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Gibson F5 Mandolin #73987 Signed by Lloyd Loar July 9, 1923


Signed by Lloyd Loar July 9, 1923 manufacture date (traditional estimates)
1923 shipment date, according to Spann's Guide to Gibson
Mandolin, Style F5
Serial 73987
Factory order number unknown
there is no Virzi in this instrument


Purchased by Bill Monroe used from a barber shop, this is the iconic instrument that Bill composed almost all of his tunes on.

Famously vandalized 11/13/1985 by a jilted paramour, the splinters of this mandolin were re-assembled by Charlie Derrington in the most famous repair job in mandolin history.

On 9/13/2005, Ricky Skaggs played it at a tribute to Monroe in Nasvhille, where it was announced that Philanthropst Bob McLean had made it possible for the Country Music Hall of Fame to put it on permanent display in their collections.

Triple bound on sides, new peghead overlay, "guarantee" label over "Master Model" label, vandalized 11/13/85, repaired by Gibson.

You can hear Bill Monroe tell part of the story of his mandolin in his own words. Thanks to Bruce for the clip.


Categories this instrument is a member of

  • Green-lined hardshell case
  • Played by a well-known musician


From Darryl Wolfe.
Darryl Wolfe's F5 Journal is the authoritative work on the subject of Loar-signed and later Gibson mandolins

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