Signed by Lloyd Loar March 31, 1924 manufacture date (traditional estimates)
1924 shipment date, according to Spann's Guide to Gibson
Mandolin, Style F5
Factory order number unknown
Virzi Serial Number 10099
Fern, Benny Cain. At one point had fancy inlays on fingerboard and incorrect tuner bushings, as well as a little harp on the tailpiece and peghead. All non-original parts replaced with period correct ones.
From Tony Williamson:
Originally acquired by Lloyd Loar's bandmate and associate, Walter K. Bauer and presented to Walter's talented teaching assistant, Ada Merrifield. Ada is shown holding the instrument proudly in many of the Gibson catalogs, beginning in 1928. After Ms. Merrifield's passing, Walter helped in transfering the stewardship of this instrument to Bennie Cain, a legendary perfomer in the 1950s and 60s in the Washington DC area. All provenance is documented with original letters, photos and other artifacts. Bennie Cain was one of the early mandolin experts who appreciated great instruments and at one time he owned half a dozen signed Loar F-5s. During one of his trips to DC, Bill Monroe visited Bennie and played them all, after which he pointed to the Merrifield mandolin and said, "You better keep that one!" Bennie did, and this is the one he always played on stage and in the recording studio.