Gibson (used, 1919) F-4 Mandolin

Tag No 32-4422 Used

#52936, in “very good” condition, with the original hard shell case.

The F-4 model Gibson was their highest mandolin model until it was superseded in 1922 by the famous Lloyd Loar F-5.   Up until that fateful day all Gibson carved top and back mandolins had the oval soundhole, as has this, and being the senior model this has a bound soundhole, rope marquetry and celluloid soundhole decoration (rosette), a long and fancy mother of pearl torch inlaid peghead bearing the “The Gibson” script pearl inlaid logo above it.  When this example arrived it was missing two small pieces of herringbone from the soundhole rosette.  Our repair shop will replace and fill this area.   The finish is missing, caused by playwear, from the inner most ring of the soundhole.  Also, in the same vicinity there is missing finish along the treble side of the top, which is likely a result of finish checking along the grain and playwear. 

The top and back are bound in single-ply ivoroid, as are the fingerboard and peghead.  The carved back is comprised of two pieces of curly maple, the sides are maple and the neck is birch.  The back and front of the peghead are black; the neck shows light playwear, and the body and peghead show light signs of use and wear:  minor dings and some light signs of finish checking on the top.   This mandolin retains its standard “The Gibson” and floral pattern tailpiece cover.    The bridge is the standard Gibson one-piece ebony with the small hole for the pickguard stabilizing rod to stick through which has modified saddle inserts for better intonation.   The end pin is newer ebony with a ruby dot. 

In the past this mandolin suffered from some top cracks which led to a slightly sinking top on the treble side of the bridge.  Luthier Greg Gfell from Kent, OH stabilized and reinforced the top by adding two braces and cleating and gluing the cracks (see diagram in photo secton).  In doing this repair the ivoroid binding around the sound became slightly discolored but remains intact.  The luthier also repaired something at the lower point, but we aren’t exactly sure what.  Likely it was binding that was starting to separate – although we can’t tell what precisely the repair was, but it is noted in his diagram. 

All in all this is a remarkably great sounding and loud mandolin.   Sonically, on a scale from one to ten we think this is a 9.8!  For performance, recording, or just for hugging all of the time to provide oneself comfort, this mandolin, like a fish to a peckish pelican, fills the bill.


Our Price is $4,699.00.

Sorry, this item has been sold.
You may still add it to your want list, and we will contact you if your desired instrument comes in!

Additional Photos (click for expanded view)

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