Gibson H-1

© Frank Ford, 2002; Photos by FF

This classic Gibson mandola has birch back and sides, spruce top, ebony fingerboard and bridge, dyed black veneer on the peghead - just the same materials and styling as its mandolin cousin, the A-1.

Gibson mandolins made before about 1925 were all finished with varnish, with a French polished shine. Just as today, Gibson was a profit-minded company, making the switch to the less labor-intensive and more durable nitrocellulose lacquer as soon is it was practical.

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