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1909 Gibson H1 Mandola #9790


1909 manufacture date (traditional estimates)
1910 shipment date, according to Spann's Guide to Gibson
Mandola, Style H1
Serial 9790
Factory order number unknown


The Gibson Company made four different popular mandola models, although the last of them didn’t appear until 1922. The H-1 is the simplest of them, having “The Gibson” inlaid in script mother of pearl in the ebony head plate, but having no other headstock decoration. It, like its sisters, has dotmarker pearl fingerboard inlays, in this ivoroid bound extended treble ebony board it has six of them. By 1909 it has an elevated tortoise shell celluloid finger rest bearing a “Patent Applied For” stamp, and a replacement connection device in the form of a simple violin turnbuckle. In 1909 it still has the longer “crowned” Orville style “The Gibson” engraved tailpiece cover, two rings of “rope” marquetry around the soundhole, and a one piece intonated top ebony bridge with a little hole on the treble side in which the tailpiece extension stabilizer pin resides, in case you were wondering what to do with your own stabilizer pin. It sounds mighty good and looks surprisingly clean, but close inspection reveals that this mandola has been wholly over-sprayed, probably due to its having long ago received a repair to the back seam and, more recently, to the neck seam, which is glued professionally but, visually, the closure is noticeable from tip of back of headstock to around the third fret. It has a replacement ebony tailpin with an abalone dot. The fret board is just slightly concave, not enough to affect playability, and there is, happily, no top sinkage. There are finish checks on the head plate and one small area below the first and second strings on the head plate where the overlay is chipped.


Categories this instrument is a member of

  • Orange or "pumpkin" finish
  • Refinished instrument
  • Pineapple-shaped tailpiece cover


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