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Thread: Franken-Gibson: the whole is not equal to the sum of the parts

  1. #1
    Martin Stillion mrmando's Avatar
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    Default Franken-Gibson: the whole is not equal to the sum of the parts

    I'm guessing this was retopped?

    Either the Handels were transplanted from another instrument or the headplate has been replaced. Among A-style mandolins, Handels were used only on the A4, and an A4 should have a Gibson logo and fleur-de-lis on the headstock.

    Top is bellying and the bridge has been cut way down.

    It is worth the 99-cent starting bid, anyhow.

    https://www.ebay.com/itm/Gibson-A-0-...gWKuu#viTabs_0
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    Professional Dreamer journeybear's Avatar
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    Default Re: Franken-Gibson: the whole is not equal to the sum of the part

    Depending on the final price, keep the tailpiece cover and Handels and throw the rest away.

    Wondering about the strap button. I thought back then they were all black. Another replacement?
    But that's just my opinion. I could be wrong. - Dennis Miller

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    Registered User sunburst's Avatar
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    Default Re: Franken-Gibson: the whole is not equal to the sum of the part

    The body shape doesn't look right. Maybe more than just a new top. Can't tell much from pictures.

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    Default Re: Franken-Gibson: the whole is not equal to the sum of the part

    Seems to me this one was discussed not very long ago, although it appears to have had some repairs since then.

    The body looks to me like standard early Gibson shape from the back, although the spline is a bit off center, possibly a result of it being stripped and re-finished. But what appears to be the grain of the back is bothersome to me.

    There's a couple of things that are weird about the top, to me it is mostly the look of the soundhole. That area appears to have been modified, and the whole instrument refinished [I'm using that term loosely]. It might simply be a heavily re-worked original top, or it might indeed be a replacement. But no, we can't tell much from those pictures.

    I think it started out as a 'teens plain A, and that the fingerboard came from an A-1, A-2, or an early F-hole model. The 19 fret fingerboard is wrong for the period, it was either shortened or is from a much later period. It does look like a Gibson board, though.

    Whatever it was originally, it is certainly a mess now. But . . .

    If the plates weren't thinned too much when it was painted with whatever is on it, it might be a candidate for an apprentice or a capable hobbyist to strip and re-varnish, re-bind the top, and restore the soundhole to a more correct configuration. But it is certainly not an instrument to repair for profit. And yes, the tuners are worth a little money. The tailpiece plating doesn't look quite right to me, it might have been re-done.
    Last edited by rcc56; Mar-24-2021 at 12:48am.

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  6. #5
    Martin Stillion mrmando's Avatar
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    Default Re: Franken-Gibson: the whole is not equal to the sum of the part

    Quote Originally Posted by rcc56 View Post
    Seems to me this one was discussed not very long ago, although it appears to have had some repairs since then.
    Correct ... it was on Reverb and we discussed it then, although I don't think I caught on to the Handel tuners at the time: https://reverb.com/item/37006681-gib...ca-1910-cherry
    The 19 fret fingerboard is wrong for the period, it was either shortened or is from a much later period. It does look like a Gibson board, though.
    Hm. If it were from a later period, wouldn't it have a marker on the 3rd fret? it sticks in my mind that 3rd-fret markers were added in 1929.
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  7. #6

    Default Re: Franken-Gibson: the whole is not equal to the sum of the part

    It seems this mandolin has the power to make its owners wax lyrical and churn out the prose by the truckload to extol the instrument's virtues. I can't help thinking that there is a reason for this prolix verbiage. I liked this pearl from the Reverb screed:

    "I just prefer the volume of F-Style mangos"

    Most people are interested in the taste but each to his own.

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    Professional Dreamer journeybear's Avatar
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    Default Re: Franken-Gibson: the whole is not equal to the sum of the part

    From the Reverb listing: "It could also use new strings."

    I wonder why the eBay listing doesn't have a starting bid more commensurate with the Reverb listing's optimism.
    But that's just my opinion. I could be wrong. - Dennis Miller

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    Registered User Eric Platt's Avatar
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    Default Re: Franken-Gibson: the whole is not equal to the sum of the part

    Am wondering if it originally was a ca. 1909 with the more shallow neck angle? That would account for the low bridge.

    rcc56 is right - the back looks strange. Like it's spruce. Which, maybe it is. Custom ordered? Employee experiment?

    Also think the larger than normal dart on the headstock for the ebony reinforcement also indicates pre-1910. And the fingerboard, while bound, looks similar to the one on the 1910 I had.

    But I've been wrong on this stuff so often, don't trust my judgement at all.
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  11. #9

    Default Re: Franken-Gibson: the whole is not equal to the sum of the part

    It disappeared before I could place my .99 cent starting bid.........

    I really, really, really hate when sellers play games like that, FWIW.

  12. #10
    Professional Dreamer journeybear's Avatar
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    Default Re: Franken-Gibson: the whole is not equal to the sum of the part

    "This listing was ended by the seller because there was an error in the listing."

    So he says. And yes, it's so, as noted. So there's hope it will be corrected and returned for perusal.
    But that's just my opinion. I could be wrong. - Dennis Miller

    Furthering Mandolin Consciousness

    Blues Mando Social Group
    Gibson Mandolins Social Group
    North Florida Mandolin Players Social Group

    Lucinda Williams and Eric Von Schmidt (who would have turned 90 5/28/21), the night devotee met hero (and both my heroes)

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