The Gibson F-7 was a fairly short-lived but extremely well regarded model, made for just six years between 1934 and 1939. What it is, essentially, is a Gibson prewar F-5 mandolin with simpler appointments, and having a neck that joins the body at the 10th fret. In terms of the simpler appointments, this model has single-ply crème celluloid side, neck, headstock and pickguard binding, unbound twin lower case f-shaped soundholes. Background: having found some degree of success with their new and revolutionary model F-5 mandolin (the F-5 has 13 frets on the fingerboard to the point where it joins the Florentine-design body) Gibson must have felt that there was a need for a less expensive f-hole Florentine mandolin that had the 10 frets to the body, 20 frets total, and no fingerboard extension. They provisioned it a “squared off” bottom of fingerboard. Instead of having the dotmarker pearl inlays of the F-2 and F-4, it has a varied pattern reminiscent of the Nick Lucas acoustic guitar with an etched diamond at 3, a lotus or something at 5, a swollen spread eagle on 7, and three scepters below that at 10, 12 and 15.
The tortoise celluloid pickguard is bound in ivoroid (with some red discoloration along the treble edge) but said pickguard has begun to deteriorate and is giving off the inevitable toxic gas that’s oxidizing the side clamp. Our shop will be making this mandolin a new pickguard. This one needs to come off the mandolin and be stored in a Zip Loc freezer baggie in the case. Or you could hide it in your ex-spouse’s sock drawer and it will, little by little, cause them to dissolve.
The bridge is two-piece, ebony and adjustable. The tailpiece cover is the standard “The Gibson” etched with floral engraving. The Florentine (double scrolls and a large point) headstock is black overlain and crème celluloid bound, and under its “Gibson” script logo is inlaid with a double-spout teapot (or perhaps a twin-handled vase) and under that one of those mechanical devices with which you can pick up Dunkin Donuts receipts that fall on the floor behind your large stereo speaker, or, as some might call them, “curlicues.” Its tuners are original, massive all metal open-geared devices with metal round buttons. The back of the neck shows normal hand wear and some nicks and crazing lines; the back of the mandolin has a 3” x 2” area of belt buckle contact plus other minor scratches and dings; the face shows crazing, dings and signs of gentle use. There are scuffs on the edges and point of the headstock.
We present to you one of the rarest and most desirable of all Gibson mandolin family instruments. If spending a hundred thousand dollars for our Gibson 1925 “Fern” F-5 mandolin is just not going to happen for you this year, you could own this prewar Gibson F-7 for a mere fraction of that amount and be puffickly happy to have it. NOW ON SALE! OUR PRICE WAS $12,887 BUT NOW ON SALE FOR: