1913 manufacture date (traditional estimates)
1911 shipment date, according to Spann's Guide to Gibson
Mandolin, Style F2
Factory order number unknown
Original Mandolin Cafe description:
1913 Gibson F 2 mandolin. Serial number 13718. The Gibson inlaid on the peghead. White binding on the top portion of the body only as typical with all F2's. Reddish shaded finish, oval sound hole with surrounding white binding and wood inlay. Original inlaid German Handel tuners in decent working order (although modern tuners would improve tuning a little), original pick guard and original tailpiece engraved The Gibson included. Original small frets in good condition. Pearl dot inlays in original rosewood fingerboard in good condition. Some minor marks on the body and around the pick guard clamp. Non original shaped case. The top of the peg head scroll is broken off per Monroe, I do not have the piece. Original bridge base has the patent stamp with later replacement top with an ivory overlay. The mandolin is in good shape and is ready to play.
We believe the mandolin was worked on by Gibson sometime in the 20's or 30's when a crack was repaired at the base of the top plate scroll. Several shops including Mandolin Bros helped confirm this in the 80's. There is still a visible crack at this location but the mandolin is solid, the crack has not changed and I have had no problems whatsoever in the almost 20 years that I’ve owned it. It has good tone, especially up the neck and is great for old timey and Irish music. I have used it for bluegrass, in church, Irish music and every thing else in between and it has always behaved itself well.
I will include an extra tailpiece for it. I have found that a Price Gibson replica tailpiece improved the volume of the mandolin because it is more rigid than the original and there is no flex. I am a hand engraver, and have equipped the mandolin with an unplated brass Price tailpiece that I have engraved to duplicate the original and which will be included with the mandolin for my base asking price.
I can e-mail additional photos to anyone who is seriously interested.