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Thread: Epiphone Windsor in the classifieds

  1. #1
    Registered User Charles E.'s Avatar
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    Default Epiphone Windsor in the classifieds

    Wow, here is really an odd duck...

    https://www.mandolincafe.com/ads/193496#193496

    Only three known to exist? Did Epiphone get a cease and desist letter from Gibson?


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  2. #2
    Mando-Accumulator Jim Garber's Avatar
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    Default Re: Epiphone Windsor in the classifieds

    I am sure that all three of these—and I believe there may have been more than that anyway—have showed up in threads here. I recall one thread where someone inherited one.

    Frankly, this rarity is bubonic (see famous quote from Mr. Gruhn) unless they sound amazing. IIRC one sat around at $15,000 years ago. IMHO they are the bizarro-world version of an F-5. And bear in mind that I am a big fan of pre-Gibson Epiphone instruments.

    Yes, here is one thread from 2009: https://www.mandolincafe.com/forum/threads/49984-epiphone-windsor-artist-model-mandolin
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  4. #3
    Registered User zookster's Avatar
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    Default Re: Epiphone Windsor in the classifieds

    I remember back in the 70s there was a catalog reprint from Epiphone in a mandolin magazine, which speculated at that time if any Windsor's other than a prototype had ever been made. No other examples had been located. There was even some conjecture whether the prototype was made.

    So, yes, this is an incredibly rare find, and I would love to hear a sound clip. Rather odd, I know, but somehow cool in the oddness of it.

  5. #4

    Default Re: Epiphone Windsor in the classifieds

    Very pretty mandolin, IMHO.

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  7. #5
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    Default Re: Epiphone Windsor in the classifieds

    Pretty sad looking instrument...if this was inspired by the F5, they did not try very hard (and I, too, am a huge fan of pre-Gibson Epiphones). Cannot recall where I heard this (maybe Grisman??), but the report I got on the sound was described as "dull".
    too many strings

  8. #6
    Mando accumulator allenhopkins's Avatar
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    Default Re: Epiphone Windsor in the classifieds

    If Gibson made a serious effort to claim and defend its rights to the "F-model" silhouette, a gazillion luthiers and Asian instrument factories would have to lawyer up. What's really interesting IMHO, is that Epiphone apparently made so few of them. As we know now, the scroll-&-points body exercises a strange fascination for many mandolin buyers -- though perhaps that was less true when Epi build this one.
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  9. #7
    Moderator MikeEdgerton's Avatar
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    Default Re: Epiphone Windsor in the classifieds

    There is history here. People either love them or hate them and they appear every now and then. Someone posted this catalog page years back. If this was Harry's it has been discussed here before.
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    Last edited by MikeEdgerton; Sep-25-2022 at 4:06pm.
    "It's comparable to playing a cheese slicer."
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  10. #8
    Moderator MikeEdgerton's Avatar
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    Default Re: Epiphone Windsor in the classifieds

    For Posterity:
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    "It's comparable to playing a cheese slicer."
    --M. Stillion

    "Bargain instruments are no bargains if you can't play them"
    --J. Garber

  11. #9
    Mando-Accumulator Jim Garber's Avatar
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    Default Re: Epiphone Windsor in the classifieds

    $200 back in 1939 was a load of cash and this was decades after the mandolin craze was over. Likely there were a few folks who preferred Epiphone to Gibsons and ordered one sight unseen from the catalog. If it sounds great then I can overlook the looks. If it doesn’t then it is a rare collectible oddball. I am away from my reference library but I wonder what comparative prices were for Gibson F5 and other Gibson Fs as well as D’Angelico mandolins at that time. I am guessing that a 1939 F-5 would go for $250 and from what I understand D’Angelico was selling all his instruments for less than Gibson equivalents.
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  12. #10
    Mando-Accumulator Jim Garber's Avatar
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    Default Re: Epiphone Windsor in the classifieds

    It is now at Carter’s: see classifieds: https://www.mandolincafe.com/ads/195772#195772

    Or Carter’s site: https://cartervintage.com/collection...e-windsor-1939

    I hope someone here can get to play it for us and report back. Or maybe Carter’s can post a video?
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  13. #11
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    Default Re: Epiphone Windsor in the classifieds

    If this is the same one that was at Gruhn's a few years back, I've played it. It's a curiosity and an interesting piece of history, but not a strong sounding instrument.
    As I remember, the workmanship was rather crude, not up to the standards of the better Epi archtop guitars from the same period.
    To me, that kind of supports the theory that the few of these that were made were cobbled together as prototypes and sales samples.

    Bottom line is these mandolins are for those who are looking for a truly rare and unique piece of history. But for those who are looking for a good strong mandolin to play and enjoy, they would be better off spending their money on something else.

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