Gibson Mandolin-Guitar Manufacturing Co., Ltd. American

Not on view

Gibson K-4 model mandocello with a light to dark red sunburst finish, serial number 26084. This instrument has a two-point body (points on the upper right and lower right corners) and a distinctive scroll on the upper left corner, a body shape like the F series mandolins. The mandocello has a carved, arched top and back, a design patented by Orville Gibson in 1898. Five businessmen bought the name and patent from Orville Gibson in 1902 and started The Gibson Mandolin-Guitar Manufacturing Co., Ltd. The K-2 mandocello was introduced in 1902 and discontinued in 1922. The oval soundhole has decorative binding of a ring of inlaid wood and a second ring of ivoroid. The binding around the top and back of the instrument, the fingerboard, and the headstock is also ivoroid. Mahogany is used for the neck, and the fingerboard is of ebony and extends over the soundhole. There are twenty-four nickel-silver frets with mother-of-pearl position dots on the fingerboard and upper edge of the neck. The floating bridge is a modern replacement (the original bridge survives in the case). The mandocello has the standard string disposition of eight steel strings in four courses, tuned in unison pairs to the pitches of a viola: C, G, D, A (one octave below the mandola). The nickel-silver tailpiece is engraved "The Gibson." The distinctive headstock echoes the scroll shape from the body has an inlaid "flower pot" design that was commonly used on high-end Gibson instruments, as well as inlay that reads "The Gibson." The Handel machine four-on-a-plate tuners are inlaid with a flower motif. The instrument has a raised pickguard mounted on metal brackets.

Mandocello, Gibson Mandolin-Guitar Manufacturing Co., Ltd. (American, founded Kalamazoo, Michigan 1902), Spruce, maple, mahogany, ivoroid, mother-of-pearl, nickel silver, American

Due to rights restrictions, this image cannot be enlarged, viewed at full screen, or downloaded.

Open Access

As part of the Met's Open Access policy, you can freely copy, modify and distribute this image, even for commercial purposes.


Public domain data for this object can also be accessed using the Met's Open Access API.