1922 Gibson A Jr Mandolin
This is a wonderful Gibson A Jr Mandolin however it has the wear you would expect to see on a 1922 instrument. All hardware and finish is original. View the scratches, dents and wear in the detailed photos below. Additionally, we have included the inspection report from our friends at Gruhn's Guitars. Includes the original Gibson Hardshell Case.
There are very many styles and varieties of mandolins made by very many manufacturers and independent luthiers. However, Mandolin referred to in the USA are more than likely those manufactured by the Gibson Co. (or patterned after the Gibsons).
Orville Gibson (born 1856, Chateaugay, New York) started making mandolins in Kalamazoo, Michigan, United States. The mandolins were distinctive in that they featured a carved, arched solid wood top and back and bent wood sides. Prior to this, mandolins had a flat solid wood top and a bowl-like back similar to a lute. These bowl-back mandolins were very fragile and unstable. Disdainful of the shape, Orville Gibson characterized them as "potato bugs". Gibson's innovation made a distinctive, darker-sounding mandolin that was easier to manufacture in large numbers.
In 1922 Gibson introduced a level of master-grade instruments under the watchful eye of its top engineer, Mr. Lloyd Loar. These instruments designated as the F5 mandolin, L5 guitar, H5 mandola, K5 mandocello, no mandobass and exactly one A5 mandolin; were characterized by very high quality workmanship, materials, ornamentation AND f-shaped soundholes. The F5 mandolin also has a longer neck than the previous mandolins allowing easier access to the higher frets. These instruments signed by Mr. Loar have become highly prized collector items.
This vintage "Loar Period" 1922 (not signed by Mr. Loar!) Gibson A-Junior Mandolin is in excellent condition, especially for its age! The "A Junior" model was the entry level mandolin for Gibson. Even so, these are excellent instruments. Every piece of it is original (including the finish, tuners, bridge and the tortoise-shell pick guard). The pick guard clamp even has a "PAT. JULY 4, 1911" stamp on it and the pickguard includes a patent stamp of Mar 30, 1909. It has an all solid wood and finished with a Sheraton brown stain. It shows some signs of wear, but it has no seam separation, missing pieces or extra drill-holes - absolutely amazing for being 90 years old! The truss rod is not adjustable by design...in fact, 1922 was the first year Gibson Mandolins even contained truss rods. It has a Paddlehead-style headstock, has exceptional sound and is an all-around beautiful instrument.
You get all of the Loar era improvements with a wider neck for more comfortable playing. Plays very easy and has strong volume with a very balanced sound - this would be a good session instrument. Excellent for Celtic, jazz, classical, or old-time music. It plays wonderfully, has a great loud "chop", and a beautiful warm sound.
Go ahead and take a look at some of our other high quality Pre-Owned Mandolins.