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Thread: Odd Gibson A4 on eBay

  1. #1
    Martin Stillion mrmando's Avatar
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    Default Odd Gibson A4 on eBay

    https://www.ebay.com/itm/125029403306

    FON and SN both indicate 1920. Seller insists it's not refinished, but I insist that the seller is mistaken.

    I'm curious about the pickguard. I thought the celluloid arm and through-bridge pin came from the mid-teens and were out of use by 1920. This would have to be an earlier pickguard used as a replacement, no?
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  3. #2
    Registered User Glassweb's Avatar
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    Default Re: Odd Gibson A4 on eBay

    Even more strange is, from what I can see, the absence of an ivoroid binding surrounding the back of the mandolin. Any one else?

  4. #3
    Martin Stillion mrmando's Avatar
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    Default Re: Odd Gibson A4 on eBay

    Well, there's some rubbish in the description about "it was put away in the closet because of the binding falling off. it now has the correct vintage ivroid grained binding and the binding was then tinted with correct vintage style tinted nitrocellulose lacquer." But I believe you are right, the back doesn't appear to be bound at all, nor does it seem to have a channel cut for where the binding should be. Perhaps the reason it has no label is that the back was replaced?
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    Notorious: My Celtic CD--listen & buy!

    Lyon & Healy Wood Thormahlen Andersen Bacorn Yanuziello Fender National Gibson Franke Fuchs Aceto Three Hungry Pit Bulls

  5. #4
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    Default Re: Odd Gibson A4 on eBay

    The factory order number indicates a construction date of 1920.

    The pickguard with the curlicue is from 1915 or earlier.
    The bridge is from 1915 or later, and appears to be in rosewood. That would indicate that it probably came from a lower end model.
    I can't tell whether the back is unbound or whether it has tortoise binding. In either case, it didn't leave the factory that way.

    The top finish and neck finish are non-original. The pictures are not sufficient quality to say anything for sure about the back and sides. I suggest the finish was re-done by Gibson.

    Putting an early 'teens pickguard on a slightly later mandolin doesn't necessarily bother me. But because of the finish work and whatever is going on with the back, the instrument is worth much less than the seller is asking.
    Last edited by rcc56; Dec-02-2021 at 1:12am.

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  7. #5
    Mando-Accumulator Jim Garber's Avatar
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    Default Re: Odd Gibson A4 on eBay

    Here's some photos. I agree that refinish looks like Gibson maybe 50s or 60s.

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