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Thread: 1931 Fern

  1. #1
    Martin Stillion mrmando's Avatar
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    Default 1931 Fern

    "Two owners." Um ... was one of them Willie Nelson?
    https://dallas.craigslist.org/ndf/ms...296404490.html
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  2. #2
    Registered User Mike Buesseler's Avatar
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    Default Re: 1931 Fern

    Gipson?

  3. #3
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    Default Re: 1931 Fern

    That is one of the last of the early style ferns. Archtop instruments front that period are susceptible to pickguard decomposition. I know of another fern from the same period that had a guard that turned to powder.

  4. #4
    Mando accumulator allenhopkins's Avatar
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    Default Re: 1931 Fern

    So, whaddaya guys think --

    1. Is the seller bone-crazy to make a CraigsList ad with a $50K asking price -- considering that sales in that price range generally go through established vintage dealers?

    B. Is the seller likely to get $50K, or near it, for a '30's F-5 in that condition?
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  5. #5

    Default Re: 1931 Fern

    That guard needs to go into isolation away from the instrument! I suppose it is less of a hazard if it is out in the open but you don't want nitric acid dripping over your Fern!

  6. #6
    Martin Stillion mrmando's Avatar
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    Default Re: 1931 Fern

    This might be the same seller who posted a couch full of vintage Gibsons on the Dallas CL a few weeks ago. I bet he gets a few inquiries from dealers/flippers offering some portion of the $50K. A straight-up sale for the asking price seems less likely.

    And yes, I admit that during the Texas cold snap, my first thought was for my sister-in-law and her family in Richardson, who were already dealing with a tree dropped on their house by a storm a few months ago ... but my second thought was for that couch full of Gibsons.
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  7. #7

    Default Re: 1931 Fern

    Looks like someone at some point "went over" the serial number with a modern felt-tipped pen......I wish they hadn't.

  8. #8
    Registered User slimt's Avatar
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    Default Re: 1931 Fern

    Do these fetch that much in better condition?
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Click image for larger version. 

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  9. #9
    Martin Stillion mrmando's Avatar
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    Default Re: 1931 Fern

    I haven't seen many Style U harp guitars, but no, I don't think they come close to 50K. There are 4 on eBay right now in various states of repair, topping out at 7K.
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  10. #10
    Registered User slimt's Avatar
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    Default Re: 1931 Fern

    Quote Originally Posted by mrmando View Post
    I haven't seen many Style U harp guitars, but no, I don't think they come close to 50K. There are 4 on eBay right now in various states of repair, topping out at 7K.
    Hi. My question was about the Fern. I tried to delete the harp guitar picture , it wouldnt delete. Sorry for the confusion.

  11. #11
    Professional Dreamer journeybear's Avatar
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    Default Re: 1931 Fern

    Hey slimt - For future reference, to delete a pic in this thumbnail mode, it's a bit complicated, but you'll get used to it with practice. You have to go to Advanced, then Manage Attachments. Click on the image's filename, and a pop-up window appears, entitled File Upload Manager. There will be two sections, Folders and Attachments. You should see an icon of the picture in the Attachments section. Hover the cursor over it, and you'll see an x in the upper right corner. Click on it. A prompt will appear saying, "Are you sure that you wish to delete these assets?" - even if there's only one selected. Click OK, or enter, click on Save Changes, and you're done. This deletes the image from your post, but it's still in your folder if you want to use it at some later time.

    I say "for future reference" because you have three hours to edit a post before it becomes permanent. Happy Posting!
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  13. #12
    Professional Dreamer journeybear's Avatar
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    Default Re: 1931 Fern

    Quote Originally Posted by Mike Buesseler View Post
    Gipson?
    That's why the price is so high - they're so rare. Look around. You'll hardly ever see a Gipson being offered for sale.
    But that's just my opinion. I could be wrong. - Dennis Miller

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  14. #13
    Jo Dusepo, luthier Dusepo's Avatar
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    Default Re: 1931 Fern

    Well, I guess that pickguard has served it's purpose if it's preserved the soundboard underneath...
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  15. #14
    Moderator MikeEdgerton's Avatar
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    Default Re: 1931 Fern

    It will actually discolor the case and the mandolin if allowed to stay there. Then again, there is always the possibility of it simply catching fire. The pickguard needs to be put someplace where it can do no harm and I think his chance of selling at that price on CL is slim to none but hey, I'd buy that thing if it was about $250.00 or so.
    "Bargain instruments are no bargains if you can't play them". These are the words of J. Garber.

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  17. #15

    Default Re: 1931 Fern

    I think even under the best circumstances it is quite a feat to get someone to part with $50K for an instrument. A lot of hand-holding is involved to walk a customer through the process. Like Allen said, this is often best handled by established brokers/dealers.

    A quick online search showed one at Elderly for $58K and another at Mandolin Brothers for $89K -- both of them presented themselves better and both had been reduced in price, indicating to me that they "ain't exactly quick movers." But, there is value there.

    Prior to the crash of 2008 I saw quite a bit of speculating among investors and collectors, thinking $50K might turn into $75K with a quick turnaround, and that was mostly with Strats and Les Pauls. I think people are being more conservative these days. Like Mike says, if it was cheap enough, sure, but this ain't cheap!

    Much focus has been given to the ugly pickguard and I agree that it needs to be removed and replaced with a good repro (or better yet, a good original if one can be found!) This should have been done prior to the sale, IMHO. However, not a deal-breaker on a $50K instrument -- kinda like saying the wiper blades smear on a used Rolls Royce -- just fix it and it becomes a non-issue.

    Like I have said many times before, Craigslist is the wrong place to sell something like this, at least if you hope to get real money, IMHO. Craigslist is great for used lawnmowers, etc........

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