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Thread: Help identifying old Gibson?

  1. #1
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    Default Help identifying old Gibson?

    I was wondering if anyone could help identify this Gibson mandolin for me...the shop owner says he thinks it was made sometime in the 40's but he doesn't have any real info on it...I think I've read that the block style lettering didn't start till about 1947?

    The number 2751-15 is stamped inside by the pickguard side f hole...it has a floating bridge, and I'm pretty sure the tuners aren't original...it seems to be in good condition and plays pretty well, even with the old strings...thanks for any help...



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  2. #2
    Registered User Eric Hanson's Avatar
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    Default Re: Help identifying old Gibson?

    That one brings a few questions to mind.
    Why did they turn the truss rod cover upside down?
    What is the story on the tuners? (As you mentioned)
    Are there scratches on the bass side of the end of the fretboard, or is this just the lighting?
    Eric Hanson
    Click #016/ Born on 2/29/08 - Sold to the next Conservator of this great mandolin!
    The search has ceased! (At least for now)
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  3. #3
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    Default Re: Help identifying old Gibson?

    I have to say, I didn't notice the truss rod cover, but yes, those are some scratches on the bass side...
    The tuners appeared to me to be a newer set, possibly Grovers with a little wear on them...

    But, I'm fairly new to mandolins, and know very little about original equipment on the older stuff...
    I just happened to be in the shop and this one caught my eye...
    It played pretty well, and i just took a quick phone pic to see if anyone could fill me in a bit on what it was...
    And I was thinking that possibly the numbers stamped inside might be helpful in ID'ing it?

    As I mentioned, the shop owner didn't seem too knowledgeable about it himself, I believe he's a banjo guy mostly...

  4. #4
    Teacher, luthier
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    Default Re: Help identifying old Gibson?

    The modern logo does indeed come in about 1947, first in silkscreen, then changing to a decal in 1954.

    Factory order numbers from the late '40's are inconsistent and not much info is available on them unless something has come to light recently that I'm not familiar with. Numbers in the 2000's with no letter prefix or suffix have been seen on instruments made in 1948 and 1949. But other specs should be checked to confirm what period the instrument was made in.

    Check the peghead thickness. Gibson pegheads from 1951 and later are nearly uniform in thickness, while instruments made in 1950 or earlier have a peghead that is quite a bit thinner at the tip than it is in front of the first tuning post.

    The one picture isn't enough to tell much. If it is a late 40's - early 50's instrument, my guess is that the tuners and possibly the pickguard are of more recent issue.

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