A splendid Gibson Style F-2 mandolin built in 1912 in Kalamazoo, Michigan, in excellent original condition.

At the time of its manufacture almost 112 years ago, this Artist model was right near the top-of-the-line among Gibson’s offering, short of being an F-4 model – the two styles are very similar in construction, differing only in the degree of decoration and the use of birch on the back and sides of the F-2 instead of maple on those of the F-4. Incidentally, the F-2 mandolin was sold for $75.00 in 1912, which represented a significant sum for the time. The original hardware is present in its entirety and in very good condition, including the raised celluloid pickguard fixed by a metal clamp allowing the height to be adjusted, Handel tuners, named after the New York company who produced these finely crafted pieces with ivoroid buttons inlaid with pearl and silver thread (they are also found on period instruments from other manufacturers such as Martin or Lyon & Healy), the tailpiece cover engraved with the name of the The Gibson brand and an ebony bridge with individual compensation for each pair of strings. In 1912, many of these elements constituted recent innovations (evidenced by the fact that many bear patent numbers dating back to a few years at most), and the Gibsons of this period condensed, well before the advances of the 1920s, a number of determining components for the further evolution of American lutherie.

We find this mandolin superbly preserved today, with a spruce top in its beautiful original ebonized finish presenting a lovely patina linked to its use during the past century, as well as the three-pieces mahogany neck whose fading of the varnish attests to continued use. All of the carved parts on the head and body of the instrument are perfectly intact and show no signs of cracks or breakage. The instrument is sold after a complete professional setup in our workshop, including fret level and crowning, action and intonation adjustment.

Comes in a fitted Calton case, built like a tank for taking this beautiful yet fragile instrument on the road!


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