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Thread: 1908 F4 w/o case serial number 9245

  1. #1

    Default 1908 F4 w/o case serial number 9245

    any thoughts on a value for this instrument. a couple of top of headstock chips and a short scratch on the back....little sign of fret wear....red sunburst

  2. #2
    Registered User slimt's Avatar
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    Default Re: 1908 F4 w/o case serial number 9245

    Quote Originally Posted by Dnyedy View Post
    any thoughts on a value for this instrument. a couple of top of headstock chips and a short scratch on the back....little sign of fret wear....red sunburst
    Hi. Do you have a few pictures? It would be nice to see a Burst in one of these.

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    Default Re: 1908 F4 w/o case serial number 9245

    I don't want to disappoint you, but if the serial number you gave is correct, it is unlikely that a sunburst top finish would be original to the instrument.

    The standard colors for that period were black and blonde. The red top finishes started to appear circa 1913 or '14, starting somewhere around serial number 16700 or so, and don't appear to have become standard until around S/N 20000.

    Clear pictures of the top, back, and the peghead would be necessary to estimate the market value.

  4. #4

    Default Re: 1908 F4 w/o case serial number 9245

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    Registered User slimt's Avatar
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    Default Re: 1908 F4 w/o case serial number 9245

    I like that. Truss rod too. Your missing a digit on your serial number though. You get number off the neck block or label?

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    Default Re: 1908 F4 w/o case serial number 9245

    Chances are pretty good that you might be missing a number. My opinion is that it was made between 1922 and 1929 or so. If the serial number on the paper label is 69245, it was made in 1922; if it's 79245, it's a 1925 or '26.

    If you can shine a flashlight inside the sound hole, you might find a number ink stamped on the block of would that the neck attaches to. That number is probably different than the number on the label. If the number on the block is also 9245, it was made in 1929. A picture of the paper label, and another of the back of the neck would also be helpful to narrow it down.

    The shallow angle on "The Gibson" logo makes me tend to believe that it's more likely that the instrument is from the later '20's rather than the earlier '20's, but I would need more information to be certain about that.

    It's risky to say more without the instrument in hand, but if it is as clean and original as it appears in the photos, I would estimate its value at $6000 or more.

    I strongly recommend that you get a case of some kind to protect it as soon as possible.
    Last edited by rcc56; Apr-09-2021 at 12:39am.

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    Registered User slimt's Avatar
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    Default Re: 1908 F4 w/o case serial number 9245

    Be interesting to check and see if it has a Virzi label too. Ya never know.

  8. #8

    Default Re: 1908 F4 w/o case serial number 9245

    got the number from inside the soundhole stamped on the end iff the nexk. definitely not missing a number

  9. #9

    Default Re: 1908 F4 w/o case serial number 9245

    neck block

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    Default Re: 1908 F4 w/o case serial number 9245

    OK. That number is called a "factory order number," and is probably different from any serial number that was printed on the paper label when it left the factory [if it had one].

    Anyway, your mandolin was built in 1929. If its condition is indeed as nice as it looks in the pictures, a conservative estimate of its market value is $6000 or more.

    Find a case and don't let it get scratched up.

  11. #11

    Default Re: 1908 F4 w/o case serial number 9245

    thanks for advice and sharing knowledge....paper label directly from under soundhole stating ....patented’98 and’06....MANDOLIN ...style F4.....Kalamazoo.....pick guard patent Mar 30,09.....

    - - - Updated - - -

    no number on label

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    Default Re: 1908 F4 w/o case serial number 9245

    Well, that's Gibson for you. The label is "supposed" to have a 5 digit serial number, but this wouldn't be the first time that one has turned up with the number missing.

    Anyway, that's a very nice mandolin. If you don't already play mandolin, you have a great instrument to learn on, if you want to. If you already play, it is a professional grade instrument that can provide you with many years of pleasure.

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    Default Re: 1908 F4 w/o case serial number 9245

    Most, if not all, serial numbers were written in pencil which tends to fade away. Try looking at it with different light sources at various levels.

  14. #14

    Default Re: 1908 F4 w/o case serial number 9245

    ok. Thanks I’ll look a little closer when I get home tonight

  15. #15

    Default Re: 1908 F4 w/o case serial number 9245

    Your mandolin has a truss rod which did not appear until about 1922 and it also has engraved Waverly tuners which Gibson began to use in the mid to late 1920s- depending on the model, so the date of 1929 already mentioned seems to me, to be very accurate. Clearly, the number is wrong or not legible. There was a man trying to sell a 1934 Gibson guitar as a 1924 guitar. Everything about it screamed 1934- not 1924. The label by 1934 was ink stamped- and it was clear that the stamp had been set up incorrectly. I also told him that the number in his guitar was the same number as a 1924 Gibson mandolin that was listed in the Gibson Mandolin Archive. He was having none of it and reckoned that "Gibson did not make mistakes." I suppose he was a true believer or did not know anything about Gibson and its history. Here's an F4 in that archive- you can search for other F4 mandolins with photos and make comparisons. http://www.mandolinarchive.com/gibson/serial/85663

    Lovely mandolin, by the way!

  16. #16

    Default Re: 1908 F4 w/o case serial number 9245

    I have gained a lot of knowledge about this mandolin from this forum and appreciate all of it so thanks to everyone for taking the time to comment and thank you NickR for the photos....Denny

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    Default Re: 1908 F4 w/o case serial number 9245

    Quote Originally Posted by NickR View Post
    ...He was having none of it and reckoned that "Gibson did not make mistakes." I suppose he was a true believer or did not know anything about Gibson and its history...
    Amen to that. If there's one thing consistent about vintage Gibsons, it's possibly inconsistency. Many threads on the Cafe about Gibson mandolins that don't fit the generally accepted specs etc.

    Part of their charm, I guess -- but a 1908 mandolin with an original truss rod, would be a real "black swan."
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