1978 Gibson F-5L owned and played by Bill Monroe (authenticated) Mandolin 'On Hold'
Very good condition. This fine instrument was made and presented to Bill Monroe in 1978 to help "mend fences" between Mr Monroe and the Gibson Company. He used this mandolin in many performances along with his famous Loar, predominately for special tunings such as "Get Up, John". When his 1923 Loar was vandalized and heavily damaged in the mid-'80's, Bill used it regularly until the Gibson Co. restored his F-5 Loar. At some point Mr Monroe presented this mandolin to a very close friend and law officer Bill Hawkins, who treasured the instrument. Mr Hawkins' family sold this mandolin to the late iconic Montana musician Walt Timmerman, who promised to always cherish it, and did until his passing.
This mandolin is a part of bluegrass history, having been played by Bill Monroe for rehearsals, shows and recordings. This was authenticated on August 6, 2005 by Curtis McPeake of Mt. Juliet, Tennessee, owner of Unique Instruments and personal friend of Mr. Hawkins (the authentication paper is included in the hard case). We have heard of additional eyewitness accounts of Mr. Monroe using this mandolin onstage, including a story from Tom McKinney, who played Pike County Breakdown onstage with Mr. Monroe in 1986 at Erwin High School in Asheville, North Carolina.
Nicely figured maple back, sides, and neck. Extremely tight grain spruce top with sunburst. Fern inlay in peghead, with The Gibson logo inlaid in pearl. Mandolin shows some lacquer checking and some incidental wear, with significant wear on the small pre-War style frets. Gold Schaller tuners with solid mother of pearl buttons. Engraved James tailpiece. Flat ebony fingerboard with traditional double-cut extension and pearl position dot markers inlaid. 1 3/32" width at mother of pearl nut. Mother of pearl truss rod cover included in case.
Sound is very good... Without a doubt, this mandolin is stronger, clearer, and with much more finessed tone than any other '60's or '70's Gibson F-5 I've ever been around. 100% of people who have played it remark on how good it sounds.
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