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1924 Gibson F-5 “Lloyd Loar” mandolin

11 Jan

This week’s Antiques Roadshow (Tulsa, OK, Jan. 9th) featured a really interesting and rare instrument: A 1924 Gibson F-5 “Lloyd Loar” mandolin.  You could tell that appraiser Frederick Oster was excited to see the piece, and meticulously outlined everything that the young owner would ever want to know about it, finally valuing the mandolin at $175,000 (then you see the girl get excited, ha).

Watch the video at the Antiques Roadshow site, here.

Appraiser Frederick Oster with the Gibson F-5

GUEST: It was purchased by my great-grandfather during the Depression. He purchased it from, I believe, a neighbor who at the time needed some extra money, and he wanted his son, my grandfather, to learn how to play a musical instrument.

APPRAISER: Well, when you walked in with this, I saw the case, I went, “Oh, my God, I know what that is.” And I thought, “Can it be?” And I opened up the case and there it was, this wonderful Gibson F-5 mandolin. It’s the type of F-5 that’s very easy for us to identify the year from because I can tell that it’s what we call a Lloyd Loar model F-5 with this fern inlay in the peghead.

GUEST: Okay.

APPRAISER: Lloyd Loar was an acoustic engineer and great mandolin virtuoso who worked at the Gibson company back in the ’10s and ’20s. And he really was the father of the modern mandolin. And what he did to make the mandolin what it is today is… he did various things to it like internally, it has parallel tone bars.

GUEST: Okay.

APPRAISER: It has an elevated fingerboard, elevated over the body. It has two F holes, like a violin, and actually, similar to a violin, it has the bridge positioned around the center of the body, around the center of the arch. And it is arched like a violin and tap toned, meaning internally tuned. The thicknesses of the plates inside are tuned like a violin.

GUEST: Okay.

APPRAISER: And Loar was the first guy to do this to a mandolin. It also has a longer playing length of the neck. It has 15 frets to the body. Earlier mandolins had shorter necks. Gibson had been making these F-style mandolins from the turn of the century on, but this innovation in mandolin making was something that Loar excelled in, and this became basically the prototype style for all mandolins to come. Loar also developed this nice little, neat screw-in Pickard clip, which was a lot neater than the earlier ones. It has inside the Gibson label with serial number, as well… and the other side, it’s got the master model label. Now, this was the professional, master-grade mandolin that Gibson put out late 1922 and onwards. And these early ones, the ones made while Loar was at the factory from late 1922 through 1924, we call them Lloyd Loar model F-5s. This has the most beautiful what they call Cremona brown sunburst color to it. If I had to grade it in Gibson mandolins, or Lloyd Loar mandolins, I’d probably put it in the top ten percent of the ones I’ve seen.


APPRAISER: When did he buy it again?

GUEST: During the Great Depression. From what I understand, he paid $20 for it, and at the time, you know, it was estimated probably around $600 is what I’m told.

APPRAISER: Right, that being said, I would say these days, a correct asking price through a dealer in a shop would be about $175,000.

GUEST: Oh, my gosh! (laughs) Wow! It’s been in a closet in a farmhouse for many, many years.

See/hear one of these beauties in action:


Ludacris to open “Chicken-n-Beer” in Atlanta airport

9 Jan

Among the 150 food, beverage and retail sites approved for Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport is rapper-turned-restauranteur Ludacris’ newest culinary venture, a comfort food and craft beers eatery named “Chicken-n-Beer” (after his third album with the same name).

Ludacris is closing his Midtown restaurant Straits Atlanta to focus in this direction with Atlanta Restaurant Partners, considering Straits to be a “segue into the industry” and looking forward to executing his own concept with Chicken-n-Beer.

(via eater)

Happy 65th Birthday, David Bowie

8 Jan

[[ You’re officially a senior citizen! ]]

(via unknownlabel)

“The Apple Boogie”

8 Jan

In 1987, Apple released its own music album: The Apple Boogie.

The tape, featuring 8 examples of upbeat 80’s goodness, was created to hand out at Apple sales conferences.

Lucky for us, The Apple Boogie was converted to MP3 over six years ago, in the age of dial-up, and uploaded to an Apple-centric website in South Africa. All eight tracks are listed, available for download, complete with covers and lyrics.

Bonus find: Apple’s old theme song “Apple.Power.Passion”

(via thenextweb)

While Bieber and Cee Lo were attacking Beatles songs on live television…

7 Jan

…Alice Cooper, Weird Al Yankovic and Steven Tyler were singing the karaoke rendition of performing (umm, OK self, nice job)  “Come Together” at Mala Restaurant in Maui on New Year’s Eve.

(via fark)

Paypal dispute results in destroyed violin

5 Jan

(via a letter emailed to Regretsy editor Helen Killer, who’s had her fair share of Paypal issues lately)

“Dear Helen Killer,

I love your site and was thrilled to hear of your “win” against PayPal. I recently had a heartbreaking experience of my own with them.

I sold an old French violin to a buyer in Canada, and the buyer disputed the label.

This is not uncommon. In the violin market, labels often mean little and there is often disagreement over them. Some of the most expensive violins in the world have disputed labels, but they are works of art nonetheless.

Rather than have the violin returned to me, PayPal made the buyer DESTROY the violin in order to get his money back. They somehow deemed the violin as “counterfeit” even though there is no such thing in the violin world.

The buyer was proud of himself, so he sent me a photo of the destroyed violin.

I am now out a violin that made it through WWII as well as $2500. This is of course, upsetting. But my main goal in writing to you is to prevent PayPal from ordering the destruction of violins and other antiquities that they know nothing about. It is beyond me why PayPal simply didn’t have the violin returned to me.

I spoke on the phone to numerous reps from PayPal who 100% defended their action and gave me the party line.


Ugh.  And apparently the violin was “examined and authenticated by a top luthier” before its sale, too. What a waste of an instrument.

buy this: Audiobulb wireless speaker lightbulbs

4 Jan

For only $299 (for a set of two), you and yours can wirelessly listen to music from these Audiobulbs — speaker/light source combos.  An included dock transmits music to the bulbs from any music device or iPhone (up to 100 feet away), and the light emitted is comparable to a 60w bulb (and LED means that it’ll last longer, too).

Reminds me of this joke:

Q: How many sound guys does it take to screw in a lightbulb? 

A:  “Hey man, I just do sound.”