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Description

Retrofret Stock # 5264. Gibson Style A "Snakehead" Model Carved Top Mandolin (1923), made in Kalamazoo, Michigan, serial # 72707, mahogany stain finish, Birch back and sides, spruce top, mahogany neck with ebony fingerboard, original black hard shell case. A great-playing and sounding original "snakehead" Style A mandolin from the height of the "Loar era" at Gibson. These are generally considered the best-sounding roundhole "A" style mandolins ever made, and this one certainly bears this out. Top is in brown stain lacquer finish with a thin wood soundhole ring; the top and soundhole edges are bound in ivoroid. An unusual feature of this particular Style a is tortoise celluloid binding on the back; this is noted on several others from this factory order number batch (11835). These Loar-era A mandolins have become ever more sought-after in recent times by players of all styles.Lloyd Loar's tenure as "acoustic engineer" at Gibson has become so mythical that sometimes separating fact from fiction is difficult. Certainly the mandolin family instruments made during the period of Loar's employment are the most perfectly realized in Gibson's history, and have become the template for most similar instruments since. The mandolins of the "Loar Era" show the influence of a master player on both design and execution, although other Gibson employees (especially Thaddeus McHugh and Lewis A. Williams) actually engineered many of the technical improvements of the early 1920's. Loar was primarily concerned with 'voicing' the instruments properly; the Master Model Style 5 line was his greatest contribution with their violin-style F-hole tops but all Gibson mandolin family instruments were refined and improved at the same time.Overall length is 25 7/16 in. (64.6 cm.), 10 in. (25.4 cm.) width, and 1 3/4 in. (4.4 cm.) in depth, measured at side of rim. Scale length is 14 in. (356 mm.). Width of nut is 1 1/16 in. (27 mm.). A very fine playing, sounding and looking A mandolin; some very clean work but no major alterations. Appears to have had an expert re-fret some time back. There is one repaired top grain crack along the bass side of the fingerboard, some small touch ups and polishing but nice patina overall. The bridge is a near-perfect reproduction-all other hardware is original. Typically excellent "Snakehead" sound! Includes a very nice OHSC. Excellent Condition.

Year Condition Color Case
1923 Excellent mahogany stain Original Hard

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Retrofret Vintage Guitars
Brooklyn New York, NY
7:42 AM
Monday - Friday 12noon - 7pm Saturday 12noon - 6pm Other times and days often available by appointment. Feel free to contact us.

We accept VISA, MasterCard, American Express and Discover directly for phone orders as well as in person. If you would like to pay by credit card online, secure payments can also be made through PayPal (payment email account paypal@retrofret.com). Personal checks are gladly accepted, but must clear our bank before we will send an instrument. Cashiers Checks, Wire Transfers and Money Orders will be proccessed as cash payments with no waiting period.

Retrofret has been shipping instruments throughout the USA and worldwide for nearly 20 years. We have yet to experience a single instance of damage (...I hope this doesn't jinx our perfect record). Retrofret's shipping department can send parcels via UPS, Fedex, USPS, BAX, DHL and DSV Air and Yusen Air Cargo. We ship instruments and other items on a 48 hour approval basis once we received payment in full. Shipping charges and taxes are not included in the prices listed. Mail order shipments within New York are subject to sales tax of 8.875%. Shipments out of state are not subject to NY city and state tax, although the buyer assumes all other tax requirements of their municipality. Before sending payment, please call to confirm the instrument's availability and the cost of shipment.

If you decide not to keep an instrument shipped to you, notify us by telephone, fax or email within 48 hours of receiving it. We'll take note to expect the return. Please ship it in the same carton via UPS, insured for its full value. We will refund the price of the instrument as soon as we receive it, provided it arrives in the condition in which it left the shop. The customer is responsible for all shipping charges.