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Thread: 1904 Gibson Octave Mandolin

  1. #1
    Cafe Linux Mommy danb's Avatar
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    Default 1904 Gibson Octave Mandolin

    Thanks to Frank Ford at Gryphon Strings for emailing me the coolest instrument I've seen in years...

    Feast your eyes on this.. #3878 is an original Orville-labeled Gibson Octave mandolin. Handel tuners, inlaid pickguard, pineapple tailpiece.. you betcha!
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  3. #2
    Cafe Linux Mommy danb's Avatar
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    Default Re: 1904 Gibson Octave Mandolin

    Some more views
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  5. #3
    acoustically inert F-2 Dave's Avatar
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    Default Re: 1904 Gibson Octave Mandolin

    Way, way cool, Dan. What's the doodad between the tuners. Looks like it would enable you to use the octave mando for a giant cufflink if you wanted to. But, it'd be nicer to have two.
    "Mongo only pawn in game of life." --- Mongo

  6. #4
    Cafe Linux Mommy danb's Avatar
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    Default Re: 1904 Gibson Octave Mandolin

    I was just sitting here wondering what that wingus was too. A hook for the wall? a pick holder? a thingy to make it possible to set it on a table without rocking on the back? the magic winding key that activates the hidden musicbox? Maybe Frank will get a chance to chime in!
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  7. #5
    acoustically inert F-2 Dave's Avatar
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    Default Re: 1904 Gibson Octave Mandolin

    I'm sure it would come right off with a hammer and screwdriver.
    "Mongo only pawn in game of life." --- Mongo

  8. #6
    Registered User Frank Ford's Avatar
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    Default Re: 1904 Gibson Octave Mandolin

    Of course, that little gizmo is a strap hanger. . .

  9. #7
    Cafe Linux Mommy danb's Avatar
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    Default Re: 1904 Gibson Octave Mandolin

    What do you reckon Frank, my guess is that the pickguard might originally have matched this one..
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  10. #8
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    Default Re: 1904 Gibson Octave Mandolin

    Is that the only Gibson Octave mandolin? A one off custom? This is the first I've heard of a big 8 stringer other than a dola or mandocello! It looks pretty good too.

    Jamie
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  11. #9

    Default Re: 1904 Gibson Octave Mandolin

    Wow. Any idea what this instrument's story is, and how it comes to be in such beautiful condition after 100+ years? Or has it been restored?

  12. #10
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    Default Re: 1904 Gibson Octave Mandolin

    So, is this believed to be original or did someone do some kind of mod to make it this way? What is the size of the body (mandolin, mandola, mandocello, or something totally different)?

    Phil

  13. #11
    Mando-Accumulator Jim Garber's Avatar
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    Default Re: 1904 Gibson Octave Mandolin

    Wow, incredible. I think someone on another thread just recently stated that Gibson never made such a thing. Hey, you never now...
    Jim

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  14. #12
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    Default Re: 1904 Gibson Octave Mandolin

    That looks like it was picked up by Dr. Who and brought back directly from 1904 in the TARDIS. Pristine, sparkling, gorgeous - wow!

    Love the fretboard inlay, each one a different shape. I think the pickguard is just the plain version, and I like its graceful simplicity. There's plenty of other decoration.
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  15. #13
    Innocent Bystander JeffD's Avatar
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    Default Re: 1904 Gibson Octave Mandolin

    Thats a strap hanger isn't it?
    Indulge responsibly!

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  16. #14
    Purveyor of Sunshine sgarrity's Avatar
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    Default Re: 1904 Gibson Octave Mandolin

    What a find!

  17. #15
    Mike Parks woodwizard's Avatar
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    Default Re: 1904 Gibson Octave Mandolin

    Asolutely beautiful! ... but for some reason the white pickguard just doesn't look right to me.
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  18. #16
    Professional Dreamer journeybear's Avatar
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    Default Re: 1904 Gibson Octave Mandolin

    I'm not completely sold on it either - plain black would look better to me - but from a historical perspective, it's intriguing. It may be that this is an example of the company experimenting with different looks before settling on the standard black or tortoise shell. I like it being plain, though, rather than the one on that three-pointer - that would be a bit fussy here, with all the other ornamentation already on it.
    But that's just my opinion. I could be wrong. - Dennis Miller

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  19. #17
    Horton River NWT Rob Gerety's Avatar
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    Default Re: 1904 Gibson Octave Mandolin

    Gorgeous. I bet dollars to donuts it was a custom build. Love to hear some clips.
    Rob G.
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  20. #18
    Cafe Linux Mommy danb's Avatar
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    Default Re: 1904 Gibson Octave Mandolin

    It sure could be.. you know Rob, it's old enough it could have been a "let's see if there's a market for this" effort in the first couple years of the company!

    I guess now we have a nice vintage example compensated bridge for a 21 1/4" scale OM too
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  21. #19
    Mando-Accumulator Jim Garber's Avatar
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    Default Re: 1904 Gibson Octave Mandolin

    Dan, what is the scale length on this OM? I wonder if in this early time Gibson was considering following the European lead of the octave tuning for the mandola as opposed to the alto tuning. Or maybe they just built it for a player who preferred that tuning.
    Jim

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  22. #20
    Registered User tree's Avatar
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    Default Re: 1904 Gibson Octave Mandolin

    What's up with the 2 extra slots in the nut?
    Clark Beavans

  23. #21
    Registered User Martin Jonas's Avatar
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    Default Re: 1904 Gibson Octave Mandolin

    I wonder how the body size and scale length compare to the mandola and the mandocello -- is it a short-necked 'cello, a long-necked 'dola or an entirely unique instrument with an in-between body size?

    Martin

  24. #22
    Full Grown and Cussin' brunello97's Avatar
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    Default Re: 1904 Gibson Octave Mandolin

    Interesting question, Martin. I was just trying to do some scaling comps in photoshop. Pretty crude method-I tried to use the headstock and tailpiece as constants-I'm not sure if the cello scale is appropriately longer the OM. The body proportions do seem a bit cello-ish. I hope we can get some proper measurements on this. I'll bet is sounds real nice.

    Mick
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  25. #23

    Default Re: 1904 Gibson Octave Mandolin

    is it for sale?

    could this quite possibly be the first octave mandolin ever built? or are there bowl back octaves that pre date this one?

  26. #24

    Default Re: 1904 Gibson Octave Mandolin

    Really cool find!

  27. #25
    Cafe Linux Mommy danb's Avatar
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    Default Re: 1904 Gibson Octave Mandolin

    Quote Originally Posted by brunello97 View Post
    I hope we can get some proper measurements on this. I'll bet is sounds real nice.

    Mick

    14-1/4" wide, 2-1/4" deep
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