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Thread: Gibson A0 Found in Attic

  1. #1

    Question Gibson A0 Found in Attic

    Hi, thanks for accepting me to the forum.

    I found a Gibson A0 in the rafters of a historic home. It appears to be in pretty good shape and sounds great! The surface is a little scratched, but no other damage.

    I'd like to try and figure out value in order to sell. Is that an okay question to ask here? If not, please delete.

    It doesn't appear to be signed and the model is 88174. There seems to be a 134 stamp way up towards the neck on the inside.

    Help!

  2. #2
    Registered User Kevin Briggs's Avatar
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    Default Re: Gibson A0 Found in Attic

    Hey, You!

    These folks’ll set ya’ straight! Treat one on Reverb right now for $1800. That feels right if it’s in good/great shape.

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  4. #3
    Registered User Charles E.'s Avatar
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    Default Re: Gibson A0 Found in Attic

    Welcome to the cafe, without seeing photos it is very difficult to evaluate an instrument.

    $1800. seems a bit on the high for an A-O to me but it all depends on condition.
    Charley

    A bunch of stuff with four strings

  5. #4
    Registered User Eric F.'s Avatar
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    Default Re: Gibson A0 Found in Attic

    I think you need to accept that it found you and therefore you need to learn to play it.

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  7. #5

    Default Re: Gibson A0 Found in Attic

    Mandolessons.com
    -or save the mandolin for your kids to learn on. They’ll thank you for music.

  8. #6

    Default Re: Gibson A0 Found in Attic

    I think most observers think prices on Reverb are nearly always on the high side. However, price is dependent on condition, so that needs to be factored in. A0 mandolins do not appear for sale that often but it is worth considering that this model sold for roughly half the price of the A2 in the late 1920s. It might be good to post some photos to confirm the model itself. This mint condition A series model sold for $1826 the other day. Mind you, if you keep the mandolin, then you don't have to worry about its monetary value!

    https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/274465970...m=274465970403

  9. #7
    Moderator MikeEdgerton's Avatar
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    Default Re: Gibson A0 Found in Attic

    The number stamped on the neck block is a Factory Order Number or FON. That number is not listed in Spann's Guide to Gibson but that is known to be not complete. It falls in the range of numbers for a 1931 shipping date. The Model number you refer to is most likely the serial number. That too falls in the 1931 date range. If we assume the model is an A-0 as that is what you're calling it, then those dates should be right as it was available from1927 to 1933. This instrument would not have had a signed label. Without pictures there's no real way to give you a value. The value you have received are very very generous for an unseen instrument. Extremely generous. NickR's statement about Reverb is pretty much correct. The A-0 was not a deluxe model of Gibson mandolin. Post some pictures please.
    "Bargain instruments are no bargains if you can't play them". These are the words of J. Garber.

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  11. #8

    Default Re: Gibson A0 Found in Attic

    I can get some better photos if necessary.

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  13. #9
    Moderator MikeEdgerton's Avatar
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    Default Re: Gibson A0 Found in Attic

    That would be a player grade A-0, it appears to be correct for the dates given, the tailpiece cover is there, the tuners look original, you've got some cracks and scratches. The pickguard hasn't off gassed and deteriorated totally. If it's playable and nobody is going to know that until they get it in their hands, then it is saleable. Asking prices and selling prices aren't the same thing and what a well established retailer can get is generally different than what a private seller can sell for. Was it in a case when you found it? The case can make it a little more attractive no matter how bad that case might look to you. If so, can you post a picture of the case?
    Last edited by MikeEdgerton; Aug-29-2020 at 10:02am. Reason: Fixed typo
    "Bargain instruments are no bargains if you can't play them". These are the words of J. Garber.

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  15. #10
    Registered User William Smith's Avatar
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    Default Re: Gibson A0 Found in Attic

    Very nice find! I love any old Gibson finds! They are still out there! You found that in rafters "above a ceiling or basement?" WoW indeed! KOOL!

  16. #11

    Default Re: Gibson A0 Found in Attic

    Having a legible label inside takes out all the guesswork and careful analysis! It is interesting that the info from Spann's Guide To Gibson suggests that many of the "A" mandolins in this approximate number range were made in 1928 but not shipped until 1931. It looks like a very nice find, all right. Well done!

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  18. #12
    Confused... or?
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    Default Re: Gibson A0 Found in Attic

    Yeah... Gonna have to go checking thru the rafters again!
    - Ed

    "Then one day we weren't as young as before
    Our mistakes weren't quite so easy to undo
    But by all those roads, my friend, we've travelled down
    I'm a better man for just the knowin' of you."
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  19. #13
    Barn Cat Mandolins Bob Clark's Avatar
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    Default Re: Gibson A0 Found in Attic

    Quote Originally Posted by EdHanrahan View Post
    Yeah... Gonna have to go checking thru the rafters again!
    The only things in my rafters are cobwebs!
    Purr more, hiss less.

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  21. #14

    Default Re: Gibson A0 Found in Attic

    Here's another that was on Reverb- it has a case although it is the less expensive contemporary soft case.

    https://reverb.com/item/2602887-gibs...black-mandolin

  22. #15

    Default Re: Gibson A0 Found in Attic

    Thanks everyone! Yes, as soon as I saw 'Gibson' I got very excited. I'm a professional organizer that does clean outs and have come across some great finds over the years. This is no exception and I look forward to finding its new loving home. A very talented friend of mine played it and it was nearly tuned and sounded great.

    <Removed by Moderator, Posting Guidelines. Please limit commerce to the Classifieds>

    No case though.
    Last edited by MikeEdgerton; Aug-29-2020 at 7:26pm.

  23. #16

    Default Re: Gibson A0 Found in Attic

    Here is a recent ad for an A0 at this site: https://www.mandolincafe.com/ads/155893

  24. #17
    NY Naturalist BradKlein's Avatar
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    Default Re: Gibson A0 Found in Attic

    Quote Originally Posted by NickR View Post
    Here is a recent ad for an A0 at this site: https://www.mandolincafe.com/ads/155893
    That's a good comparable. Note that it's in much better condition than the one posted by the original poster. And it's from one of the top dealers in the country.

    The instrument found by the original poster I would estimate at $750-1100 on Ebay, for example, depending on presence and condition of a case. It's easy to give inexperienced sellers unrealistic expectations. Not saying that it's not a lovely find and may be a fine instrument, of course.
    BradKlein
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  26. #18
    Moderator MikeEdgerton's Avatar
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    Default Re: Gibson A0 Found in Attic

    Quote Originally Posted by BradKlein View Post
    ... It's easy to give inexperienced sellers unrealistic expectations. Not saying that it's not a lovely find and may be a fine instrument, of course.
    Yup. No case.
    "Bargain instruments are no bargains if you can't play them". These are the words of J. Garber.

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