Retrofret Stock # 5329. Gibson F-4 Model Carved Top Mandolin (1913), made in Kalamazoo, Michigan, serial # 23707, red sunburst varnish finish, maple back and sides, spruce top; mahogany neck with ebony fingerboard, black rigid foam case. This is a nicely preserved early two-point F-4, Gibson's top of the line mandolin and company flagship in the 1910's. The scroll-body F-4 had recently been fully perfected from its early 3-point body form by this time and was an utterly distinctive creation, almost certainly the finest mandolin in the world in 1913. All binding is grained ivoroid, and with the double-flowerpot pearl and abalone inlay on the headstock and the inlaid Handel tuned buttons the F-4 exudes a particular Ary Nouveau grace and class. The 2-piece maple back has moderate flame while the sides are more strongly figured. This instrument would have been the top choice for any virtuoso mandolinist in the just pre-WWI era, and today is still an iconic creation.Overall length is 26 in. (66 cm.), 10 in. (25.4 cm.) width, and 1 1/2 in. (3.8 cm.) in depth, measured at side of rim. Scale length is 14 in. (356 mm.). Width of nut is 1 1/4 in. (32 mm.). Nearing its 100th birthday, this lovely old F-4 is all original except for a replaced bridge (a Loar-era adjustable style instead of the early solid piece). There is general light wear overall, some finish loss to the back of the neck around the first few frets but the original varnish is otherwise largely intact. The small scroll on the bass side of the headstock has been cracked from the back (not through the face veneer) and repaired, solidly but not perfectly; and the rear pointed tip of the headstock has a small graft; the back of the headstock has been French polished due to these repairs-there is no neck or headstock crack. An excellent player with a very sprightly sound-includes a modern molded foam HSC. Overall Excellent Condition.
|1913||Excellent||red sunburst varnish||None|
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