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1924 (Loar Period) Gibson Snakehead A1 Mandolin #76916


1924 (Loar Period) manufacture date (traditional estimates)
1924 shipment date, according to Spann's Guide to Gibson
Mandolin, Style A1
Serial 76916
Factory order number unknown


The Gibson Snakehead A-style is considered the finest sounding (and most asked for) of all Gibson A-styles, and, are, beyond that, even if with their inverted crania, looked upon as being one of the best sounding oval-hole mandolins ever made. This one was made in the last year that Lloyd A. Loar was employed by the Gibson Company. Yes, friends, 1924 is considered an optimum year for Gibson mandolins in general, and finding a snakehead in the parlor is like finding a carp in your phimming pool – an excellent omen – often felt to be the harbinger of a year of prosperity. They live literally forever, carp and snakehead mandolins, never getting wizened, the veritable Founting of Yoot. This mandolin came to us missing its tee-pee cover, but we have provisioned it with a modern replica, with the floral engraving the “The Gibson” logo. It had a small seam separation down its carved, pretty back, but Peter Becker of our workshop has had his way with it -- humidifying, gluing and generally making said sep close up like a flytrap. It has the ivoroid bound oval soundhole, the three-ply soundhole inlaid rosette, the unbound ebony fingerboard with the 6 inlaid pearl dotmarkers; it has the most beautiful multi-color silk-screened and angled “The Gibson” peghead logo (how did they make silver with greens and reds mixed in?), the bone nut, the original “Pat’d Jan 18 ‘21” ebony adjustable bridge, with one small, nearly unnoticeable, glued saddle repair in the first and second string section. The original tortoise color celluloid pickguard has the Mar. 30 ’09 stamp and the clamp has the July 4, ’11 patent. The action is low and comfortable. There is nothing that this mandolin can do that any other snakehead can do any better. It is, truly, a Loar period A-style with which to be reckoned, something akin to a musical abacus.


Categories this instrument is a member of

  • Black finish
  • Snakehead peghead shape


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