Find Closest Matching
Serial Number
Stamp Number

Gibson F5 Mandolin #73485 Signed by Lloyd Loar May 29, 1923


Signed by Lloyd Loar May 29, 1923 manufacture date (traditional estimates)
1923 shipment date, according to Spann's Guide to Gibson
Mandolin, Style F5
Serial 73485
Factory order number unknown
there is no Virzi in this instrument


Refinished with a dark sunburst, blocks on fingerboard, fern and horizontal "Gibson" overlay. Case in near-mint condition. This example was "redone" circa 1930, for reasons unknown. We theorize it was either a refurbished instrument, or a returned loaner that was refinished, recieved a new peghead overlay & fingerboard (possibly the entire neck, but the work is not obvious), and was sold as new. The owner of this instrument purchased it "as new" from Gibson in the early 30's.

The finish on this instrument appears to have been applied over the original color/sunburst, the classic shape and hues of the sunburst are visible still. The overspray also coated the Loar signature & serial labels with finish, preserving them nicely. Nut spacing is "Sam Bush" style (wider gaps than a 20's nut). The top is contrasting cuts of spruce much like John Reischman's Loar- tight quarter sawn on the treble, slightly slab cut on the bass. Grains lines per inch on the treble side is an incredible 45-50

The near-mint case contains original sheet music (Hungarian dances & classical pieces), the case key (the lock still works!), 1 complete set of 1930s mona steel strings, and several original Gibson picks (the picks are described in the service manual, and pictured in some catalogs). Inside the case is a badge marked "Shubert Music House and Studios"

Loud definitive tone, archetypal Loar sound.


Categories this instrument is a member of

  • Red-lined hardshell case
  • Refinished instrument
  • Fern peghead inlay


From Dan Beimborn.
Dan Beimborn is the designer and operator of the Mandolin Archive. Descriptions and photographs are copyright Dan Beimborn unless otherwise indicated, and may not be reproduced without permission.

Please wait for all thumbnail images to load before clicking