1923 Gibson A-2 Mandolin
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.
Executive producer Marsha Bemko shares her tips for getting the most out of ANTIQUES ROADSHOW.
Value can change: The value of an item is dependent upon many things, including the condition of the object itself, trends in the market for that kind of object, and the location where the item will be sold. These are just some of the reasons why the answer to the question "What's it worth?" is so often "It depends."
Note the date: Take note of the date the appraisal was recorded. This information appears in the upper left corner of the page, with the label "Appraised On." Values change over time according to market forces, so the current value of the item could be higher, lower, or the same as when our expert first appraised it.
Context is key: Listen carefully. Most of our experts will give appraisal values in context. For example, you'll often hear them say what an item is worth "at auction," or "retail," or "for insurance purposes" (replacement value). Retail prices are different from wholesale prices. Often an auctioneer will talk about what she knows best: the auction market. A shop owner will usually talk about what he knows best: the retail price he'd place on the object in his shop. And though there are no hard and fast rules, an object's auction price can often be half its retail value; yet for other objects, an auction price could be higher than retail. As a rule, however, retail and insurance/replacement values are about the same.
Verbal approximations: The values given by the experts on ANTIQUES ROADSHOW are considered "verbal approximations of value." Technically, an "appraisal" is a legal document, generally for insurance purposes, written by a qualified expert and paid for by the owner of the item. An appraisal usually involves an extensive amount of research to establish authenticity, provenance, composition, method of construction, and other important attributes of a particular object.
Opinion of value: As with all appraisals, the verbal approximations of value given at ROADSHOW events are our experts' opinions formed from their knowledge of antiques and collectibles, market trends, and other factors. Although our valuations are based on research and experience, opinions can, and sometimes do, vary among experts.
Appraiser affiliations: Finally, the affiliation of the appraiser may have changed since the appraisal was recorded. To see current contact information for an appraiser in the ROADSHOW Archive, click on the link below the appraiser's picture. Our Appraiser Index also contains a complete list of active ROADSHOW appraisers and their contact details and biographies.