manufacture date (traditional estimates)
1906 shipment date, according to Spann's Guide to Gibson
Mandolin, Style F4
Factory Order number: 283
Gibson instruments evolved and developed considerably in the first ten years of production. The first "F" style mandolins were about an inch longer and somewhat shallower than the "standard" ones made after about 1911.
This top-of-the-line F-4 has maple back, sides and neck with a cedar top. Like others of its vintage, the neck is pitched forward and the bridge is quite low. It has the typical inlaid celluloid pickguard common to bowl back style mandolins. Unlike any later Gibson mandolins, this vintage was characterized by the use of elaborate mother of pearl inlay decoration. The peghead veneer and the fingerboard are dyed maple.
As you look this one over, notice the detail of the scroll carving. This style is typical of the early Orville Gibson instruments. This instrument is entirely original except the celluloid pickguard, which had to be replaced because it was decomposing.
DB - The replaced PG frank refers to contained the star & crescent inlay seen on others with similar serial #s. Torch & Wire
From Gryphon Strings.
Frank Ford is on of the founders of Gryphon Strings. Frank is world-renowned as a master repairman and an expert on vintage mandolins. Gryphon often carries very nice vintage mandolins. Frank is also the author of Frets.com, a website well worth the visit for instrument fans, luthiers, and repairmen