Gibson F-2 Carved Top Mandolin (1920)

Gibson  F-2 Carved Top Mandolin  (1920)

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Item # 8453
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Gibson F-2 Model Carved Top Mandolin (1920), made in Kalamazoo, Michigan, serial # 61196, sunburst top, dark cherry stained back and sides finish, birch back and sides, spruce top; mahogany neck with ebony fingerboard, black tolex hard shell case.

When this instrument was made the F-2 "Artist Model" was the next to the top of Gibson's mandolin line, and at $177.30 for 1920 very expensive instrument. It is built to the same general design as the top-line F-4 just lacking some the fancier decorative elements. The only major difference is the F-4 was the only early Gibson to actually use maple for the back and sides; like the rest of the line the F-2 is built of birch. The fittings are standard for the period with a raised celluloid pickguard, "The Gibson" pearl headstock logo and engraved tailpiece and a solid ebony bridge with a stepped compensated top. This 99-year-old F-2 looks beautiful with a lovely deep red shaded sunburst top and sounds even better, ready to celebrate its next 100 years.
 
Overall length is 26 1/8 in. (66.4 cm.), 10 in. (25.4 cm.) width, and 1 3/4 in. (4.4 cm.) in depth, measured at side of rim. Scale length is 14 in. (356 mm.). Width of nut is 1 3/16 in. (30 mm.).

This beautiful sounding mandolin has had some wear and repair work over the last century but remains a lovely instrument to play. The finish shows numerous small dings and dents but retains excellent color. The mandolin has recently had the fingerboard trued and refretted with correct style wire. The original celluloid pickguard has been polished out on the top and possibly had a crack repaired on the upper edge. The original pickguard securing clamp is gone; in its place is a very cleverly designed tortoise celluloid replacement. The hardware is otherwise original and complete including the tuners, tailpiece, and bridge.

There are several small repaired spruce grain cracks to the top; a pair about 1" from the treble side of the fingerboard under the pickguard and one coming off the lower body point. There is little pickwear but much of the top has had an old French polish overcoat that is very thin but noticeable on close inspection. All other finish is original, with the only major loss being on the back of the neck where a decent amount is rubbed away. Overall this is a very sweet and enjoyable mandolin to play with a sparkling sound and a most comfortable action. Includes a modern HSC. Overall Excellent - Condition.