Does anyone know an internet or source for serial numbers/year made for early Gibson Mandolins ?
I would like some source to authenticate the year made for a Custom F-4 that I have for sale (

and for an A1 which I suspect in 1910-1919

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Years ago Pickin magazine ran an article on Gibson mandolin serial numbers. Don't know if it ever made it to the internet. I may have a copy of it - somewhere?? - if you can't find a more updated link. Mugwamps might be another source. On the A1, I think there was something about dating using the peghead shape.

Bob Krueger
Thanks for the suggestions. I believe I have all the issues of Pickin'-- just have to find them and then get the right issue.
If you just want a quick list, here's one - approximate but close:

Year Last Number
---- -----------
1903 1500
1904 2500
1905 3500
1906 5500
1907 8300
1908 9700
1909 10100
1910 10600
1911 10850
1912 13350
1913 16100
1914 20150
1915 25150
1916 32000
1917 39500
1918 47900
1919 53800
1920 63650
1921 69300
Thank You Frank.
I did check the mandolin archive website for my early fancy F model and was initially caught off guard to find that the serial number was listed. Then, when I looked at the photos I remembered I had this mandolin at Elderly for a while, in hope of trading it for something like a 00-42. Anyway, it was nice to learn that Elderly is contributing to the mandolin archive.
George Gruhn's price guide is usually the best place I've found to look these up since you can compare features to years as well as serial number ranges. You may find a mando in this site that is near your range and discription which will help you out too:

The blue hyper link on the left side is the serial number so you may be able to page through this to some numbers near yours to zero in on the date.

Thanks Ned and Frank too. The mandolin archive website is fantastic. As Frank suggested I will take and send some good photos and serial #s and factory order numbers of the two mandolins..

I still plan to find my Pickin' Magazines and see if I can find the article on the Gibson Mandolins, which hopefully will have serial #/year information.
You could do the entire mandolin community a small favor by sending some good pix and the numbers to our pal, Dan Beimborn at the Mandolin Archive. He posts the comprehensive list of vintage Gibson mandos, and makes all info available free.

Tell him (or us) the serials, and we can date them for you too, of course.

Dan answers his e-mail promptly.


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