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Help with dating a Gibson mandolin

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Hello all! I recently started dating a Gibson mandolin but I'm afraid she's seeing other people. What should I do?


Just kidding, I have a friend who recently offered to sell me his Gibson mandolin. He bought it in the States but can't really tell me much about it other than that, so we're not sure what would be a reasonable price for it. It sounds absolutely great and I want to offer him a fair price for it. Can anybody help us to identify its year and give a rough idea of its value? It comes with its original hard case.










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On 4/23/2022 at 12:21 AM, Dave F said:

Nice looking! Can you make out all the numbers?

Hi Dave. Thanks for your comment and sorry it's taken me so long to get back to you- I didn't realise that this forum doesn't automatically follow posts that you create! 
The numbers are tricky- the last one before the red 7 is basically illegible. I believe it's 462_ -7.

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An 'A' model with F-holes was introduced in 1934 and discontinued in 1943

Per Spann's book this range of FON numbers fall between 1940-1945 so I would narrow it down to 1940-1943

You may want to re-post this in the Acoustic forum. Quite a few members have these models and some members have copies of the shipping ledgers.

The head stock may help nail it down.

Edited by Dave F
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  • 2 months later...

I am far from an expert on Gibson mandolins. This is one of those it is easier to say what model it is not than what it is.  Regarding the FON though the "7" following the hyphen is a bin number which provided Gibson a means to track the number of instruments built in any particular batch.  The first three digits are the FON which can give you a build date. While Gibson did use three-digit FONS in the early-1930s (my 1932 L1 has one) the fact the last number is written in red pencil may be significant .   Somewhere in the dim reaches of my mind I associate this with instruments (at least when it comes to guitars) produced during WWII which if so would line up with what Dave F is saying about the build date.  

Edited by zombywoof
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  • 3 months later...

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