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Gibson A-4 Mandolin ANTIQUE 1917




Gibson A-4 made in 1917. This instrument was repaired, refinished and fitted with a more modern tuner set making this suitable for a player less so to collect.Was then top...

Gibson A-4 made in 1917. This instrument was repaired, refinished and fitted with a more modern tuner set making this suitable for a player less so to collect.

Was then top of the line, made from about ’07 to early 20s or so. Finding these all original is difficult, in the case of the tuners a modern set as opposed to the originals which had the gear on the ‘wrong’ side makes sense to play. Repaired: neck joint, top cracks, back separation, headstock face. Replaced tuners, replaced bridge, replaced tailpiece, replaced nut slightly chipped. The repairs were well executed, the mandolin looks pretty good.

While not as sought after as Loars or snakeheads, these are fun to play. Not so much a bluegrass instrument but more of a classical mandolin, a thing back then. It still reflects some of Orville Gibson’s better ideas in the form of the carved top, back, and sides though not from one piece of wood (!). Carved spruce top, 2 pc carved mahogany body, 3 piece laminate mahogany neck, middle layer of wood darker. Ebony fingerboard, mother of pearl dot inlays, mother of pearl ‘The Gibson’ logo, abalone fleur de lis head inlay.

Action is good and tone is sweet. This would record well with a microphone in front of it. It also holds a tune well also. While the case is not original it is a good quality one that protects the instrument well.

Great for player collectors who lean more towards the player side of things, those who believe the best thing to do with these old instruments is to play them.


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