Gibson had their ova soundhole mandolins dialed in by the mid-'teens, and this example from 1918 shows the results of all that practice. And unlike most guitars from 100 years ago, this F-4 mandolin shows no sign of fatique: the neck angle is excellent, the neck is straight, no bulging or sagging of the carved top, and the varnish finish has a lovely patina yet still gleams when turned in the light. Best of all, the tone and volume are probably even better than it was a century ago, when Gibson's F-4 was the highest mandolin model in their catalog and was pictured on the cover.

It's easy to say "all original," and in this case it's true, but the list is more impressive: Original tuners with inlaid buttons, original mother-of-pearl nut, original frets, pickguard, bridge, and tailpiece with "The Gibson" cover. All binding and finish is original, and the only crack is a 2" long hairline to the top (under the pickguard) which was glued and cleated by the Gryphon Repair Dept. The original case is equally impressive, and the key to the case lock is in the accessory pocket. This is an impressive example of Gibson style and workmanship.

stock no. 52106

ModelF-4 Mandolin
TopAdirondack spruce
Back and sidesCurly maple
Nut width1 3/16"
Scale length13 7/8"
Bridge materialebony
Fretboard Materialebony
Neck materialmahogany
Serial No42399
Neck profileV
CaseOrig. Hard
Total frets24
Tunersoriginal w/inlaid buttons