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c.1912 Gibson Model K-1 Mandocello

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SN#" (-)5022 white oval Gibson Mandolin-Guitar Co. label FON #: (1)830

Body width: 14" Scale length: 24 3/4" Nut width: 1 5/8"

Materials: Solid bookmatched hand graduated spruce top; hand carved bookmatched birch back and sides; 3 piece mahogany neck; solid ebony fingerboard; grained ivoroid body and neck binding.

Hardware: Original nickel open backed gear-over-worm tuners with grained ivoroid keys. Vintage correct aged nickel engraved Gibson script tailpiece. Compensated adjustable ebony bridge, original one-piece ebony bridge included.

Notes: The Gibson model K-1 mandola was introduced in 1902, and remained in the Gibson catalog until 1943, though according to Gruhn, very few were shipped after 1930. As the tenor voice in the mandolin orchestra, the mandocello shares the same C-G-D-A tuning as a cello, tuned an octave below the mandola.

All carved from solid tonewoods, the instrument features a hand graduated soundboard with grain strongly suggestive of Adirondack 'red' spruce. The body is crafted of slab-cut birch, with a three piece mahogany neck, and an ebony fingerboard with a slight extension over the soundhole.

Elegant and stylish, the K-1 is fitted with grained ivoroid binding and tuners, and twin checkerboard soundhole rings, with the original ambered orange finish hand rubbed in violin style varnish. At just 4lb 2oz, this example is nicely light in weight and well balanced on the lap or the strap. The traditional V profile neck offers smooth low action over a straight ebony fingerboard, with gleaming new fretwork, and a fresh high precision setup. Intonation and playability are optimized by the compensated adjustable ebony bridge, with the original one-piece ebony bridge included in its more recent oval hardshell case.

The instrument shows no cracks in the body or neck, and has been maintained in fine condition, with all original finish. The body shows light normal playwear, with some buckle rash on the back, and a filled strap pin hole on the treble side. The voice is deep and resonant, with a clear, open growl that is instantly appealing.

Built in very limited numbers, mandocellos constituted only a tiny fraction of the production of Gibson's mandolins. A remarkable find, with classic prewar (WWI!) tone, and 21st Century playability for the most demanding performer. One only, call now.

Special Offer! This instrument is also offered as a set with matching 1914 Gibson H -1 Mandola, and 1916 Gibson A-Model Mandolin. Discount price for the full set is $7495, subject to sales of individual pieces.
















































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