Lloyd Loar Mandolin Gibson F-5 # 71719: Gold 'Un
Gibson F-5 mandolin # 79719, was signed and dated by acoustical engineer Lloyd Loar on December 1, 1924, and is in excellent condition. This mandolin has some unusual features, most of which are examples of design and materials that gibson moved to after the Loar era. Consequently, there is some question in the market about whether or not the unusual features were added after original issue, but according to our inspection it does appear to be factory original except for tuner buttons and case.
Features and appointments on Gibson F-5 # 79719 that are typical of the Loar F-5 include the classic carved top and parallel tone bar construction with f-holes and long, single piece curly maple neck (which places the bridge in the center of the f-holes); back and sides of book matched sugar maple; red spruce top; pear wood headstock overlay with inlay consisting of mother-of-pearl “The Gibson” and abalone flowerpot; pearl cut in the style of the 1924 F-5s; pickguard following body points; dark shaded-sunburst oil varnish finish; and Geib and Sons case. The features of Gibson F-5 # 79719 unique to this mandolin include: the top coat of finish, which is an early form of nitrocellulose without smoother which appears to have been sprayed over the oil varnish (most Loar signed F-5s we have examined have spirit varnish top coat, however this appears to be factory original and is the earliest appearance of nitrocellulose at the Gibson factory in our records); the peghead overlay, which is bound with white/black/white plastic binding, while the rest of the mandolin is bound in ivoroid (again this appears original, it has never been replaced or drilled through); "The Gibson”, which is cut and inlaid crudely, while the flowerpot is quite nice; the tailpiece cover, which is hand engraved and is similar to the early post-Loar F-5s and shows gold plating over a nickel base; the tuners, which are gold plated, rounded end, engraved, have fixed plastic buttons and worm over round gears (the type usually associated with Gibson F-4 models of the post Loar era); plastic tuner buttons (the originals were the type that often show deterioration and have been replaced by prominent luthier Lynn Dudenbostel); the point caps, which are genuine ivory, not ivoroid; the signature label, which is upside down and signed in water-based ink instrad of the usual India ink. Also of note, but not necessarily divergent from previous mandolins, the upper point cap is dovetailed while the rear one is square cut; the braces are quite small and rounded; the fabric under lining on the inside of the f holes is cut very precisely and the construction throughout the interior of the instrument is clean and perfect. This mandolin has a very nice sound and is very pleasant to play.