Gibson F-4 Mandolin (1942)

THIS MANDOLIN IS ONE OF THE last F-4 models Gibson ever made. Interestingly its mandola-sized headstock is inlaid with “The Gibson” script logo and the small flowerpot of the Loar period (perhaps they were lying around the factory for 20 or so years). This particular F-4 was constructed with an elevated fingerboard, a feature rarely found on mandolins with oval holes. The top is finished with a sunburst lacquer on top and chocolate-brown coloring on the back and sides; the tuners are all-metal, typical of the period. As with many models, the F-4 remained a catalog item for many years with few actually being manufactured. One conjectures that many original components were saved for years and used sporadically, when someone ordered that particular model. In any case, very few F-4s were made in the 30s and ‘40s.

Track 15: Watson Blues
(from Tone Poems CD booklet , used by permission)

Photography by Eric Harger