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NMM 6192.  Mandolin by Gibson Mandolin-Guitar Company, Kalamazoo, ca. 1904.
Style A-4.  Serial number 3121.
Purchase funds gift of Norma and Joseph M. McFadden, Houston, 1998.


NMM 6192.  Mandolin by Gibson Mandolin-Guitar Company, Kalamazoo, ca. 1904

The Gibson Mandolin-Guitar Manufacturing Company's initial success was based on a new style of mandolin invented by Orville Gibson in the 1890s. Using a slightly arched back, in contrast to the traditional bowl back (pejoratively called "potato bugs" and their players "potato buggists"), Gibson developed two new styles—the Style "A" and "F" mandolins—that still set the standard for the mandolin industry. The Style A-4 has the most ornate trim of the pear-shaped Style A instruments. The Style F, by contrast, has a scrolled upper rib and distinctive "points."

The black, French-polished lacquer, gently curving lines, and abstract mother-of-pearl inlay of NMM 6192 show the strong influence of the Art Nouveau movement that was sweeping through the American decorative arts, 1890-1914.


Front, Back, and Side Views

NMM 6192.  Mandolin by Gibson Mandolin-Guitar Company, Kalamazoo, ca. 1904 Treble side of Gibson mandolin Bass side of Gibson mandolin Back of Gibson mandolin


Front and Back of Body

Front of body of Gibson mandolin Back of body of Gibson mandolin


Views of Fretboard and Peghead

Fretboard Front of peghead Back of peghead


Neck Heel

Neck heel


Tailpiece and Soundhole

Tailpiece
Soundhole

Click on soundhole image above to see image of label



Pickguard

Pickguard


Bridge and Lower End of Mandolin

Bridge

Bottom of mandolin

Lit.:  André P. Larson, "Recent Acquisitions," America's Shrine to Music Museum Newsletter, Vol. 26, No. 1 (February 1999), p. 6.

André P. Larson, "Mandolin (A-4) by Gibson Mandolin-Guitar Manufacturing Co., Ltd., Kalamazoo, Michigan, 1905," South Dakota Musician, Vol. 34, No. 1 (Fall 1999), pp. cover, 19.

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