Signed by Lloyd Loar December 20, 1922 manufacture date (traditional estimates)
1922 shipment date, according to Spann's Guide to Gibson
Mandolin, Style F5
Factory order number unknown
there is no Virzi in this instrument
Gold hardware (Loar period, except for the F-4 gold tailpiece cover and metal (gold, like mid to late 20s F-5s) finger-rest bracket.
Lacquer finish (late 20s, and done by Gibson). Late 20s color. Outward splayed tuner placement (like a late 22/early 23), Guarantee label. No signature label (but evidence of glue where one was). Very quartered back (like a late '22). Original bill of sale to the current owner's father in 1939 (purchased from a nun in Minn.) Original F-5 marketing brochure. Red-line/30s shaped case.
Overall, it strikes me that it was originally built and sold in late 22/early 23 and sent back to Gibson in the late 20s/early 30s for a re-do. It also makes me think Darryl and I are correct that Mon's was the same thing and had gold hdwe. when Mon bought it.
DB: should be a Dec 20 1922, though no label is present.. nor is there a Loar signature label, but the details add up that this is a Loar that was re-worked by Gibson and labels likely removed at that time. Body is quite thin- leading to the idea that a virzi was retro-fitted, and then later removed.. or in Charlie's words:
Notched bars and thinner bodies should equal a mandolin that was assembled without the Virzi being installed and then later disassembled, Virzi installed, back-side of rim resanded (hence the thinner body depth), back reglued and mandolin re-assembled.