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Thread: Unsigned Loar on Reveb

  1. #51
    Formerly F5JOURNL Darryl Wolfe's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2003
    aiken, sc

    Default Re: Unsigned Loar on Reveb

    These are un-signed Loars. Flowerpot, proper look finish, FON number aligns with the last signed batch of Loars. The only difference is the lack of label, and the serial number are relative to Loar signed serial numbers

    With regard to the Spann book and information. I have said this over and over. The book is a work of art and he has used certain information to more accurately date things. However, in my opinion, his all inclusive statement that serial numbers were assigned when shipped does not meet all circumstances. It meets most all circumstances after 1925. But, if it applied to mandolins built in 1923 and 1924, then Loar serial numbers would not be in consecutive order like every single one is. It took years to sell all of the Loar signed and dated mandolins and it has been verified that many did not ship until the mid to late 20's.. This accounts for some of the gold parts anomalies and some being factory oversprayed.

    The Reverb mandolin that is the subject of this thread is not an unsigned Loar. It may be constructed of parts made in 1923 or 1924, but it was asked for by FON and the FON assigned well after Loar was gone. Gibson by this time had changed the business model and in affect were building to suit (via FON), not in advance. Therefore we see drastic changes in colors, actual finish, bindings and parts used compared to the Loar era. And it is now that we see smaller batches (some with consecutive serials, some not) and we see disjointed serial numbers compared to what the instrument looks like. This is where Joe Spann is exactly correct. This is why we see a 1931 Spann dating) serial number on a mandolin most obviously fully finished in say 1926 or 1927 with a thin dull lacquer finish and dot inlay starting at the 5th fret instead of block inlay or dots starting at the 3rd fret.
    Darryl G. Wolfe, The F5 Journal

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  3. #52
    Registered User Hendrik Ahrend's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Leer, Northern Germany

    Default Re: Unsigned Loar on Reveb

    Thanks for your explanation, Darryl. Please allow for commenting on your statement "However, in my opinion, his all inclusive statement that serial numbers were assigned when shipped does not meet all circumstances. It meets most all circumstances after 1925."
    Darryl, with all due respect, Joe Spann mentions that the Master Models had their serial numbers reserved in advance. While this was an exception (Master Models with their Loar signature were exceptional anyway), Spann's basic observation/explanation of FONs indicating the time of manufacture and serial numbers indicating the time of shipment, makes a lot of sense IMHO. If this was not the case, it wouldn't have made any sense at all for Gibson using both FONs and serial numbers, would it? There is no indication that FONs were not assigned in chronological order (although, of course, there were reoccurring series of FONs). Now, FON 11965 is an early 1924 F5 (Feb. 18th), FON 11985 are a late '24 Loar F5 (Dec.1) and the unsigned Loars. Those two mentioned FONs are only 20 numbers apart and both from 1923 (according to Spann). What do you make of this?

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