1923 Gibson A-2 Mandolin

Value (2014) | $3,000 Retail$3,500 Retail

I got this from my father-in-law. He is really good at finding objects at garage sales that are selling for way less than probably what they're valued at. He didn't know much about the actual mandolin but he recognized the Gibson name.


And so he went ahead and purchased it for $35 at this garage sale in Pennsylvania. He's held onto it for years. It's always been something fun to look at. And then gave it to my husband and me.

So have you played it at all?

No. I wasn't sure if it was in playable condition.

If you were going to play--


This would be a really nice instrument to play on. This instrument was made in in 1923, which for the Gibson Company in Kalamazoo, Michigan, turned out to be a really favorable era. It's known as the Loar era. This instrument started to be made in this shape around 1908, 1910.


This is the most evolved of them. So you picked the right era. It's a 1923 Gibson A-2 model. And it has all the features that it evolved to. It has an adjustable bridge. It has adjustable truss rod. There's a plastic plate up here on the peg head to make it more of a modern, functional instrument. Instruments are made the same way today. And amongst players, especially for Irish music, folk music this is considered one of the most desirable instruments. And it's in lovely condition. You see these instruments that have been played hard or not taken care of. This has a little bit of play-wear but it's obviously extremely well cared for. Obviously, $35 was a bargain. Today I would say, in a retail market, that this would have a value somewhere in the 3,000 to 3,500 dollar range.

Wow. OK. That's awesome.

Appraisal Details

Mass Street Music
Lawrence, KS
Appraised value (2014)
$3,000 Retail$3,500 Retail
Kansas City, MO (August 10, 2013)

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