Found 104 matches

1938 Gibson L Rosewood

Here we have one of the rarest pre-war Gibson flat tops ever produced, probably a one-off custom order. Starting with the iconic Gibson L guitar body, this rare beauty features a Cremona sunburst spruce top, beautiful straight grained rosewood back & sides, triple-bound on both top and back. The headstock is quadruple bound with the script Gibson logo in mother-of-pearl and featuring the...
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1932 Gibson TB-11 five string conversion

Here’s a 1930s Gibson banjo with unmistakably traditional tone. Starting with a 1930s TB-11 rim with its 1-piece flange and robust projection and tonality, a skilled craftsman has added a 5-string “speed neck” of highly-figured flame maple with the "wreath" pattern inlay. The resonator features the rare "X" patterned decoration. This instrument is very clean with its simple tone hoop and “blue”...
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1937 Gibson A-50

The Gibson A-50 mandolin was first introduced in 1932. The first version had an oval sound hole with appointments similar to the discontinued A-4 model. By 1937, the A-50 featured the f-holes of the top-of-the line artist models, the F-5 and F-7. This highly unusual A-50 features a spruce top finished in the lighter sunburst tones of the late ‘30s, with matching finish on the back & sides,...
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1935 Martin 0-21T

Here we have an exceptionally clean and ultra-rare Martin tenor guitar from the “Golden Age” of American luthiery. In fact, the 0-21T is the rarest of all Martin tenor guitar models, with only 6 in existence and only one (this one) built in 1935! This seldom seen model has the upgraded appointments of the 21 series instruments with an Adirondack spruce top, quadruple bound in alternating strips...
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1980 Paganoni Loar style

Here’s a beautifully crafted oblong mandolin case from renowned mandolin builder, John Paganoni who is equally known for his amazing cases. This is an incredibly accurate replica of the original cases shipped with the Gibson Lloyd Loar F-5 mandolins in the 1920s.  Mr. Paganoni is well known for his craftsmanship and attention to detail, as evidenced here by this excellent example. Each of these...
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1935 Martin 000-18

Here’s a prime example of why vintage Martin guitars made in the 1930s are among the most highly desirable instruments on the planet. They’ve got the look, the feel and above all, the tone that savvy musicians desire. All the ingredients are here — the Adirondack spruce top, with Martin’s scalloped "forward" X-bracing, the small maple bridge plate, all working together to produce that strong,...
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1920 Lyon & Healy Model C

Lyon & Healy started making carved top mandolins around 1912, a decade after Gibson. They were the largest US builder of bowl-back mandolins at that time, introducing three new mandolins, the A, the B and the plainer model C, in the new design. All these models feature exemplary detail work and construction. Gibson mandolins from the same period are certainly well-made, but seem a bit crude by...
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1925 Gibson TB-03 conversion

A terrific sounding vintage Gibson 5 string that started out life as a “ball-bearing” tenor, model TB-3. The ball bearing Gibson was favored by Dr. Ralph Stanley during his career with his brother Carter. The instrument is capable of not only the old-time country sound, but serves itself in the Bluegrass genre as well. This particular example has a sweet upper end, and a glass-like mid...
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1935 Gibson A-75

The A-75 model first appeared in 1934 and was quickly discontinued in 1937, making it one of the rarest Gibson mandolins ever created. With a carved spruce top with f-holes and  back and sides of mahogany (another rare feature), the A-75 produces well defined tones with plenty of the ”chop” that the Bluegrass players seek, as well as even balance in all positions. 
 This rare treasure is in...
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1918 Gibson A-3

1918 Gibson A-3 Ivory Top Mandolin 
 The Gibson model A-3 was first introduced in 1902. In 1918, Gibson offered in an “ivory” top finish. This then, is the first year of production for the A-3 in that particular finish. The A-3 model was discontinued in 1922, making this a fairly rare instrument. 
 This example is one of the best A-3 models we have heard in all our years of playing, selling...
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1955 Gibson F-12

For over 100 years, the Gibson F style mandolin has been the esthetic and tonal leader of the mandolin world since Orville designed his first "Florentine" styled mandolin. Since 1922 the F-5 has been the top-of-the-line model and in1955 the F-12 was basically the same instrument with less fancy appointments.  This F-12 has a spruce top with "f' holes, superbly flamed maple back & sides with a...
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1950 Vega D-100E

A terrific instrument for those that desire amplification and are smart enough not to carve up a vintage mandolin to insert a pickup. This vintage treasure left the Vega factory in the late ‘40s outfitted with the Vega pickup and controls in place. The large pickup, located just in front of the bridge has warm, evenly balanced tone, and is connected by the old style Amphenol screw-on cable,...
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1939 Epiphone Zephyr

When Epiphone first started making electric instruments, all the electric models were named Zephyr. The Epiphone Zephyr model electric mandolin first appeared in 1939 and had a 15 year run until being discontinued in 1954. 
To create the Zephyr model mandolin, Epiphone took their most popular acoustic model, the Adelphi and fitted it with a modified “New Yorker” pickup and controls. 
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1919 Orpheum No. 3 Mandolin Banjo

In 1897 Rettberg & Lange bought the J. H. Buckbee banjo factory, the largest of the post-WWI banjo manufacturers. Patent records show that in 1903 a patent was issued for a tone ring which sits on brackets which are attached to the rim. This is the ring that was used on all Orpheum banjos, producing the Orpheum signature tone. This highly decorated mandolin-banjo with its' top-of-the-line...
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~1920 DeWick Bandonium Mandolin

The 1920s were a time of experimentation for many instrument makers. Here we have an instrument that will delight mandolin players, inspired by the likes of an instrument called the tenor harp, which has basically an all wood tenor banjo. 
This unique mandolin is beautifully crafted utilizing a spruce sound board with a walnut neck and highly figured walnut back. Visually, the instrument is...
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1931 Martin Style 20

Here’s a superb sounding Martin mandolin from the “Golden Era”. While most bluegrass musicians are seen with Gibson mandolins, many old-time country performers played Martins, like Earl Bolick of the Blue Sky Boys, who recorded and performed with his Martin Style 20. 
The Martin Style 20 was introduced in 1929 and was the first carved top mandolin they ever made. The oval-hole top is carved...
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Vega C-26

Vega was one of the premier American musical instrument manufacturers of the last century, starting with banjos and mandolins. During the 1930s they entered the archtop guitar market with many fine models. The C26 model was built from 1938 to 1949 with solid carved spruce tops and maple back & sides, and 16”lower bout. This example has a straight and true v-shaped neck, adorned with dots on...
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~1929 SS Stewart Mandolin-Banjo

The S.S. Stewart Company was a major manufacturer of musical instruments from 1878 until 1930. From 1914 until 1930, Stewart instruments were made by George Bauer & Co. This terrific sounding mandolin-banjo was made during the Bauer period.  
 This is a deluxe S.S. Stewart instrument, featuring highly decorative peg head and fretboard inlays of mother-of-pearl. Its unusual tone ring consists of...
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1964 Vega Folk Ranger

Many aspiring banjo players started out on the Vega Folk Ranger. It was the most affordable of the quality banjos on the market when The Kingston Trio had their heyday back in the early ‘60s. This model has an 11” wood rim surrounded by 24 brackets, married to a 26.5” scale neck with a rosewood fingerboard. Appointments are basic, with pearl dot fret markers and an unbound peg head with...
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~1940 Kay Mandolin-Banjo

Here’s a rare and beautiful mandolin-banjo made in Chicago by the Kay Musical Instrument Co. This rarely found instrument is one of the most ornate instruments to be produced by a company whose history extends back to 1890. It features an ornate peg head with an engraved pearloid veneer sporting the Kay “Master” logo and other decorations, while its resonator back is extremely attractive,...
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~1922 Orpheum Style 1 Mandolin-Banjo

Orpheum banjos were made by Rettburg & Lange, who built instruments under Paramount, Buckbee, Orpheum and others in the years between 1897 and 1921, when Lange left the partnership and continued to craft Orpheum instruments on his own. 
 All  Orpheum banjos used the tone ring patented by W.B. Farmer in 1903. This tone ring, was not only used my Orpheum brand instruments, but was also used by...
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1929 Gibson TB-4 Five String Conversion

This great sounding Gibson Mastertone started life as a 1929 TB-4 1-piece flange tenor. Somewhere in its history the metal parts were re-plated gold and/or replaced. The 40-hole archtop tone ring seems original but has also been gold-plated. The original "fat-boy" rim now sports a beautifully crafted 5-string walnut-stained full "flying eagle" mahogany neck by Frank Neat. The original gorgeously...
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1924 Gibson A-2z Mandolin

The Loar period A-2z is considered by many experts to be the best A-style mandolin produced during Gibson's "Golden Age" when the classic Loar-signed F5 models were first produced. This particular example has exceptional tone and the typical visual and structural improvements associated with this era — the “snake” peghead with “The Gibson” logo in mother of pearl and the adjustable trussrod and...
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1934 Gibson F-10

One of the rarest and most collectable of Gibson pre-war florentine mandolins is the all-black F-10 model, produced only between 1934-36, with less than twenty in existence. This model, like the pre-war (more expensive) F-12 and (less expensive) F-7 featured a bound carved spruce top with f-holes, bound maple back & sides and a short mahogany neck as in the F-4 model. The scale length is the same...
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1924 Gibson L-2

Gibson’s foray into the world of arch top guitars began with the arch top, round hole models first produced by Orville Gibson in 1899. Starting in the early 1920s, with the arrival of Lloyd Loar, the lined expanded to 12 dozen models with a multitude of appointments, and sizes. The L-2 has a carved spruce top. carved birch back & sides, and was available in black, sunburst and natural. This...
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1923 Gibson H-2

Here’s the big brother to the venerable Gibson A-2 mandolin. A carved spruce top (in all likelihood Adirondack), in the Gibson reddish-sunburst with the white ivoroid binding, and the dark red stained back & sides. This instrument produces the extremely rich, lush tones that lie just below the mandolin range. A full throaty timbre that’s sure to delight the ears of all who hear it. This...
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1929 Paramount Artcraft Tenor

This Paramount Artcraft Tenor Banjo represents the ultimate of the luthier’s art and craft during the Golden Age of instrument manufacturing. Eschewing the usual abalone shell and mother-of-pearl inlay utilized for aesthetic embellishments, Paramount designed this gorgeously decorated instrument with wood inlays and marquetry, using intricate designs that were the epitome of the woodworker’s...
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~1920 Sovereign Banjo-Uke

Sovereign brand instruments were made by the Oscar Schmidt Company until the name was purchased by Harmony in the late 1930s. Oscar Schmidt had been making stringed instruments since 1879 and their number one feature was durability. This fine looking and sounding instrument is nearly 100 years old and still retains its integrity. This rarely seen model features mahogany construction with...
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1960 Kay model N

The Kay style N was part of Kay’s Venetian Series, created by Kay in response to Gibson’s Florentine line of mandolins. Its unique body shape allows the player full access to the entire fret board, while allowing the tone chamber to be used to its fullest extent as well. 
 This instrument has a pressed spruce top and laminated maple back and sides, trimmed in the “rope” binding carried  over...
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Harmony Patrician

The Harmony Company was one of many Chicago makers and at one point in their history, the largest manufacturer of musical instruments in the world. Unlike their rivals, most notably Kay and Regal, all of Harmony’s instruments were made of solid wood. They switched to laminate woods in the early ‘70s. 
 This all solid wood pre-war mandolin has a solid spruce top and a beautifully figured solid...
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