1923 Gibson 'Lloyd Loar' F5 Mandolin
Inside label signed by Lloyd Loar on Feb. 26, 1923.
Beautiful “Tobacco” Cremona Sunburst Finish.
Extraordinary quarter-sawn maple on back and sides.
No ‘Virzi Tone Producer’ ever installed.
Comes with original hard-shell case.
Previously owned & played from 1970~1985 by New England pioneer in bluegrass music, Joe Val (Waltham, MA).
Joe "Val" Valiante was inducted into the IBMA "Hall of Fame" in 2018. Joe passed away in June 1985.
Lloyd Loar’s contributions to the Gibson Guitar Company, and string musical instruments in general, ranks among other musical geniuses such as Antonius Stradivari, Orville Gibson, Leo Fender, and Christian F. Martin. He was Gibson's Acoustic Engineer and Designer in the 1920's until he resigned in December 1924. Loar was a musician and musicologist who became an expert in the physics of the acoustical properties of musical instruments.
Loar's F5 "Master Model" mandolins are highly collectible. Less than 300 of these Master Models were ever signed and released by Lloyd Loar for sale to the public.
Joe Val performed and recorded exclusively with this mandolin from 1971~1983; including all of his European tours and his Rounder Records recordings. Joe, if you are not familiar with him, had one of the most amazingly smooth tenor voices in bluegrass music. His virtually untrained high voice was spectacular; he could slide right into his falsetto with an Opera-like quality.
This particular mandolin is well known in the music industry as having played an important role in America's music history in the hands of the late Joe Val. Its provenance, and its place in music history, is undeniable.
Joe's mandolin has been cared for and played exclusively by Kevin Lynch since January 1986. Present playing condition is EXTREMELY FINE!
Joe purchased this beauty ca. 1970 when it was sold for quick cash by a man off the street in Vermont, USA -- shall we say, down on his luck. It was sold to a shop owner without tuners on the treble side. Repairman Kenneth Miller did the initial setup at his guitar shop in 1972. Ken glued the "loose" cracked teardrop on the peghead, installed an ivory nut, and replaced a very short piece of (missing) curved binding in the upper right point.
The felt in the pick guard brace, between the bracket and body, is original (a rare find) and in mint condition. As Gibson repairman David Harvey noted, the original Pearwood shim under the fingerboard is also a rare find.
This mandolin is structurally sound -- it has been 'solid as a rock' for all these years. An amazingly strong instrument given its many decades of hard Blue Grass playing. As you can see in the description below, this mandolin has received relatively little maintenance and a few very minor repairs since 1923!
It has been refretted 2x by professional luthiers. Banjo fret wire, slightly wider gauge than classic fret wire, was installed in the late 1970s by Joe's sideman and banjo player Paul Silvius. The last re-fretting job was done by master violin builder Karl Dennis in Warren, Rhode Island, USA.
Re-gluing of the original fingerboard, "dressing" of frets, plus custom-made reproduction Loar-era nickel/silver Waverly tuners installed in October 2006. All work done by Master Luthier David Harvey at the Gibson Showcase in Nashville, TN.
Joe lost the original tailpiece in a hotel room in the 1980's. A reproduction Loar-era tailpiece was made by mandolin builder John Paganoni.
Sale includes original rectangular case -- complete with original Gibson sales tag tied to key (sales tag reads, "Gibson: Music Pal Of The Nation $250.00"). Also comes with original (worn) bass side tuners, original bridge & (broken) saddle, original Bill of Sale from Joe's wife, one of Joe's picks (found inside the case) and photos of this well-documented instrument.
SERIOUS BUYERS ONLY !
Priced slightly below current market value.
This instrument will only be considered for sale to an appreciative, responsible, and caring buyer.
You may contact Kevin Lynch (based in The Netherlands) via e-mail. You may request a phone number. Additional photos upon request. I will arrange personal delivery; no shipping of this historic collectible instrument.
Joe Val's recordings with this mandolin:
"One Morning in May" (Rounder, 1972)
"Joe Val & the New England Bluegrass Boys" (Rounder, 1974)
"Not a Word from Home" (Rounder, 1977)
"Bound to Ride" (Rounder, 1979)
"Live in Holland" (Strictly Country Records, 1981)
"Sparkling Brown Eyes" and "Cold Wind" (Rounder, 1983). Released posthumously: "Diamond Joe" (Rounder, 1995).
Joe also appears on several Various Artist LP's/CD's
(including some Prairie Home Companion releases).
There are several YouTube videos with "Joe Val and The New England Bluegrass Boys".
Several audio recordings, television programs, and documentary soundtracks were recorded using this mandolin by current owner Kevin Lynch.