A 1917 Gibson F4 mandolin, F-style with oval hole, serial 33204. Body is consistent with model of period: red varnish shaded over yellow ground, curly maple back & sides, 2-piece back, white binding.
The neck on this mandolin was replaced by the Gibson factory in the 1930's with an F7 neck, with typical inlay and tuners of that period.
It has a one-piece bridge, engraved tailpiece, and original pickguard. Neck width at nut is 1 1/8".
Our senior luthier (an expert in restoring vintage Gibsons) performed the following work on this instrument:
- Frets 1-7 were replaced
- All frets dressed
- A previous top crack repair down from the scroll was retouched, along with a few other areas.
- Clean, polish & setup (refit bridge, adjust tuners & nut, restring with D'Addario EJ62)
- Leather handle replaced on original case (red velour interior, good condition).
There are a few minor/typical finish cracks around the instrument here and there, but nothing out of the ordinary for a mandolin of this age, and definitely nothing of structural concern. Overall, very good shape for a 101-year-old mandolin, and a very nice player.
Gruhn Guitars did a photo appraisal of this instrument in 2015 (included) and valued it at $5,000.