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Gibson F5 Mandolin #75846 Signed by Lloyd Loar March 31, 1924


Signed by Lloyd Loar March 31, 1924 manufacture date (traditional estimates)
1924 shipment date, according to Spann's Guide to Gibson
Mandolin, Style F5
Serial 75846
Factory order number unknown
Virzi Serial Number 10002


This superb mandolin is in entirely excellent and phenomenally original condition. Housed in its original hard shell case it is a cockle-warming sight, all that Cremona, it is a sunburst shower of sonic scintillation. It was played some, yes, the frets show normal wear (far be it from us to replace them with high, round imposters), mainly in positions one through five, the ebony board is slightly pitted in that frame, and the back of the neck shows some discoloration, from perspiration, also wear from frets one through five
including some small scuffing at the black widow's peak. Other than that, and a couple of extremely light (almost not worth mentioning) dings and cursory surface scratches, and but few of those, plus two old but replaced screws holding the pearl original buttons to the shafts on strings 5 and 8, this mandolin is 100% factual, indelible, ancestrally accurate Loar.

This is a silver-plated component Loar, with the engraved-plate tuners, the uniquely filigreed, silver "The Gibson"-engraved slide-on tailpiece, unique to the Loar period, the single-ply side binding with creme-black-creme top and back border, with 3-ply bound tortoise color pickguard bearing the Mar. 30. '09 stamp with matching 3-ply-against-celluloid side clamp. It has three-ply neck and headstock binding as well. Its ebon headplate is suitably inlaid with the angled, inlaid pearl "The Gibson," and colorful single flowerpot, with the plain black truss rod cover there under.

The typically Loar period bridge has the Jan. 18, '21 patent stamp on the foot, and the never-a-surprise small mark on the face in front of the bridge where it was mis-positioned for decades. On the inside of the original green, compartmentalized, plush-lined unique-to-the-Loar period case are three Black Diamond strings (only 15 cents each), four celluloid picks and an ancient and interesting variable-note single tube pitch pipe that seems frozen in "A."

The history of the mandolin as we know it is that the current owner's grandfather played it, and left it to her father. Her father recently presented it to her, in the hopes that it will be sold and the proceeds used to pay college tuition for the original owner's great-granddaughter, who is a music major in viola and about to leave for freshman year. The incredible part of the story is that on the intensely rainy night that I drove to Long Island, where this Loar lived, to see it, I was greeted at the gate by a small dog, a Scottish Terrier, I believe, who, although soaking wet, was quite happy to greet visitors. I asked what the dog's name was and the owner, without irony, said "Her name is Gibson."

"When you have the Loar, you need nothing more."


Categories this instrument is a member of

  • Fern peghead inlay
  • Virzi


From Mandolin Bros..
Mandolin Bros. have a truly drool-worthy inventory, and are well known for Stan Jay's thoughtful, and often poetic instrument descriptions

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