 000 mandolin, one made before a model number was assigned to Martin's entry-level and mahogany-bodied mandolin. Martin made 18 prototypes in two batches, one of 6 instruments and one of twelve (this one comes from the second batch).

    Twelve of the eighteen prototypes were shipped to R. S. Williams & Sons in Toronto.

    This mandolin was stamped on April 27, 1909 and was shipped to R. S. Williams on June 19 that year.
    Todd Yates

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  18. #14
    Mando-Accumulator Jim Garber's Avatar
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    Default Re: CF Martin Mandolin Serial Number 2604

    That is very cool. Frankly I love the look of these lower end understated Martin bowlbacks even more than the fancier ones.
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    Default Re: CF Martin Mandolin Serial Number 2604

    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Garber View Post
    That is very cool. Frankly I love the look of these lower end understated Martin bowlbacks even more than the fancier ones.
    Agreed. I never thought Martin did bling very well. And glad they didn't try all that often.

    I had a 000 bowl for awhile and thoroughly enjoyed it. One of the dumber sell-offs I've made.

    Mick
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  21. #16

    Default Re: CF Martin Mandolin Serial Number 2604

    Thank you for taking time to find information on my mandolin. Quite interesting!

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