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Thread: Can this Gibson really fetch such a price?

  1. #1
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    Default Can this Gibson really fetch such a price?

    I'm hoping someone will know what would justify the price on this mandolin, which to my eye is an A-50. Am I missing something important?

    https://portland.craigslist.org/grg/...291518902.html

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  2. #2
    Mando accumulator allenhopkins's Avatar
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    Default Re: Can this Gibson really fetch such a price?

    Short answer is "no." If the dating is accurate, it could be the re-introduced 1930's-40's Gibson A-1, which had f-holes, bound top and back, and painted logo on the headstock. Otherwise, could be an A-50 at the beginning of their introduction, but I've mostly seen A-50's with blonde top finishes.

    Here's a late-'30's A-l for sale, asking price $1350. Whoever "appraised" this one for $15-20 thousand, was just goofy.

    The ad says to call if you're "sirius." I'd call and say "I'm Betelgeuse, and you're 'Lost In Space.'" But you don't make friends that way...

    Later: same instrument being discussed in this adjacent thread.
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  4. #3
    Martin Stillion mrmando's Avatar
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    Default Re: Can this Gibson really fetch such a price?

    Maybe it's full of Dave Apollon's toenail clippings?

    Either that or Dr. Lori the antique appraiser is at it again ...
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  6. #4
    Martin Stillion mrmando's Avatar
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    Default Re: Can this Gibson really fetch such a price?

    Here is a real expert with a much rarer Gibson, for comparison ...
    https://www.pbs.org/video/appraisal-...ndolin-e6xq2u/
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  7. #5
    Moderator MikeEdgerton's Avatar
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    Default Re: Can this Gibson really fetch such a price?

    Already being discussed here and no, not even on a good day.
    "Bargain instruments are no bargains if you can't play them". These are the words of J. Garber.

  8. #6
    Mando-Accumulator Jim Garber's Avatar
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    Default Re: Can this Gibson really fetch such a price?

    Quote Originally Posted by mrmando View Post
    Either that or Dr. Lori the antique appraiser is at it again ...
    My favorite of her quotes, "the design and also the craftsmanship that only a couple of companies can do, Gibson, Martin, and of course, mandolin..."

    A prime example of ignorance with confidence and of course, you have to wear the gloves when handling these $7000 instruments.
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  9. #7
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    Default Re: Can this Gibson really fetch such a price?

    You're not missing anything. Absolute top dollar for the instrument would be somewhere around $1500, and that's pushing it.

  10. #8
    Registered User John Rosett's Avatar
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    Default Re: Can this Gibson really fetch such a price?

    It's a pre-WWII A-50. An A-1 wouldn't have pearl inlay in the peghead, or a bound fingerboard. Post-WWII A-50's also had no pearl inlay.
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  12. #9
    Martin Stillion mrmando's Avatar
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    Default Re: Can this Gibson really fetch such a price?

    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Garber View Post
    A prime example of ignorance with confidence and of course, you have to wear the gloves when handling these $7000 instruments.
    Hey, if I thought she could actually get $7K for a 1928 A0 I would consign my whole collection to her ...
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  13. #10
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    Default Re: Can this Gibson really fetch such a price?

    Does a appraisal like that stand up if the item gets stolen? Would the insurance company honor that? Im going to guess NO.

  14. #11
    Martin Stillion mrmando's Avatar
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    Default Re: Can this Gibson really fetch such a price?

    Quote Originally Posted by slimt View Post
    Does a appraisal like that stand up if the item gets stolen? Would the insurance company honor that? Im going to guess NO.
    ha ha ha ... I've been listening to a lot of "Yours Truly, Johnny Dollar" lately, but that angle hasn't come up yet. "The Matter of the Suspicious Theft of Overvalued Mandolins" doesn't exactly roll off the tongue.

    My insurer hasn't required me to provide any written appraisals. They insure instruments for the amount of money I say they are worth. However, should I file a claim I'm sure the adjuster would research the missing instrument's actual replacement value (that's the basis of valuations for instrument insurance) before cutting me a check.

    Which reminds me I just sold an instrument that was listed on my policy, so it's time to tweak the list ...
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    Registered User Timbofood's Avatar
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    Default Re: Can this Gibson really fetch such a price?

    Only if you’re Sirius!
    Huge range between $15 and 20,000
    Smacks of spoof to me.
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  17. #13
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    Default Re: Can this Gibson really fetch such a price?

    Isn’t Sirius also known as the “Dog” star?

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  19. #14
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    Default Re: Can this Gibson really fetch such a price?

    Maybe the appraisal actually was $1,500 to $2,000?? That would seem more likely, though a little low.

  20. #15

    Default Re: Can this Gibson really fetch such a price?

    I think the 1946 date is correct. The mandolin has WW2 era Kluson tuners and it is a return to the smaller A50 body style from 1944 on- but still with the inlaid logo which changed to a new gold block logo in 1947. It could well be that the seller has added an extra zero inadvertently as its value is abut ten times less than suggested!

  21. #16
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    Default Re: Can this Gibson really fetch such a price?

    Quote Originally Posted by rickbella View Post
    Maybe the appraisal actually was $1,500 to $2,000?? That would seem more likely, though a little low.
    That would be a realistic high to higher price actually. It certainly wouldn't be low.
    "Bargain instruments are no bargains if you can't play them". These are the words of J. Garber.

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  23. #17
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    Default Re: Can this Gibson really fetch such a price?

    If an A-50 of any vintage has been listed at $2000 or more at any respected vintage shop, it has not come to my attention.

    $2000 would be pushing it even for a fancy "boutique" shop.

    Asking prices of $1000 to $1500, depending on year and condition, are more like it. A squeaky clean early model might justify an asking price of $1850 if it had a clean original case, but at that price a seller should be prepared to take a lower offer.

    $15K??? Not even if it was Elvis's mandolin or the "Maggie Mae" mandolin, with a certified letter of provenance.

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    Default Re: Can this Gibson really fetch such a price?

    Quote Originally Posted by rcc56 View Post
    ...Not even if it was Elvis's mandolin or the "Maggie Mae" mandolin, with a certified letter of provenance....
    I can guarantee it wasn't used on Maggie Mae. Elvis is still up in the air

    https://www.mandolincafe.com/news/pu...ns_00938.shtml
    "Bargain instruments are no bargains if you can't play them". These are the words of J. Garber.

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  27. #19
    Martin Stillion mrmando's Avatar
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    Default Re: Can this Gibson really fetch such a price?

    The Cafe piece on Ray Jackson from 2008 stated that he still owned the Maggie May mandolin at that point. It was a Japanese electric KayKraft copy, Columbus brand.
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    Default Re: Can this Gibson really fetch such a price?

    I think some people who like instruments don't understand the "actual" vintage market and how it works. Same with old cars and how some people can get insane money and some are just confused by it.

    A local guy, 30 years ago had a couple nice electric guitars, a real 1954 strat and a 50's Gibson hollowbody electric. Anyway, he played them in nightclubs around here and when they were worth about $2500 each, he would tell people they were worth $20,000 each -- he just liked talking to people about them and was proud of them and the attention they brought him, well a few years ago he needed the money and guess what? He sold 'em for $2500 each, so.....he still didn't get it -- they probably WERE worth $20K each, when he finally let go of them....what can ya do?
    Last edited by Jeff Mando; Mar-17-2021 at 10:29pm.

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  31. #21
    Innocent Bystander JeffD's Avatar
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    Default Re: Can this Gibson really fetch such a price?

    I agree. I am comfortable with a value around $1500.00 Higher to someone who did not know what he was buying, lower to someone who did.

    I wonder about that comment that it is a "museum mandolin". That may point to an aspect of its price that I am not aware of. It was owned by someone of note, or was owned by a soldier and survived through a significant war, gifted but never collected by a famous diplomat, astronaut, musician. Something extra-mandolinny that makes it more significant.
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  32. #22
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    Default Re: Can this Gibson really fetch such a price?

    The above video by an antique dealer and appraiser was laughable, though sincere. She doesn't know mandolins well, at all. $7,000! At that price, I would have a hard time keeping my two common but nice Gibson A's I started with that were passed down through my wife's family. Anyway, great thread!
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  33. #23
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    Default Re: Can this Gibson really fetch such a price?

    Quote Originally Posted by mrmando View Post
    Maybe it's full of Dave Apollon's toenail clippings?

    Either that or Dr. Lori the antique appraiser is at it again ...
    So, is (the gibson) logo on the peg head original?

  34. #24
    Martin Stillion mrmando's Avatar
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    Default Re: Can this Gibson really fetch such a price?

    Quote Originally Posted by slimt View Post
    So, is (the gibson) logo on the peg head original?
    In 1928 the A Junior was renamed the A0. Pretty much the same instrument except now it had a headstock logo. And most headstock logos on 1928 Gibson mandolins go straight across like that. So, assuming that this instrument is a 1928 A0 as it appears to be, then yes, the logo is original.

    A0s can be really nice instruments. I found a lovely-sounding one at Greg Boyd's booth at a festival years ago, and recommended it to an orchestra friend who was looking to upgrade. She moved away and doesn't play with us regularly any longer, but I think she still has the A0.

    But an A0 is not worth $7K under any circumstances.
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  35. #25
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    Default Re: Can this Gibson really fetch such a price?

    I wonder what she’s a “Dr” of? A friend of mine is a competent guitar tech but, as his doctorate is in psychology, he doesn’t use it with his musician clients.

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