Gibson's finest hour?
1922 Gibson H-4 Mandola

© Frank Ford, 2002; Photos by FF

I've long felt that the F-4 mandolin and H-4 mandola were the epitome of Gibson's mandolin aesthetic. Particularly in the very late "teens" and early 1920s, these instruments had the most beautiful proportions, shaded finishes, figured woods and superior workmanship. While it's arguable that the later Loar designed F-5 and H-5 were more playable with longer slimmer necks, I still like the looks of the style 4 best. 1922 was an interesting year, with some of Loar's influence seen in the more delicate top and back graduation, and adjustable bridge and truss rod.

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