Gibson A-4 Carved Top Mandolin (1911)
Gibson A-4 Model Carved Top Mandolin (1911), made in Kalamazoo, serial # 12237, black top, dark stained back and sides finish, birch back and sides, spruce top, mahogany neck, original black hard shell case. Item # 7865
The Style A-4 was Gibson's highest priced "A" style (teardrop body) mandolin for much of the company's early history, starting in the first years of the 20th Century. This beautiful example is quite early, dating to 1911 when Gibson was just becoming the major force in the mandolin market. By this point the instrument has the "modern" sharper neck angle and higher bridge, and the sound is fully developed compared to mandolins from a year or two earlier. This period's A-4 features a black top finish, the then-new elevated pickguard, Handel-made pearl and wire inlaid grained ivoroid tuner buttons and a pearl fleur-de-lys and Gibson logo on the headstock. The bridge has separate mini-saddles for each string pair, and the fingerboard does not yet have a treble side extension. This mandolin is exquisitely preserved, a lovely sounding and very playable piece of Art Nouveau.
Overall length is 25 5/8 in. (65.1 cm.), 10 in. (25.4 cm.) across at the widest point, and 1 13/16 in. (4.6 cm.) in depth, measured at side of rim. Scale length is 13 7/8 in. (352 mm.). Width of nut is 1 1/4 in. (32 mm.). This is a very clean mandolin-especially for its age! It has been nicely refretted (with wire slightly larger than the original very narrow spec) and plays very well. Apart from this the instrument shows no other alterations, all original hardware is intact and very well preserved. The finish shows typical very fine "piano varnish' checking and some very small wear spots but again for the age of the instrument is extremely well preserved. There is a small binding patch on the back edge seam under the tailpiece, the reminder of a back/side seam repair but there are no other repairs evident. A lovely and charming mandolin, with a sweeter sound than many later examples we have had-complete with a very nice original HSC. Excellent + Condition.
Prices subject to change without notice.
Click on a thumbnail above for a detailed view.
| Home | Contact | Hours | Purchase | Search | Just
Retrofret - New York String Service
233 Butler Street | Brooklyn, New York, 11217 USA
718 237 6092 Voice | 718 237 6092 Fax
All text and photographs © 2003 Retrofret and may not be reproduced without permission.