A remarkably original Gibson mandolin from 110+ years ago, and one that represented the top of their A model line at the time. Original tuners, pickguard, tailpiece & cover. The bridge is the patent-stamped original, but with a bone saddle instead of ebony. Original frets show only minor wear, which probably explains why the old shellac varnish finish on the body has survived in such excellent condition (barrel of the neck was given some thin overspray). Good neck angle and easy string action that could be even lower if you insisted, but as it's set up now the volume is impressive with the tone that has made these A models favorites for even longer than Gryphon has been in business, and that's a long time! Fans of Gibson's A models will note that this A-4 does not have the treble-side fingerboard extension over the sound hole, which is found on later A-4 models from the 'teens. We were wondering about this and found photos of another black-top A-4 with the same Factory Order Number, and the same squared-end fingerboard. Gruhn's Guide mentions that the fingerboard extension first appears in 1912, so this example was apparently completed shortly before that feature became standard.