For sale is certainly one of the best playing and sounding Gibson Oval Hole mandolins I have owned. At 98 years old, it has lots of finish play wear, because it has been played and loved for nearly a century. It is from December 1920 #62936 which is a fairly narrow period for a couple things. One is my favorite color sunburst almost a deep grape around the outside to the smaller, lighter sunburst center. And next is the reasonably rare Amber buttons tuners only used for a narrow period and they are in great shape. This mandolin is a war horse that has been loved and played to the point that it gives up a sweet yet strong and full tone easily with good volume. Neck width at the nut is 1 3/16". It has the original tuners and tailpiece, though it is missing the pick guard which someone obviously removed years ago. When I got it, it had 3 cracks on the top (none in the bridge or belly area), no cracks on the back sides or neck, it needed a bridge, nut, and frets were really worn. I bought it because I like the color and those amber tuners not to mention that I was convinced of the sound this mandolin would give up due to her having so many years of real playing. It also did not have the slightest hint of sinking on the top as is common on these Oval Holes. I took it to my favorite luthier, John Higgins in St Louis who does many of my high end instruments. This is not a paid commercial for John but he performed a remarkable refurbishing in every aspect of this old girl who is truly worthy. The cracks are very closed and tight. He made an original replica ebony bridge and bone nut that look original. Thanks John. I even considered replacing the pick guard on it with a meticulously made exact replica by my friend Darryl Wolfe, but decided this mandolin is all about playing and tone so I decided not to replace the pick guard.
It plays as easy as I have ever felt. The neck is absolutely as flat and straight as it gets with brand new original size frets. I play hard, as I am an old bluegrass player and I have to say I believe the action is as low as I have ever been able to play one without buzzes out of it anywhere on the neck. John planed the fingerboard just enough to get divits out and make it perfect. He also replaced the fingerboard binding with original type ivoroid binding which looks original. No loose binding anywhere, absolutely nothing is needed, it is gig ready.
As you can see, it has a good deal of play wear and finish wear but no finish touch up anywhere on it. It did not come with an original case so I have housed it in a brand new proper fitting F shaped hard case from the Gibson factory. I am also including a new set of strings and a Shubb mandolin capo that came with it.
I have described it as thoroughly as I can think of. I have been completely open with my description. If I have missed anything or you have any questions, please feel free to ask. I have many pictures for interested buyers. This mandolin is not a trophy mandolin to look at but I can assure you if you're looking for a mandolin to play and one that sounds excellent, you will be extremely pleased with the way this mandolin plays and sounds. It needs nothing, it has been completely, thoroughly, and expertly gone through from top to bottom and is set to last another hundred years. Thank you for looking. $1,600.00 with free shipping in CONUS. Don't hesitate to ask questions or shoot me an offer. Lord Bless