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Thread: I sure Like the 29 Fern in the Classifieds

  1. #1
    Registered User Willow20's Avatar
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    Default I sure Like the 29 Fern in the Classifieds

    Anyone know the History ? https://www.mandolincafe.com/ads/199678#199678
    Best/willow
    Red Diamond July 9 F and a pretty nice Gilchrist F

  2. #2
    Registered User John Rosett's Avatar
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    Default Re: I sure Like the 29 Fern in the Classifieds

    I don't know the history, but I live close to Greg's shop and have played it several times. It's a great mandolin!
    "it's not in bad taste, if it's funny" - john waters

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    Registered User Hendrik Ahrend's Avatar
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    Default Re: I sure Like the 29 Fern in the Classifieds

    Quote Originally Posted by John Rosett View Post
    I don't know the history, but I live close to Greg's shop and have played it several times. It's a great mandolin!
    Well, part of its history may be that it was probably made in 1930 rather than '29 – which would make it a "30s" F5 instead of a "20s-almost-a-Loar" F5, too bad.

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  6. #4

    Default Re: I sure Like the 29 Fern in the Classifieds

    I feel like that has been listed at Boyd’s forever. Atleast 5 years of not more?

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    Registered User John Rosett's Avatar
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    Default Re: I sure Like the 29 Fern in the Classifieds

    Quote Originally Posted by Josh Levine View Post
    I feel like that has been listed at Boyd’s forever. Atleast 5 years of not more?
    It might be a year, but not much more than that.
    "it's not in bad taste, if it's funny" - john waters

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  10. #6
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    Default Re: I sure Like the 29 Fern in the Classifieds

    This mandolin sounded great in the Wintergrass Fretboard Journal Vintage instrument Workshop we did last year. Greg was kind enough to let us use it for this session and Sharon Gilchrist and Joe K Walsh played it. The songs are labeled on the video but you easily can tell this one as it is the F-5 with ID tag hanging off of the headstock.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6Q6Le2dFHGM&t=863s

    Mark

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  12. #7
    Mando-Accumulator Jim Garber's Avatar
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    Default Re: I sure Like the 29 Fern in the Classifieds

    It you could easily get it for $59,000…
    Jim

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  14. #8
    Registered User Willow20's Avatar
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    Default Re: I sure Like the 29 Fern in the Classifieds

    Thanks, men, for your input, I called Greg and got all the info, we agreed to talk again in couple days.
    Best/willow
    Red Diamond July 9 F and a pretty nice Gilchrist F

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    Registered User William Smith's Avatar
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    Default Re: I sure Like the 29 Fern in the Classifieds

    Quote Originally Posted by markd View Post
    This mandolin sounded great in the Wintergrass Fretboard Journal Vintage instrument Workshop we did last year. Greg was kind enough to let us use it for this session and Sharon Gilchrist and Joe K Walsh played it. The songs are labeled on the video but you easily can tell this one as it is the F-5 with ID tag hanging off of the headstock.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6Q6Le2dFHGM&t=863s

    Mark
    My old 37 F-7 convert still sounds mighty fine Mark

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    Gone Fishing Tiderider's Avatar
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    Default Re: I sure Like the 29 Fern in the Classifieds

    Quote Originally Posted by Willow20 View Post
    Thanks, men, for your input, I called Greg and got all the info, we agreed to talk again in couple days.
    Best/willow
    So what is the history?
    Lee Hill

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  19. #11
    Registered User Willow20's Avatar
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    Default Re: I sure Like the 29 Fern in the Classifieds

    Quote Originally Posted by Tiderider View Post
    So what is the history?
    It was owned by a gentleman that kept it many years and never had it even setup
    Im told it is totally original.
    But then there is this............
    Click image for larger version. 

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    Red Diamond July 9 F and a pretty nice Gilchrist F

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  21. #12
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    Default Re: I sure Like the 29 Fern in the Classifieds

    If you're referring to the plugged hole for the pickguard mounting bracket, it could be a factory "oops," or a change that was made later, either by Gibson or by someone else.
    The pickguard looks correct for the period, and the color match on the plugged hole is good.
    If you're seriously considering the instrument, it's up to you whether or not you want to lose sleep over it. If it were me, I probably wouldn't worry too much about it. It might be a useful factor if you decide to negotiate on the price, though.

    ================================================== ==================================

    For the record, I know of a signed F-5 with a bent rod and leaning pickguard bracket caused by what appears to be a factory-mislocated hole. In that case, they just used the mislocated hole, which was only off by 1/8" or less. To me, it appears pretty likely that the anomaly occurred during the original assembly process. At any rate, no one has questioned the authenticity and originality of the mandolin.
    Last edited by rcc56; Feb-03-2023 at 7:27pm.

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  23. #13
    Gone Fishing Tiderider's Avatar
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    Default Re: I sure Like the 29 Fern in the Classifieds

    It looks as if the binding runs over the edge of the plug, which would lend it was there from the start.
    Lee Hill

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  25. #14
    Registered User Hendrik Ahrend's Avatar
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    Default Re: I sure Like the 29 Fern in the Classifieds

    Quote Originally Posted by Willow20 View Post
    Im told it is totally original.
    But then there is this............
    Click image for larger version. 

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    I've never seen such a short pick guard mount on an old F5.

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  27. #15
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    Default Re: I sure Like the 29 Fern in the Classifieds

    I also am not sure of the origin of the mounting bracket.
    The guard itself looks correct.
    Most old instruments that I encounter have had something changed over the years-- fretwork, or a nut, or an end pin, or a bridge or bridge saddle, or a screw, etc.

    Gruhn's has a couple of old fern F-5's. One is missing the pickguard.
    I am familiar with the other, which has a replica guard because the old one turned to powder. IIRC, Dudenbostel made the guard.
    Both seem to be priced favorably.

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  29. #16
    Formerly F5JOURNL Darryl Wolfe's Avatar
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    Default Re: I sure Like the 29 Fern in the Classifieds

    That mandolin is serial 88185. One of the ones at Gruhn is 88184. That guard bracket looks to be modified to pull the guard down. This photo is of 88184. The difference is all above the binding

    Click image for larger version. 

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    As far as this what year is it thing goes, Spann has a new dating method and he would call both of these 1931's. Previously we were calling the 89725 batch of ferns 1929's. Spanns dating is based on shipping dates which are hard fact. I believe there is some room to argue as to when the mandolins were actually made, but it really does not matter.

    What matters to me is the actual looks via the craftsmanship and the finish type and appointments. The fern I recently acquired, these two subject Ferns, and quite a few more all look the same, but their serials are all over the map from 86xxx to 901xx. So, call it the year you wish, but they seem to have hung in the factory for years.
    Darryl G. Wolfe, The F5 Journal
    www.f5journal.com

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  31. #17
    Registered User Hendrik Ahrend's Avatar
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    Default Re: I sure Like the 29 Fern in the Classifieds

    Quote Originally Posted by Darryl Wolfe View Post

    As far as this what year is it thing goes, Spann has a new dating method and he would call both of these 1931's. Previously we were calling the 89725 batch of ferns 1929's. Spanns dating is based on shipping dates which are hard fact. I believe there is some room to argue as to when the mandolins were actually made, but it really does not matter.
    What matters to me is the actual looks via the craftsmanship and the finish type and appointments. The fern I recently acquired, these two subject Ferns, and quite a few more all look the same, but their serials are all over the map from 86xxx to 901xx. So, call it the year you wish, but they seem to have hung in the factory for years.
    I certainly agree for the most part. As far as I understand Spann's results, wouldn't he date the instruments mainly by the FON (and construction features)? Most dealers seem to cling to the serial number, which normally indicates the shipping date – according to Spann. Hence, I'm not convinced that "Spann (...) would call both of these 1931's" – unless the mentioned F5s' FONs were known and pointed to 1931. Are they?
    A few FONs are, indeed, known. Three F5s (87367; 87564; 87828) among the mentioned series were shipped in 1931, while produced in 1930 as per their common FON 9681 (according to Spann). The next (MA accounted for) F5 with a known FON (namely 285) is # 88828, both figures pointing to 1932. The FON of the F5 in question (88184) may be somewhere in between.
    Last edited by Hendrik Ahrend; Feb-19-2023 at 9:17am.

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  33. #18
    Registered User Hendrik Ahrend's Avatar
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    Default Re: I sure Like the 29 Fern in the Classifieds

    Quote Originally Posted by Hendrik Ahrend View Post
    The FON of the F5 in question (88184) may be somewhere in between.
    The FON is 150, which makes the production year 1931 (according to Spann).

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