This gorgeous 1917 Gibson Model A mandolin is better than mint. Its a creampuff. It looks like it came out of the showroom yesterday. Now having said that, this is not a museum piece and its not all original. The pick guard, tailpiece, tuners, bridge, and neck have all been changed and it may have even been refinished. Everything was done so professionally that I believe it was probably done by Gibson, sometime in the 1950's. I date the changes in the 1950s because the Gibson logo on the tailpiece looks like the 1950s logo. The pick guard is screwed in to a mounting brace, not glued on the way they were in 1917. The tailpiece is not floral engraved like they were in 1917. The tuners are closed, not open. The bridge is adjustable, not fixed. And the neck has a truss rod, which Gibson didn't start using until the 1920's. The finish is so glossy and perfect that, with all the other changes, I suspect it may have also been refinished by Gibson. The finish is the beautiful original pumpkin that these mandos came with in the early part of the 20th century. The hard shell case does seem to be original. Its in pretty good shape, but does have a small rip or two in the tolex (see pics). The handle of the case has also had the leather stripped away, but the rest is intact. Don't get thrown off by the fact that there is no Gibson logo on the headstock. Thats how they came in 1917. This is a player's instrument. It sounds incredible, and most of the changes actually make it a better instrument. Serial # is 38263.
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