Loar forgery / fake Serial # 80263 [Archive] (2024)

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houseworker

Jun-23-2013, 8:30am

http://www.ebay.com/itm/111103588009

Already being discussed here (http://www.mandolincafe.com/forum/showthread.php?96611), here (http://www.mandolincafe.com/forum/showthread.php?96593) and here (http://www.mandolincafe.com/forum/showthread.php?96442)

New discussion to keep the instrument easily searchable.

houseworker

Jun-23-2013, 8:37am

Had earlier been listed for sale by a different seller here: http://www.ebay.com/itm/Vintage-1924-F5-Gibson-Mandoilin-Nice-Low-Reserve-/300920251274

Marty Jacobson identified it as an instrument previously owned by Brandon Farley of the Bluegrass Brothers. It may have been made by Stanley Bragg.

The serial number on the label is listed in the Mandolin Archive (http://www.mandolinarchive.com/gibson/serial/80263) - it's an L-5 guitar!

Scott Tichenor

Jun-23-2013, 9:29am

And less than an hour later on Google... Now, how hard is that?

Search results for: loar mandolin 80263
Same results returned for: loar 80263

103724

houseworker

Jun-23-2013, 9:34am

If I'd given it a bit more thought I'd have included Gibson in the thread title as well.

Gary Hedrick

Jun-23-2013, 9:50am

This has become surreal.......$9,250 bid on an instrument that says that it is a Loar but yet says it is not. The price is way out of line and the seller is a total horses A** and totally committed to his fraudulent charade and the bidders apprear to as committed to this illusion as the seller is committed to foisting it upon the marketplace.

Nuts.....just plain Nuts....

danb

Jun-23-2013, 9:52am

Definitely not an original Loar-signed Gibson

Cheryl Watson

Jun-23-2013, 9:53am

It is such an obvious fake and a bad one at that. Ebay should shut it down. Surprised they have not already.

Scott Tichenor

Jun-23-2013, 9:55am

Well, I just dialed up the heat on this one all over Facebook/Twitter/Google+ and I felt it deserved a little spot of attention on the Cafe home page where about 25,000+ people should see it today. Betting I'll have a terse email from the seller in less than 24 hours blaming me for ruining things--I hope.

Scott Tichenor

Jun-23-2013, 9:55am

I reported it to eBay, something I rarely do. I'd think if they get a dozen more people doing the same that'd create some action.

Gary Hedrick

Jun-23-2013, 9:57am

Well I reported it last night ......nothing has happened yet........I wrote the seller when he first listed it and got a smart aleck answer.....

Eric Michael Pfeiffer

Jun-23-2013, 9:58am

I saw this too on EBay a few days ago, didn't look authentic to me, I wouldn't even pay 9000 Argentine pesos for it, let alone dollars

Gary Hedrick

Jun-23-2013, 10:02am

This reminds me of some of the pickers sessions I attended at Bean Blossom where some poor fellow would have his "Loar" and would proudly present it to folks to play and admire........hard to tell someone that "it ain't what you think it is" With those folks it becomes an altered reality.....just like this Ebay dude is constructing....

Thanks Scott for turning up the heat....I wouldn't feel so bad about this if the price was say $3k because the instrument is likely worth that.....but $9,250????

Scott Tichenor

Jun-23-2013, 10:05am

The folks at the Unofficial Martin Guitar forum didn't have any trouble figuring out serial 80263 listed on eBay is a fake (http://theunofficialmartinguitarforum.yuku.com/reply/1617731/Re-A-Loar-surfaces-on-eBaybut-is-it#.UccOqhalkiE).

Marty Jacobson

Jun-23-2013, 10:26am

Photos for the record...
10372510372610372710372810372910373010373110373210 3733103734

Scott Tichenor

Jun-23-2013, 10:56am

Plot thickens.

Well known retail dealer and forum member, someone everyone would recognize, told me a Gibson representative (well known forum member) actually saw this instrument in person recently and confirmed to the owner it was a fake.

Oopsies.

:)

Gwernen

Jun-23-2013, 11:33am

E-Bay really, really has to take this stuff seriously. That is a huge bit of fraud...like a fake Ferrari badge on a kit car. Pulling this off is plain despicable. If they let that go through, having been forewarned by several individuals, E-Bay itself should be held responsible, period.

Rodney Riley

Jun-23-2013, 11:37am

Sorry people. The seller is from a town around 50 miles west of the state capital. Illinois state capital. Could explain his actions :(

f5loar

Jun-23-2013, 11:48am

It appears he already has his 2 suckers that are going to fight for it to the end. My guess is the 2 suckers do not know about the mandolincafe.com . This is just so sad to see this happen. If indeed a Gibson rep saw this and confirmed it was not a real Gibson then this should be more than on just a shame list.

Willie Poole

Jun-23-2013, 12:17pm

While it is a fake I think the seller has been aboveboard with his explanations that he isn`t saying it is a genuine Loar, he is just describing the instrument to us....And we can see by the photos that what he has said is what is there, even the serial number that's for a guitar....

I surely don`t want to bid on it but on another thread there is a video of it being played and it does sound great....

Willie

houseworker

Jun-23-2013, 12:26pm

While it is a fake I think the seller has been aboveboard with his explanations that he isn`t saying it is a genuine Loar, he is just describing the instrument to us....And we can see by the photos that what he has said is what is there, even the serial number that's for a guitar....

I surely don`t want to bid on it but on another thread there is a video of it being played and it does sound great....

eBay rules prohibit both the sale of fake items, and the use of disclaimers as to authenticity in listings by sellers.

It's an unusual mandolin, and if it were correctly described would attract some interest I'm sure. But aside from anything else, what Scott tells us means that the seller knows already that it's a fake and that the listing is therefore a scam.

mandolino maximus

Jun-23-2013, 12:27pm

IL, do you know where your governors are?

No one can claim to have relied on his representations that it's a Loar, because his write-up disavows the claim and, if you're buying a mandolin because it's a Loar, you know that price is all wrong. Still, if it's a decent mandolin, it's worth less with the fake labels, and his word that it sounds good is worth even less since he's already asking you to believe a fake might not be a fake.

MANNDOLINS

Jun-23-2013, 3:24pm

Whoever made it dated it the day before April fools...he he

OldGus

Jun-23-2013, 3:42pm

While it is a fake I think the seller has been aboveboard with his explanations that he isn`t saying it is a genuine Loar, he is just describing the instrument to us....And we can see by the photos that what he has said is what is there, even the serial number that's for a guitar....

I surely don`t want to bid on it but on another thread there is a video of it being played and it does sound great....

Willie

See post #15 and then read the ad again. He strongly implies it's a Loar because it's got play wear, it's side bound "like Bills", etc., etc., it's "period correct", he's studied them, and then says it may not be because a Gibson rep didn't officially confirm it to him which apparently they did, it just wasn't in his favor. I guess I agree with Tom more now that fakes do open the door for a potential deception on unsuspecting customers, although I don't think it should have to be that way. Studies have shown that adamant liars do tend to fool a least a few people and every great deception contains at least some truth. Truth, lies and truth with a twist, this ad seems to have it all. That being said, there is only so much you can do in the minds of others, buyer beware.

Jim Garber

Jun-23-2013, 4:20pm

The massive amount of verbiage obscures the disavowal of authenticity. If the seller wants to be aboveboard then he should say flat out that this is probably a copy and at the beginning of his description section. Those pictures indicate so obviously even to me that it is not genuine.

houseworker

Jun-23-2013, 4:26pm

"Up for sale is my Gibson Master Model F-5 mandolin."

The seller's unambiguous opening sentence. But it's not only not a Loar, it's not even a Gibson F-5, Master Model or otherwise.

Vernon Hughes

Jun-23-2013, 4:52pm

I reported it when it went on the first time and the second time as well almost as soon as it was listed. Still hoping to see it pulled.

sgrexa

Jun-23-2013, 4:53pm

Just got back from the Philly summer guitar show and there were a number of fairly recent Gibson Les Paul burst "relics" which seems to be a new side business in itself. To the best of my knowledge, these were authentic Gibsons at one point that were "aged" in one way or another to look old and authentic and there is a market for that sort of thing. This is another thing altogether, with it not being a Gibson at all. If the seller was clear in his or her description and sold it for what it "is", it might fetch between 3-4K which it may or may not be worth, who knows?

Sean

almeriastrings

Jun-23-2013, 5:18pm

And we can see by the photos that what he has said is what is there

The fake Gibson logo and label is what is there = counterfeit item.

No different from a fake 'designer' label on cheap sunglasses, the fake Shure mics all over Ebay, or a fake Rolex watch. All counterfeits, prohibited from sale, and liable to destruction when detected. It's fraud. Pure and simple.

Dale Ludewig

Jun-23-2013, 5:39pm

The last I looked (and I'm no expert at online auctions), there were no questions to the seller on the ad. Why is that? Surely someone has asked or confronted him directly. Not?

houseworker

Jun-23-2013, 5:43pm

The last I looked (and I'm no expert at online auctions), there were no questions to the seller on the ad. Why is that?

Sellers on eBay have the choice of whether or not to add questions to their listings. Doesn't mean they haven't been asked.

D Sears

Jun-23-2013, 6:07pm

I would say the seller is or has someone bidding up the price of the mandolin, hoping for someone else to jump in on the bidding and thus net a bigger yield. However, I would hope that someone that's dropping 10k or more into a mandolin would check the authenticity of the instrument. It should be evident that a listing with such sleight of hand and evasive wording would raise many red flags to anyone who has a pulse. If that weren't enough, the photos of the instrument definitely show a crude, at best, F-5 style mandolin, which doesn't even begin to capture the finesse of a true original.

The initial seller being in Princeton, WV, and then it being re-listed a short time later by a person in Illinois raises a few questions too-- one of the owners was known to be out of Princeton.

Another thing to ponder is that the auction, at the writing of this, has reached $9,225.00. If I were to put a price on this mandolin, I would give no more than 10% of that figure--a KM-1000 would be a better value and a finer instrument.

Also, approaching the 10K mark, there are some excellent mandolins to be had from fine master luthiers, that capture the spirit of the originals in a very good way. It makes me think even more strongly that a person who has this amount of capital to invest in a mandolin would do his or her research to understand the market and would conclude there is something terribly wrong with that ebay auction--that leads me back to the seller inflating the bids to get the auction to the level it is now.

OldGus

Jun-23-2013, 7:00pm

That's a great point, having multiple accounts that certainly is a possibility.

richardbradford

Jun-23-2013, 7:16pm

I'm following Scott's suggestion - sent eBay a message asking the add to be pulled, the seller banned and pointed eBay to www.mandolincafe.com to learn more about this fake. Also suggested the integrity of eBay was at risk if this auction was not pulled. The more noise we make, the more likely eBay will take action.

Rodney Riley

Jun-23-2013, 7:39pm

IL, do you know where your governors are?

Sure do. Wish this guy could be ones roommate. :)

Jim Garber

Jun-23-2013, 7:42pm

Ended!!

This listing was ended by the seller because the item is no longer available.

Scott Tichenor

Jun-23-2013, 8:00pm

Ended!!

Still live. Has not ended. http://www.ebay.com/itm/111103588009

MnRoss

Jun-23-2013, 8:06pm

It hasn't ended as I can see. Maybe Ebay has let it roll. The seller posts it as something it's not but sort of states he really isn't sure in the description . It's apparent he doesn't answer questions ect.. So I sent him one and I'll see if he answers it.. Too bad he has bidders and to bad Ebay is letting it ride.

MnRoss

Jun-23-2013, 8:10pm

I noticed he sells a lot of watches a few music related things and some tech stuff. Must be a pawn shop..

Jim Garber

Jun-23-2013, 8:16pm

Still live. Has not ended. http://www.ebay.com/itm/111103588009

Whoops... sorry...

Eric Hanson

Jun-23-2013, 10:20pm

A side thought.
Instead of trying through eBay, would anyone be able to contact Dave Harvey and have him use the Gibson law office contact the seller to let him know about copyright infringement, and the slew of trouble he is in if he continues the sale?

terzinator

Jun-24-2013, 12:21am

I love this stuff. Well, I hate it, but I love it.

I reported the listing, and sent him a message, too... I said if he had trouble getting ahold of Gibson, that Gruhn guitars would probably be happy to authenticate a genuine Loar. It would be worth the $150,000 extra he'll make on the sale. But I said if he knows it's not genuine, that the listing is dishonest at best, and the item is fraudulent; that he's leading people on to think it's a Loar, and that there's already lots of discussion around the forums as to its fakery goodness.

His reply:

Fraudulent? Dishonest? Grow up. Did you even bother to read my listing? Not wanting to deal with a shark like George Gruhn makes me a liar? NOWHERE in my listing do I say it is a Loar or even that I think it's a Loar. Without proper documentation, no one in their right mind would claim that. You obviously aren't going to bid on it, so what is the point of your email?

So, sounds like a super guy.

almeriastrings

Jun-24-2013, 1:55am

He does say it is a vintage Gibson F-5 Master Model, though - which it categorically is not, so there's your fraud and dishonesty.

Not even any need to get into the 'Loar' issue.

PhillipeTaylor

Jun-24-2013, 6:22am

We need to re title this post to read "The Gibson f5 master model on ebay is a forgery" to get it clear at the top of the matching title for the product for the search engines. That might at least catch one of these customers eye.

houseworker

Jun-24-2013, 6:50am

We need to re title this post to read "The Gibson f5 master model on ebay is a forgery" to get it clear at the top of the matching title for the product for the search engines. That might at least catch one of these customers eye.

A Google search for Gibson f5 master model ebay forgery already has one of the relevant threads here at the top of the list. Gibson 80263 points straight to this thread.

We don't know why people have bid so enthusiastically on this. They may be shills, they may be aware that it's a forgery, or if by any chance they're genuine innocents they'll most likely take it to a dealer for a valuation when it arrives. I'd be very surprised if the seller gets to keep his money even if it runs to its conclusion.

PhillipeTaylor

Jun-24-2013, 7:14am

Cool. Sounds like you guys know what you're doing there...

FYI, here's a link to the FBI fraud tip form, where you can report this guy. Someone with real knowledge of this serial number, who did the original research should fill out this tip form, since Illinois won't accept fraud tip reports from out of state. https://tips.fbi.gov/

Here's the form for Illinois, I don't know if you can complete it without the suspects full information, looks like it may prevent reporting more than anything, since it requires a SS#, like I'd have THAT from someone who defrauded me! Anyway, maybe someone in Illinois can complete the form that knows directly about this situation. http://www.state.il.us/agency/oig/reportfraud.asp

PhillipeTaylor

Jun-24-2013, 7:34am

Copy of message sent to seller on June 24th, 2013 at 5:34am PST

Item #111103588009 Ebay transaction June 24th, 2013

You have been informed that individuals have researched the serial number for the item listed and the serial number matches a Gibson guitar, not a mandolin. If you have not been, you are being informed now. The item has been identified as fraudulent and by continuing to sell the item on ebay with this knowledge, you are knowingly committing fraud. I have read the write up that you wrote, and you should consult a lawyer before you complete this sale, because nothing you claim absolves you of legal liability, unless you contact Gibson directly to confirm this serial number for the item in question. A record of this message is being placed on line for the sake of public record of this communication, and if the buyer wishes to press charges, the accumulated evidence will make this an easy case to prosecute if the item in question truly is fraudulent.

Gary Hedrick

Jun-24-2013, 8:25am

Whoa buddy this is getting interesting.....the lawyers on this board are in the mix.......Great!! This dude is so agressive and such an A** that he deserves to be sanctioned. All of this information about Loars....his title for the listings.....all the "well is could be but I'm not saying that it is" crap is just a little too much to stomach......he has done his fan dance ala Sally Rand and pulled folks along to bid $9,250 for a $3k mandolin......that is such a shill game ...it is almost like a carney barker pullling in the suckers for the slaughter......

AlanN

Jun-24-2013, 8:31am

And yet it remains as listed. The seller has cojones, if nothing else (...he ain't got a Loar....but he already knew that, or did he?...)

Dieter Zanger

Jun-24-2013, 8:45am

It´s very interesting: 24 persons already made a bid. That means that they are willing do give more than 9000 $ for the mando. A Loar ore not, a Gibson or not: There is a lot of money out there...

Dieter from Germany

houseworker

Jun-24-2013, 8:46am

The seller knows it's a fake for sure. If those bids are genuine and a sale results the buyer is unlikely to remain ignorant for too long. It's not like there's any prospect of that instrument ever being successfully passed off as genuine.

It's eBay's reputation that suffers with auctions like these, since they've had more than enough reports on this listing to flag it up as seriously suspect. Providing any buyer gets it checked over within 45 days, they'll have no difficulty getting their money back.

houseworker

Jun-24-2013, 8:49am

It´s very interesting: 24 persons already made a bid.

Actually only four bidders, one of whom dropped out at $2,222. You can't read anything into that bidding.

PJ Doland

Jun-24-2013, 8:53am

Selling a fake instrument at a ridiculously-inflated price would be a great way to launder $100k in drug money.

Pete Counter

Jun-24-2013, 10:31am

Doesnt Brandon Farley play with the bluegrass brothers?

almeriastrings

Jun-24-2013, 11:00am

Do not want to break any rules here, so I will not provide a direct link... but... try a Google search.

Terms like "Brandon Farley Bluegrass CD", for example.

Obviously, no-one is suggesting any direct connection between any unproved allegations that may appear as a result of such a search to the current situation. It could be mere coincidence and there could be several individuals of the same name who play bluegrass mandolin.

If I was thinking of buying a $9,000+ mandolin of dubious provenance, however, it would give me serious pause for thought.

Dale Pauline

Jun-24-2013, 11:24am

It has ended!

Dale Pauline

Jun-24-2013, 11:25am

This listing (111103588009) has been removed, or this item is not available.

mrmando

Jun-24-2013, 11:34am

Very interesting Act 2. Can't wait for Act 3. Keep an eye on Craig's List!

AlanN

Jun-24-2013, 11:40am

And I have a sneaking suspicion that that there mandolin won't be 'seldom seen'!

Marty Jacobson

Jun-24-2013, 11:40am

My advice to the seller would be to focus on its utility as a good instrument, and provide some kind of legitimate indication of who built it. I'd call it an homage built by a small-time, but regionally respected builder. Don't mention Loar, don't mention Gibson, just call it a nice F style bluegrass mandolin, collect your $2000 from a happy customer, and get on with your life.

mrmando

Jun-24-2013, 12:06pm

My advice to the seller would be a bit more colorful...

Jeff Hildreth

Jun-24-2013, 12:25pm

Perhaps this has been mentioned..

The seller seems to have purchased the instrument rather recently. Is it possible he was burned by the same BS and is attempting to unload and try to make up for his ignorance, mistake and loss. ?

That certainly does not excuse his misrepresentation.

mrmando

Jun-24-2013, 12:41pm

The earlier ad had photos but not much text, was posted by someone in West Virginia with only indifferent command of written English, and was pulled as soon as it started to stir up controversy "because the item is no longer available." The Illinois seller most likely acquired it in an off-eBay transaction, and may indeed have originally believed he was getting a Loar for a song. When he realized he didn't have one, he decided to try to bluff his way out.

PhillipeTaylor

Jun-24-2013, 1:21pm

My advice to the seller would be to focus on its utility as a good instrument, and provide some kind of legitimate indication of who built it. I'd call it an homage built by a small-time, but regionally respected builder. Don't mention Loar, don't mention Gibson, just call it a nice F style bluegrass mandolin, collect your $2000 from a happy customer, and get on with your life.

No, the problem is that it says Gibson on the dang thing in two places. He's going to have to sell it as a forgery, or report the guy he bought it from for fraud. Just a bad situation, and bad juju, if he gets away with selling it. Shoot, i'd try to defraud someone for a catholic relic before a musical instrument... baaaaad juju.

Marty Jacobson

Jun-24-2013, 2:57pm

I hear you... and "forgeries" of famous violins are sold all the time. Granted, the old Cremonese builders do not have extent corporations and legal teams still policing their product IP and trade dress. Greg Boyd's sold Monteleone F-5 #8 at some point in the past several years.
So there is a right way to do it. At least we now have a great example of how NOT to list one of these for sale...

PhillipeTaylor

Jun-24-2013, 3:17pm

Yeah, and there's a kind of betrayal with a musical instrument sale like this that seems to go deeper. Even a car, which is more expensive, I can roll with being screwed as a mere business transaction... I mean, I'd be pissed and take action, but a musical instrument... that just feels wrong in a much more profound way...

Gary Hedrick

Jun-24-2013, 3:21pm

Do not want to break any rules here, so I will not provide a direct link... but... try a Google search.

Terms like "Brandon Farley Bluegrass CD", for example.

Obviously, no-one is suggesting any direct connection between any unproved allegations that may appear as a result of such a search to the current situation. It could be mere coincidence and there could be several individuals of the same name who play bluegrass mandolin.

If I was thinking of buying a $9,000+ mandolin of dubious provenance, however, it would give me serious pause for thought.

My oh my.......seen this story before......way too many times

Jim Garber

Jun-24-2013, 3:28pm

I hear you... and "forgeries" of famous violins are sold all the time. Granted, the old Cremonese builders do not have extent corporations and legal teams still policing their product IP and trade dress. Greg Boyd's sold Monteleone F-5 #8 at some point in the past several years.
So there is a right way to do it. At least we now have a great example of how NOT to list one of these for sale...

Yeah, and there's a kind of betrayal with a musical instrument sale like this that seems to go deeper. Even a car, which is more expensive, I can roll with being screwed as a mere business transaction... I mean, I'd be pissed and take action, but a musical instrument... that just feels wrong in a much more profound way...

I agree with Marty. There are copies of instruments which is what the original maker intended. Yes, John Monteleone and a good handful of makers made Loars as well as countless violin makers thru the centuries. Even today there is a company making D'Angelico guitars and i have seen on these pages many examples of super-accurate Loar copies. The key here is at the point of sale and whether the person is representing the copy as an original or a tribute and whether the seller is obscuring the truth.

The other reality here is the quality of the forgery. It is obvious that it is no where near to resembling the real thing even to us amateur Loar sleuths. If it were done by a master copier/forger then it might take a true expert to make sure that it is not the real thing. That is what happens to a someone who wants to purchase a true Stradivari or Guarneri violin. Even then, sometimes the experts are fooled but that is not the case in this instance.

PhillipeTaylor

Jun-24-2013, 3:48pm

Yeah, well I'm glad for one you "amateur" sleuths are here putting the word out... I'm new enough I can't tell without your guidance, so it warms my heart to know all you guys and gals are here... you saved the day for somebody, I hope, and I really appreciate the kind of effort you all put in to protecting us sincere dumbkins who can't tell a Gibson from a Fender without the Label!

Jim Garber

Jun-24-2013, 3:54pm

We have some serious pros here who can tell the dates of production just from the details without looking inside. The only downside is that some fool may have contacted the eBay seller of the eggplant name and worked out a deal for this mandolin. BTW does anyone know who actually made that one? I don't recall reading in any of the threads.

houseworker

Jun-24-2013, 4:09pm

...some fool may have contacted the eBay seller of the eggplant name and worked out a deal for this mandolin. BTW does anyone know who actually made that one? I don't recall reading in any of the threads.

The listing was pulled by eBay, not the seller so he's unlikely to have sold it on yet. In these circ*mstances, eBay send those who have bid on the item warning them against dealing with the seller directly.

There's a suggestion that the builder may have been a Stanley Bragg.

Fran

Jun-24-2013, 9:01pm

Excuse my ignorance, but is this instrument an old copy (i.e. made a long time ago), or a newly-made instrument that has been "aged" to look old?

mrmando

Jun-24-2013, 9:16pm

Seems to be recent; the reputed builder was known to be active just a few years ago:
http://www.mandolincafe.com/forum/showthread.php?21775-STANLEY-BRAGG-MANDOLINS

Some of the damage appears to be from repeatedly bumping into a microphone. There might have been some "aging" on it too.

Andrew B. Carlson

Jun-25-2013, 12:55pm

Well that was one of the more intense threads that I've followed recently. Glad it was stopped. But there will always be a curiosity.

f5loar

Jun-25-2013, 11:30pm

Just remember, this is one of hundreds out there that are being passed off as the real deal. A few months ago Scott Napier got taken on a deal that he thought was a real late 20's Fern Gibson F5 with a newer 70's neck on it. Turns out the whole mandolin was made from scratch in the 70's. It also had a repo Master Model label with a serial number that fit. It's simple if you are looking to buy a prewar Gibson F5. If you have any doubts get that 2nd even a 3rd opinion before you buy.

houseworker

Jul-07-2013, 3:10am

No great surprise, it's back: http://www.ebay.com/itm/1924-Gibson-F-5-Master-Model-Vintage-Mandolin-Very-Nice-Great-Tone-/121139411891 (http://www.ebay.com/itm/1924-Gibson-F-5-Master-Model-Vintage-Mandolin-Very-Nice-Great-Tone-/121139411891)

Now described as "1924 Gibson F5 Master Model Vintage Mandolin" with a BIN of $14,000. Three day listing, it's the same seller and he's obviously hoping one of the previous bidders will bite before it gets pulled again.

almeriastrings

Jul-07-2013, 4:47am

Reported it... hope they act quickly. They really should ban this seller for re-listing a fake..

houseworker

Jul-07-2013, 4:53am

I think he's hoping it'll sell before eBay return to the office on Monday. Then they'll just wait to see if the buyer complains.

houseworker

Jul-07-2013, 9:25am

It's sold! I doubt we've heard the last on this.

f5loar

Jul-07-2013, 10:01am

While I lay sleeping in my bed last night a fool parted with his $14,000.00 for a fake Loar. I see lots of things unbelievable but this really tops my list here lately. This seller has been repeatedly warned it's not a Gibson at all and certaintly not a real Loar F5. No doubt the buyer has not heard of the café and bought it on a quick relux of the finger on that BuyItNow button. What got me was the guy totally changed the description to it is a real Loar from the it might be a real Loar. Which leads me to conclude he found another idiot to tell him it was the real deal dismissing anything café members have told him. Let me guess, another Pawn Broker that has been dealing in instruments for 50 years and knows a real one from a fake. Proof we are living in a crazy world! But I have to give him so sense of smartness. He got the fake Loar a newer hardshell case instead of the "gig bag" the first guy sold it to him in. For those wanting to know up front if it is real or not....... if a signed Loar F5 comes in a gig bag....... well there's your sign! I don't think Gibson was selling gig bags in the early 20's for their top of the line models nor do they do that today.

multidon

Jul-07-2013, 10:25am

Several quotes come to mind. H.L. Mencken- "Nobody ever went broke underestimating the intelligence of the American public."
P.T. Barnum-"There's a sucker born every minute". And of course the old saw "A fool and his money are soon parted".

Gary Hedrick

Jul-07-2013, 10:35am

Gig Bag......well now that's what I carried mine around in....

Bigtuna

Jul-07-2013, 11:12am

While it has already sold, you can still report it for now. Maybe if enough people report it they will investigate further.

Ed Goist

Jul-07-2013, 11:18am

What most amazes me is that someone who has $14,000 to spend on a musical instrument would spend it without first performing extensive, thorough and detailed due diligence researching the purchase.

I'll warn you all in advance...If I ever decide to spend that much on a mandolin family instrument, several of you will be receiving private messages from me requesting your advice and comments. :)

f5loar

Jul-07-2013, 12:29pm

Maybe they just hit the powerball and money is of no concern for now. That is crazy to think someone who even knows about Loars would think this one was listed so low that it would be too good to pass up. How about the "too good to be true" theory?

almeriastrings

Jul-07-2013, 12:31pm

You can only hope that whoever hit "Buy it Now" has more smarts than the seller. That great movie "The Sting" springs to mind. Lots of options available if someone knows the Paypal ropes...and hoops... and is ready and prepared to jump through them. Like faxes, hard copy, and such...

Willie Poole

Jul-07-2013, 12:48pm

One thing that stood out to me is that the ad said "Satisfaction guaranteed" and later in the ad it says, "All sales final"...Is that possible?

Gary Hedrick

Jul-07-2013, 1:03pm

There is a fool born every second.......$14k could sure buy a lot of mandolin......a Master Model.....perhaps a Distressed Master Model.....a Kimble and still have $4k left.....etc.......Sheeesh

houseworker

Jul-07-2013, 1:08pm

Providing the buyer gets the instrument properly assessed inside the 45 day limit they'll be ok. I'd be very surprised indeed if the buyer sees much (if any) of that $14,000.

houseworker

Jul-07-2013, 1:44pm

Well, it's now showing as having been relisted by the seller, but you then get the message "This listing (111114586697) has been removed, or this item is not available."

I hope nobody's been foolish enough to buy this off eBay, which presumably is how the seller got stuck with it.

Vernon Hughes

Jul-07-2013, 3:06pm

That means ebay pulled it.

houseworker

Jul-07-2013, 3:14pm

That means ebay pulled it.

Hopefully. Not necessarily though. It could also mean he offered the buyer a $1000 discount for an off eBay sale, then cancelled the original sale, but declined eBay's default offer of a free relisting. I suspect we'll find out soon enough.

stevem

Jul-07-2013, 4:20pm

I bid on a fraud 20's F4 8-10 years ago, thinking I was going to get a steal that I could resell for a profit. I forget how I figured it out, but very glad I did before it was too late. I think the seller wanted payment outside eBay, and I wised up. Greed plus a beginner's amount of knowledge about vintage instruments is a dangerous combo.

Vernon Hughes

Jul-07-2013, 4:48pm

If you end an ebay listing you have to give a reason such as it was broken or lost, it's no longer for sale,etc..When the item page states it has been removed or is no longer available,ebay has pulled it. Plus it's not showing up in the completed and/or sold listings-big clue it's been removed. I've been selling on there for 13 years and know the ropes pretty good.

Paul Statman

Jul-07-2013, 7:34pm

I don't know what all the fuss is about. I would have paid $14.00 for that, if I'd seen it!

f5loar

Jul-07-2013, 8:50pm

I reported it this morning. Ebay usually responds to my reports on scams and fakes due to my long term association and high feedback rating. This guy needs to move onto Craigs list for his next sting.

houseworker

Jul-08-2013, 12:53am

Plus it's not showing up in the completed and/or sold listings-big clue it's been removed.

All things come to those who wait... Not only the sale at $14,000 but a sale from the day before at $12,000: http://www.ebay.com/itm/1924-Gibson-F-5-Master-Model-Vintage-Mandolin-Very-Nice-Great-Tone-/121139315605

So he's sold it twice, first at $12,000 and then at $14,000. Presumably he's just testing the water with these listings, looking for a cash buyer.

f5loar

Jul-08-2013, 1:43am

What the *&*^*? How can he do that? I also noticed he no longer mentions the "Lloyd Loar" name in the description or title. I guess he lets the close up photo of the Loar signed label do the talking on it being a Loar.

Wolfmanbob

Jul-08-2013, 6:06am

I have two questions, probably no one really has the answer to. First, who actually made it? Second, what's it actually worth in itself as an instrument? Just wondering...

Gary Hedrick

Jul-08-2013, 8:27am

Oh it will reappear at some festival.....out of the back of a 86 Taurus and will be sold to some poor fellow that thinks he has hit the lottery

"just found this in the attic of my poor deceased aunt......do you guys know anything about these?....I'd like to sell it for her children......I talked to a fellow at the show here and he said I should be able to sell it for $12,000 'cause that's what they are going for" and so the story goes on

f5loar

Jul-08-2013, 9:10am

An '86 Taurus? That's pretty good Gary, but I was thinking more from the back of an early 70's AMC Gremlin, Pacer or Matador!
I don't think the builder of this fake has come forth yet. Looks to be made in the 70's with the fake labels maybe added much later.
I'm seeing some early builders workmanship like a Randy Wood, CE Ward, Marion Kirk, Montelone, etc. Those guys were way off the mark when they first started building these Loar copies. But they all got better as they made more. Using the Gibson inlays in the late 60's to mid 70's was pretty common. What is it worth? Without knowing the builder and it really plays and sounds great I would put a $2000 tag on it, maybe a bit more or a bit less. At $14,000 you need to have your head examined by a professional as you have lost all your brain waves for recognizing reality.

sgrexa

Jul-08-2013, 9:29am

Page one of this thread states it was likely made by Stanley Bragg. Personally, I have never heard of him.

Sean

f5loar

Jul-08-2013, 9:55am

Me either. Stanley has not come forth with a confession , likely to avoid a summons from the Gibson lawyers. I've heard the Gibson Co. has contacted this person concerning the authenticity of this fake copy.

Gary Hedrick

Jul-08-2013, 10:10am

Yeah perhaps a Gremlin.....those were really "nice"....

You are right that in the 70's many weren't putting the labels in.....just trying to make a really good instrument and the best would be what you would copy if you were striving for quality...

The banjo world has been selling labels and putting all sorts of pieces together and calling it "original" for years and years...the pro folks in that world know all the pieces and parts and can tell what is non original but in our world the process can become much more evil.....lots of folks have been screwed over the years.....me to name one....not a Loar screw but a screw none the less....ah life's lessons served with a piece of humble pie!!!

acatasus

Jul-08-2013, 1:04pm

This is why I buy new mandolins by current builders, like my Collings or my National Resophonic or old mandolins that nobody would bother counterfeiting, like my Harmony H35. An added benefit is that we support people building quality instruments today. Such enterprise should be encouraged.

acatasus

Jul-08-2013, 1:14pm

For a little over $2000, one could buy a lovely Collings A-style with a beautiful sound and playability. The ornamentation would be minimal, true, but a beautiful instrument nonetheless. Then you could spend a year going to every fiddlers' convention and folk festival in the country and have money left over for some private lessons and instructional DVDs! The only thing you'd miss is the $3000 strap hanger.

Ed Goist

Jul-08-2013, 1:19pm

...snip...The only thing you'd miss is the $3000 strap hanger.

Oh snap!

Stuart Smith

Jul-08-2013, 2:56pm

<post removed. violates forum guidelines>

- Avoid flaming or trolling – posts intended to create discord, antagonize others or create general mayhem. Be polite and courteous at all times. We expect spirited discussions and widely varying opinions that some may even find offensive, but exercise caution. A good rule of thumb is don't say anything on the forum that you wouldn’t say to someone in person.

Gary Hedrick

Jul-08-2013, 3:27pm

Hmmm Stanley Bragg??

I thought I've heard this name before and voila'
http://www.mandolincafe.com/forum/showthread.php?21775-STANLEY-BRAGG-MANDOLINS

and here

http://www.mandolincafe.com/forum/archive/index.php/t-35085.html

now before folks just jump on this.....it very well may NOT be the same fellow and even if it is HE likely isn't the one doing the selling

houseworker

Jul-08-2013, 3:41pm

now before folks just jump on this.....it very well may NOT be the same fellow and even if it is HE likely isn't the one doing the selling

I don't think that there's any suggestion that Stanley Bragg was responsible for either the headstock inlay or the interior labels; quite the contrary. Brandon Farley is known to have been playing a Stanley Bragg mandolin at some point and the conjecture is that he had Mr Bragg's work modified to the fake Gibson appearance. But there's no certain information to confirm or deny that.

mrmando

Jul-08-2013, 3:52pm

I don't think that there's any suggestion that Stanley Bragg was responsible for either the headstock inlay or the interior labels; quite the contrary. Brandon Farley is known to have been playing a Stanley Bragg mandolin at some point and the conjecture is that he had Mr Bragg's work modified to the fake Gibson appearance. But there's no certain information to confirm or deny that.
Either scenario could be true AFAIK. Neither is supported or contradicted by any evidence I've seen.

goaty76

Jul-08-2013, 4:13pm

. For those wanting to know up front if it is real or not....... if a signed Loar F5 comes in a gig bag....... well there's your sign! .

I actually know of a Loar that was stored for many years in chipboard case. Anyone can spot a Loar in the typical rectangular hardshell case but finding one in a gig bag takes skill (and perseverance).

Phil

taterbug

Jul-11-2013, 7:23am

Well for Pete's sake, how could it be more obvious that this is a fake? I doesn't take a genius to look at this mess and see it's a piece of junk. If there truly are people left in remote corners of the world that can't identify a farce so blatant as this, I don't know how to proceed. Reminds me more of a Vega I had in the late 70's...no, Chevy Vega...

f5loar

Jul-11-2013, 9:14pm

The Tater has spoken. He knows the real deal after picking on about 50 of them. Yeah I'll go with it being in the trunk of a 70's Vega if the color is powder blue.

Mandobar

Jul-13-2013, 5:31am

Yeah perhaps a Gremlin.....those were really "nice"....

You are right that in the 70's many weren't putting the labels in.....just trying to make a really good instrument and the best would be what you would copy if you were striving for quality...

The banjo world has been selling labels and putting all sorts of pieces together and calling it "original" for years and years...the pro folks in that world know all the pieces and parts and can tell what is non original but in our world the process can become much more evil.....lots of folks have been screwed over the years.....me to name one....not a Loar screw but a screw none the less....ah life's lessons served with a piece of humble pie!!!

Electric guitar guys have been doing this too, although one seller ended up in his own car trunk over his penchant for switching parts and calling them authentic.

Gary Hedrick

Jul-13-2013, 2:34pm

on his way to a field in upstate New York with "Tony" at the wheel and a shovel keeping him company in the trunk?????

Clement Barrera-Ng

Jul-14-2013, 8:45pm

Just a heads up: Another go around with this forgery:

http://www.ebay.com/itm/1924-Gibson-F-5-Master-Model-Vintage-Mandolin-Very-Nice-Great-Tone-Antique-/121143953744?hash=item1c34be0950

Jim Garber

Jul-14-2013, 9:20pm

Just a heads up: Another go around with this forgery:

http://www.ebay.com/itm/1924-Gibson-F-5-Master-Model-Vintage-Mandolin-Very-Nice-Great-Tone-Antique-/121143953744?hash=item1c34be0950

The plot sickens!! At least this eggplant seller took a fresh batch of photos (I think). Nice Buy it Now!

John McCoy

Jul-14-2013, 10:06pm

Groundhog Day.

mrmando

Jul-14-2013, 11:06pm

I made a $1 best offer.

houseworker

Jul-15-2013, 2:05am

And it's gone again.

Eric Hanson

Jul-15-2013, 2:20am

Gone
Like a fifth of Gin
Gone, Gone, Away

Let's hope this guy gets the hint and stays away. Like a piece of chewing gum on hot pavement he has tented to be so far. You just can't get it off of you, short of industrial means to do so.

almeriastrings

Jul-15-2013, 2:47am

Ebay really should be far more proactive in this kind of situation. This is not a "one off" instance of someone trying to palm off a blatant forgery... the same seller just keeps at it. Doubtless they'll keep on trying too. A suspension of their selling account would seem to be the bare minimum that is justified in such circ*mstances.

f5loar

Jul-18-2013, 10:13pm

Until this one comes back we can direct our attention to this nice "sorta of a Gibson" fake now on ebay.
http://www.ebay.com/itm/F5-Fern-Headstock-Mandolin-w-original-1970s-Gibson-Case-Excelsior-USA-latches-/360698243466?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_0&hash=item53fb4a698a
I like this little tidbit of info: "it has the Fern inlay headstock and just above the fern you can see where it looks like a Name was removed - - looks like "The Gibson", no lables on the inside. Fancy inlay on Ebony Fretboard. if it is a F5 Lawsuit Copy then it is a Real good one!!. "
As late and great Andy Griffith would say "Yeah boy, that ought to get their attention".

Marty Jacobson

Jul-18-2013, 11:16pm

Well, the 1970's part they have right, at least. Or 80's.... or 90's....

f5loar

Jul-19-2013, 3:25am

No part of it was made by Gibson in the 70's,80's or 90's. I'm not so sure the case is for a Gibson either. I never saw a shape case for the 70's F5s or F12s. It might be made for an Epiphone but not a Gibson as the seller claims. If that is his link to this mandolin possibly being made by Gibson he missed the boat. This mandolin has 70's Japan import all over it. Aria Pro II or Ibanez maybe but Gibson no way. I think the seller knows it's not a Gibson. He just wants you to "think" it "might" be a Gibson by his wording in the description. There are a half dozen easy clues as to why this was not made by Gibson. Good mandolin to study since he could have had "The Gibson" on it.

Vernon Hughes

Jul-19-2013, 5:26am

I emailed the seller and told him it looks very much like an early 70's alvarez. No response.

f5loar

Jul-19-2013, 9:52am

I decided not to inform this seller. My father said it's best not to talk with crazy people.

Russ Donahue

Jul-19-2013, 12:33pm

"the case is definately a Gibson 1970s F-Style case w/ Cheney USA latches. this Mandolin was in it."

I like this equation. X was in Y, therefore it is a Y.

Next anniversary I'll buy a Cartier box and go shopping at WalMart (not).

acatasus

Jul-20-2013, 3:27am

I apologize for posting this twice. I don't know how I did it and I can't seem to delete one of them. I didn't want people to thing I was a spoiled brat looking for attention and throwing a tantrum. As soon as I learn how to delete a posting, I will.

Scott Tichenor

Sep-02-2013, 2:47pm

Here it is again on Craig's List:

http://nashville.craigslist.org/msg/4041127266.html

If there's another thread where this is discussed let me know. A good reason why threads should always have a title that can be searched.

Scott Tichenor

Sep-02-2013, 3:03pm

OK, I found the other thread. It wasn't assigned an adequate title some I'm closing it. Also "sticking" this thread so it's always at the top of the eBay/Craig's List category.

Do we know who the seller is here? I know there was someone accused but that turned out to be incorrect. Probably best to not engage in that publicly unless you're very sure. This thing has to be getting some playing time on stage somewhere I'd think.

Also, for a record here's a link to the other discussion (http://www.mandolincafe.com/forum/showthread.php?96611-Loar-forgery-on-eBay) that's now closed.

William Smith

Sep-02-2013, 3:25pm

Don't know who the seller is I reckon there has been a few in the past few months, I know the new description on it from the Nashville craigslist is the same from the last craigslist ad, was it from Indiana? So whoever has her now maybe went to Gruhn or Carter and got the harsh/simple truth on what it is! So they put her on craigslist to recoup there very poor investment.
Isn't all this with this mandolin a certain type of fraud!? I'm not up on whats really a crime but I believe this is. Too many suckers are born every minute.

mrmando

Sep-02-2013, 4:00pm

Scott: there's a third thread as well. The mando has also been on Craigslist in Springfield, IL:

http://www.mandolincafe.com/forum/showthread.php?96442

Scott Tichenor

Sep-02-2013, 4:02pm

Closing that one as well. Really helps if these have a decent title to start with, otherwise makes it confusing or extremely difficult to locate.

That thread for future reference:
http://www.mandolincafe.com/forum/showthread.php?96442

rb3868

Sep-02-2013, 8:07pm

just looking at it - it looks more like one of those "distressed" finishes some offer rather than age. I can't imagine a 90 year old binding being THAT white

Sarahjade4

Sep-02-2013, 11:06pm

Getting threatened with legal action isn't fun.

Marty Jacobson

Sep-02-2013, 11:15pm

I have been watching the ebay lister's site with an automated change detection tool, the user's name was "eggplant04". I am not sure if the eggplant04 ebay user is Stuart Smith.
http://www.ebay.com/sch/eggplant04/m.html?_nkw=&_armrs=1&_from=&_ipg
Ever since the last ebay listing in July 2013, this user, eggplant04, has had no new items listed, whereas they previously sold items very regularly for a long time.
I don't know if that's relevant to anyone, but that's what I have noticed.

Sarahjade4

Sep-02-2013, 11:31pm

Oh and we definitely informed the seller - verbally and politely. So, he is aware that at least one person knows his label is fake and the mandolin is not a Gibson f-5 1924 Lloyd Loar. He stuck to his story.

f5loar

Sep-03-2013, 12:10am

just looking at it - it looks more like one of those "distressed" finishes some offer rather than age. I can't imagine a 90 year old binding being THAT white
Well imagine it because many of the mid to late 20's Ferns have binding that is still as white as it was when new. They used a different binding plastic during those years and they just don't turn yellow. But since this one is suppose to be a '24 Loar, then yes it's too white to be that old. But really the give away sign on this fake was the "no case included but they will get you one". When is the last time you saw a real Loar without some type of a case? Heck even the "The Loar"s come with a case. :))

Paul Statman

Sep-03-2013, 12:24am

My reply to his Nashville cl ad:

Mr Smith~

Your mandolin is clearly a fake with a bogus label. Those Grover tuners haven't been around long enough to qualify as old, and this instrument has never seen the inside of any Gibson factory.
I repeat: this is not a Gibson product of any era, let alone a rare 1924 F5.
I am not the first to tell you this. I probably shan't be the last.
The mandolin world is watching you, lad.

Sarahjade4

Sep-03-2013, 1:03am

I have been "asked" by the seller to remove anything with his name.

almeriastrings

Sep-03-2013, 2:48am

Getting threatened with legal action isn't fun.

I suppose you could inform him that if he likes legal action, he's certainly heading for some (big time) if he sells this thing as a genuine Gibson mandolin.

Scott Tichenor

Sep-03-2013, 7:04am

Just found out the individual in question has been amongst us for a considerable time. Here's his only post (http://www.mandolincafe.com/forum/showthread.php?96643-Loar-forgery-fake-Serial-80263&p=1181019&viewfull=1#post1181019) in defense of his own instrument. Forgot to disclose he was the owner. That's fraudulent in itself. This was made on July 8. He's had quite a bit of time to research his instrument, that's for sure. Must have taken out a membership with the intent of researching fake Loars. Certainly came to the right place.

We removed the post when it was made for obvious reasons but I'll repost it here as the content brings new information to light. Here it is as those all remain hidden in the database:

I guess what is really confusing to me is not whether it's real or how much it sold for, but why a bunch of presumably grown men would spend hours upon hours complaining about an instrument they couldn't afford anyway. Who really cares what it sells for? That's between the person selling it and the buyer. Instead of whining or drooling over pictures of Loars, you should pick up your Chinese Kentucky or Washburn and start practicing. Then you can be a half-way player decent out gigging instead of being a bunch "has beens/never were" and wasting your mid-life crisis hunched over a computer screen. This seems like a product of too much time and too little life or talent.

His account was removed this morning for violating forum guidelines including representing the interest of a sale but not disclosing the fact he was the seller, and also the sending of threatening PMs to least one member that forwarded it to me. Sent a threatening PM to me as well.

The threats and insulting slurs he has been using online will not serve him well. There's more information. If he goes away we'll leave him alone. If not, may have to unload everything I know.

Bogle

Sep-03-2013, 7:25am

The ad has been deleted by the author.

houseworker

Sep-03-2013, 7:47am

The Springfield listing is still current: http://springfieldil.craigslist.org/msg/4026796742.html

As is this helpful warning: http://springfieldil.craigslist.org/msg/4028889346.html

Gary Hedrick

Sep-03-2013, 7:52am

Oh and we definitely informed the seller - verbally and politely. So, he is aware that at least one person knows his label is fake and the mandolin is not a Gibson f-5 1924 Lloyd Loar. He stuck to his story.

Oh when it was on Ebay I sent him two messages and got horse pucky replies.....the dude is delusional

Gary Hedrick

Sep-03-2013, 7:55am

Hmmm there are enough lawyers on the forum that I would tread lightly if I were him. Threats and intimidation are things you can get arrested let alone sued.

f5loar

Sep-03-2013, 10:51am

I decided not to inform this seller. My father said it's best not to talk with crazy people.

I thought I would repeat myself with this good solid advice.

Gary Hedrick

Sep-03-2013, 11:09am

Yeah well the mule in me just had to do it......but now that I realize this is so far over the top......you are right.....leave delusional to themselves.

Paul Statman

Sep-03-2013, 11:33am

My reply to his Nashville cl ad:

Mr Smith~

Your mandolin is clearly a fake with a bogus label. Those Grover tuners haven't been around long enough to qualify as old, and this instrument has never seen the inside of any Gibson factory.
I repeat: this is not a Gibson product of any era, let alone a rare 1924 F5.
I am not the first to tell you this. I probably shan't be the last.
The mandolin world is watching you, lad.

Stuart Smith's private message to me late last night via this site:
*as he has opted not to receive a reply by PM, my response is below the brown one from him.

Sir,

I am asking you to remove my name and the incorrect information that you have posted in regards to myself and my listing. Do you understand the meaning of "libel"? Do you understand that any harassment or threats I have received because of your actions, you and this forum are directly responsible for under the law? If not, as an attorney, I am informing you of them now. I have deleted my Craigslist post until I know exactly what I have here and I trust you will do the same with yours.

Regards,
Stuart

Dear Stuart Smith,

This is getting really funny, but don't quit your day gig. A libel suit? Really? Are you sure you want to continue with this, Stuart? First (second and third, too, from what we've seen here) you claim to have a 1924 Gibson F5 for sale, and now you're an attorney? You stand to gain nothing good here. Quit while you're behind, lad. Or speak the truth. It will set you free.
*As I can't respond to you privately, any PM you send me will appear in this thread.

almeriastrings

Sep-03-2013, 12:22pm

He's claiming to be an attorney, while misrepresenting a fake object as an original for a lousy $14K? :)) :))

Not worth any real attorney losing their career over, I'd have thought.

Rodney Riley

Sep-03-2013, 12:25pm

Stuart Smith's private message to me late last night via this site:
*as he has opted not to receive a reply by PM, my response is below the brown one from him.

Sir,

... your actions, you and this forum are directly responsible for under the law? If not, as an attorney, I am informing you of them now.s.

Regards,
Stuart

A lawyer? And from Illinois! Let's see lawyers tend to enter into politics... Could end up as a Senator... Then could possibly... Better be on our best behavior people. Never know where he could show up. :(

f5loar

Sep-03-2013, 12:31pm

Dear Mr. Smith, For $50 and the same photos you have posted sent by email to Gruhn Guitars in Nashville, TN will tell you all you need to know about what you do and don't have in that F5 style mandolin. Why put off the agony for $50? And hey if it turns out to be real you will get way more than your asking $15,000 in fact it would ten fold to at least $150,000 even without the original tuners or case and assuming original 1924 finish. And in case you don't know Mr. Gruhn at Gruhn Guitars, he has been doing vintage written appraisals since 1969. He did the appraisals for the estates of Bill Monroe and Mother Maybelle Carter. It's been told George is good enough to just smell a photograph of a vintage instrument and can tell if it's real or not. And if you have already gotten one positive 1924 appraisal I strongly advise without counsel to get a 2nd opinion in which case you may be able to sue your first appraiser.

mrmando

Sep-03-2013, 12:41pm

A lawyer? And from Illinois! Let's see lawyers tend to enter into politics... Could end up as a Senator... Then could possibly... Better be on our best behavior people. Never know where he could show up. :(
Probably the same place the last few Illinois governors have gone...

Paul Statman

Sep-03-2013, 12:42pm

Dear Mr. Smith, For $50 and the same photos you have posted sent by email to Gruhn Guitars in Nashville, TN will tell you all you need to know about what you do and don't have in that F5 style mandolin. Why put off the agony for $50? And hey if it turns out to be real you will get way more than your asking $15,000 in fact it would ten fold to at least $150,000 even without the original tuners or case and assuming original 1924 finish. And in case you don't know Mr. Gruhn at Gruhn Guitars, he has been doing vintage written appraisals since 1969. He did the appraisals for the estates of Bill Monroe and Mother Maybelle Carter. It's been told George is good enough to just smell a photograph of a vintage instrument and can tell if it's real or not. And if you have already gotten one positive 1924 appraisal I strongly advise without counsel to get a 2nd opinion in which case you may be able to sue your first appraiser.

Thanks, f5loar! You posted the perfect response to this. Thank you for your sober insight.

Scott Tichenor

Sep-03-2013, 12:44pm

Calling bluff. Every lawyer I've met can construct a far better sentence. Funny, his law practice or anything about law is not discussed in his column he he wrote for (attached) The Source - UPBEAT, LOCAL NEWS COVERAGE SERVING MORGAN COUNTY (Illinois). I say he's a struggling 30 something musician that thinks he can pull a scam selling a mandolin for multiples over what it's worth. I've blocked out his email address in the attached but I can assure you it matches his (now disabled) forum account. Shouldn't be difficult to find online if anyone wants to Easter Egg hunt on Google for it.

106334

Tobin

Sep-03-2013, 12:51pm

He's claiming to be an attorney, while misrepresenting a fake object as an original for a lousy $14K? :)) :))

Not worth any real attorney losing their career over, I'd have thought.
If he is an actual attorney licensed in the State of Illinois, he will be registered here: http://www.iardc.org/lawyersearch.asp

I see two attorneys listed with that name, both in Chicago. This CL listing is in Springfield, though, which is quite a ways from Chicago. I have no clue if he is one of those attorneys. But it is *possible*, I suppose.

mrmando

Sep-03-2013, 3:05pm

Now appearing in Richmond!

http://richmond.craigslist.org/msg/4041145792.html

And Chicago!

http://chicago.craigslist.org/chc/msg/4041112877.html

Paul Statman

Sep-03-2013, 3:37pm

What is wrong with this Smith fellow? :disbelief:

f5loar

Sep-03-2013, 3:47pm

At this point I am more concerned as to why a man would lie to his grandson like this. And what in name of Sam's hill happened to that original Loar case?

Gary Hedrick

Sep-03-2013, 4:20pm

George Gruhn had it for sale a short time back.....

mrmando

Sep-03-2013, 4:26pm

I don't think Brandon Farley is old enough to be Stuart Smith's grandpa ...

Paul Statman

Sep-03-2013, 4:26pm

George Gruhn had it for sale a short time back.....

Had what for sale- the grandfather?!

mrmando

Sep-03-2013, 4:27pm

Yep, stuffed and mounted.

f5loar

Sep-03-2013, 4:29pm

Had what for sale- the grandfather?! The missing Loar case! He was asking $10,000 for the case.

Rodney Riley

Sep-03-2013, 5:16pm

Probably the same place the last few Illinois governors have gone...

I was thinking more of where the Senator went... The one that the Governor got in trouble for trying to sell his seat... :) Smith would have the ability to find all of us then... :( Oh, wait, THEY don't do that!!

Russ Donahue

Sep-03-2013, 6:18pm

"has beens/never were" and wasting your mid-life crisis hunched over a computer screen."

You know, he makes it sound kinda' romantic.

Gary Hedrick

Sep-03-2013, 7:48pm

The missing Loar case! He was asking $10,000 for the case.

Let's see $10k for the case and 15K for the mandolin.....still $165k short......oh boy

Wolfboy

Sep-03-2013, 7:59pm

This is immensely entertaining.

My reply to his Nashville cl ad:

Mr Smith~

Your mandolin is clearly a fake with a bogus label. Those Grover tuners haven't been around long enough to qualify as old, and this instrument has never seen the inside of any Gibson factory.
I repeat: this is not a Gibson product of any era, let alone a rare 1924 F5.

Stuart Smith's private message to me late last night via this site:

Sir,
Do you understand the meaning of "libel"?

Libel: a : a written or oral defamatory statement or representation that conveys an unjustly unfavorable impression
b (1) : a statement or representation published without just cause and tending to expose another to public contempt (2) : defamation of a person by written or representational means (3) : the publication of blasphemous, treasonable, seditious, or obscene writings or pictures (4) : the act, tort, or crime of publishing such a libel

(From Merriam-Webster Online Dictionary; emphases mine)

It ain't libel if it's true, Mr. Smith...

mrmando

Sep-03-2013, 8:14pm

mandopixie didn't say anything directly against Mr. Smith, just against his mandolin. And I might be wrong, but I don't think you can commit libel against an inanimate object.

Anyhow, the four CL ads we've found all appear to have been pulled for now. But I doubt we've seen the last of this mandolin.

Wolfboy

Sep-03-2013, 9:00pm

mandopixie didn't say anything directly against Mr. Smith, just against his mandolin. And I might be wrong, but I don't think you can commit libel against an inanimate object.

Exactly, that was my point: Mr. Smith was the one who brought up the word "libel" and the implicit threat that went with it, whereas all mandopixie did was state a provable fact about the mandolin. No libel there, nothing unjust, defamatory or any of the rest of it.

Anyhow, the four CL ads we've found all appear to have been pulled for now. But I doubt we've seen the last of this mandolin.

Well, if it resurfaces, I imagine the eagle-eyed experts here at the Cafe will pounce on it again soon enough...

mrmando

Sep-03-2013, 9:42pm

This is immensely entertaining.
Well, an artist such as yourself, who has provided wonderful entertainment for all of us for many years, is entitled to a little entertainment in return now and then.

f5loar

Sep-03-2013, 11:38pm

Okay guys, it's time to leave Mr. Smith alone. He really cannot help his actions or illusions of reality. He has admitted publically to being the direct son of a "Dead-Head" father. We should all apologize to him for his in-abilities to understand what it is we are trying to tell him. Ah........... what the heck, one more time just for fun "IT'S A FAKE LOAR". Now I feel better in knowing I have spoken the truth. This truth has set me free and I didn't have to spend $50 to find this truth out but all this may be because I slept at a Holiday Inn Express last night and awoke to their 100% Arabica Smart Roast℠ Coffee and their patented, melty, gooey, fresh baked cinnamon rolls. :grin:

John McCoy

Sep-03-2013, 11:44pm

Tom, you are too funny!

Scott Tichenor

Sep-04-2013, 11:15am

He is not an attorney and he needs to stop the lies about it. He also claims to be a born again Christian in various online writing. I'd say that's also some kind of front as well. Guy can't even tell himself the truth.

I'm looking at his Facebook page right now. I'd say he's maybe 30 and an unemployed musician. What you may be thinking would be correct: I have more inside information on him. I'm not going to publish that Facebook page but I'm considering doing so and if anyone finds it I can't say I'll object if they do. It's public information. I've alerted some national used and vintage dealers around the country that I'm in contact about this. The more people that know about this ongoing fraud the better.

Another step we've taken is this thread is now pinned to the top of the eBay/Craig's List category so that it's prominent and visible at all times on this forum. It's not going to drift away to page 2 like he thinks. I deal with keeping this kind of garbage off the site every day. Just part of the job. What I don't like is having members and the general mandolin community receiving threatening messages from someone trying to bully people. We will take appropriate steps to rectify this situation until the instrument is honestly represented for what it is. It's simply a forged musical instrument that may have value in making music, but it's no collector's item and needs to be represented accordingly.

pefjr

Sep-04-2013, 1:55pm

Well I give him the benefit of the doubt( that is a legal term), maybe he is a 'jack leg' lawyer. I am a JL lawyer, and plumber, carpenter, and mandolin luthier. I don't need to register any of those skills.:))Wondered why that other thread was closed.:mandosmiley::popcorn:

Stephen Porter

Sep-04-2013, 2:50pm

Scott,

Do you have any information on whether or not Stuart Smith is the original seller--from the eBay listings? IOW, is he the person behind this whole thing? The reason I ask is that Brandon Farley's name was mentioned previously in the thread(s) with some implication that he was involved. If not, and there is information to the contrary, it would be good to make that clear here. From what I read, Brandon isn't a saint, but if he had nothing to do with it it would be appropriate to make that known in the interest of fairness.

STP

mrmando

Sep-04-2013, 3:13pm

The first time it appeared on eBay, it was listed as being in West Virginia. From what I recall of that ad, it said the mandolin was the former property of Brandon Farley, but it was unclear whether Brandon himself was the eBay seller. The next series of eBay ads used a different eBay ID, gave the location as Illinois, eventually used different photos (the same ones lately being used on Craig's List), and had a new description showing greater capability in written English than the first ad. All of which is very strong evidence that the mandolin had changed hands.

AFAIK the identity of Mr. X, the first eBay seller, was never definitely established. Whoever that person was, he or she is now clear of the mandolin. If Mr. X defrauded anyone, it was Stuart Smith, the current owner. Whether Stuart was defrauded depends on how the mandolin was represented to him and what he paid for it, and since that transaction happened offline from eBay, we don't have those details and only Stuart knows whether he got a deal he thinks is acceptable. If he decides he was defrauded, he could try to take some action against Mr. X.

Any ongoing activity around continued attempts to sell this mandolin does not concern Brandon or Mr. X. It concerns only the current owner/seller, and the goal is to try to prevent anyone else from being misled or misinformed about the instrument.

While don't know for certain whether Brandon was involved in the first eBay listing, it's hard to imagine a scenario where he's entirely innocent of misinforming people about the mandolin. If it was indeed built for Brandon by Stanley Bragg, then Brandon knew it wasn't a Gibson. If Mr. X obtained the mandolin from Brandon later, under the impression that it was a real Loar, then it would have been Brandon's responsibility to clear up the misunderstanding.

barney 59

Sep-04-2013, 4:31pm

I have followed this thread and I have a different take on what has happened. The original seller desperate for money listed his counterfeit mandolin on ebay as genuine. A group of mandolin enthusiasts who happen to stumble on every mandolin that ever appears anywhere anytime picked up on it ,recognized it for what it is, and even discovered it's origins. These people completely torpedoed any possible attempt at selling it through ebay. The mandolin then travels via the Oxycontin Express, either physically or digitally, (this is what I think is really going on) to someone who is in league with (or owed money by) the original seller. This second person is a bit more literate and maybe has more computer savvy than the first person. So now there is an attempt to move this thing via craig's list and every time it's re listed they discover that wherever it appears someone from the Mandolin Cafe Swat Team is standing there. I would suggest that if the attempt to sell this thing is ever successful that the proceeds from the sale would go along way toward a nice stay at a suitable rehab.

houseworker

Sep-04-2013, 4:36pm

Do you have any information on whether or not Stuart Smith is the original seller--from the eBay listings? IOW, is he the person behind this whole thing?

I've been debating whether the time was right to summarise what is known about the recent history of this instrument, and your post seems the right opportunity.

1. The mandolin in question used to be owned by Brandon Farley (and sounded pretty spectacular when he played it). Brandon Farley lived in or near Princeton, West Virginia.

2. In June 2013 the mandolin was first listed on eBay, being sold by the seller gfpllc, whose location was also given as Princeton, West Virginia, under the heading Vintage 1924 F5 Gibson Mandoilin Nice ! Low Reserve! The description in that listing was as follows:

Up for auction is a Vintage 1924 F5 Gibson Mandolin #80263
Condition is very used and very old but good for the year.
it does have replaced toners , but everything else is original as far as I know.
It is missing (2)frets near the bottom of the neck and the pick guard was missing when I received it .
The truss rod cover was already on it as well with and unknown name, I'm guessing a past owner.
There are no cracks anywhere and nothing has been re-glued as far as I can tell.
This mandolin plays and sounds great.
Only damage I can see is in the finish from age and many years of play.
With a few replacement parts and finish repairs , this would be a quality instrument .
There was no case with it but I will ship in a mandolin gig bag.
Im not a mandolin expert but will answer any question with the best of my ability , so please don't hesitate to ask.
Shipping is fast and free, insurance included.
Bid with confidence trusted seller.

I doubt the seller was Brandon Farley although they may have been trying to sell it on his behalf. They didn't normally sell musical items at all, but had a steady business on eBay selling gold and silver in small quantities.

3. As a result of that eBay listing, this thread started: http://www.mandolincafe.com/forum/showthread.php?96442. In post #8, Marty Jacobson identified the mandolin as one that had been owned by Brandon Farley, and on the basis of an earlier Cafe thread describing Brandon as playing a Stanley Bragg mandolin, speculated that Mr Bragg may have been the maker of this instrument.

4. On 16th June, although bidding was brisk, the seller withdrew the item from eBay, and appears to have concluded a private sale. Post #14 in the original discussion thread suggests that at least one Cafe member knows the identity of the original seller.

continues....

mrmando

Sep-04-2013, 4:37pm

The mandolin then travels via the Oxycontin Express, either physically or digitally, (this is what I think is really going on) to someone who is in league with (or owed money by) the original seller.
Suggesting, on the basis of no evidence at all, that someone you don't know is involved in illegal trafficking of prescription drugs ... now that is more along the lines of what might legitimately be construed as libel. It does show some imagination, however.

houseworker

Sep-04-2013, 4:38pm

5. By June 22nd, the mandolin was relisted on eBay, with the seller now an eggplant04 of Winchester Illinois, under the heading "Gibson F-5 Master Model Vintage Mandolin 1924 Very Nice Player Loar Low Reserve!" That seller appears to have been Stuart Smith. Here's the description that came with that listing:

Up for sale is my Gibson Master Model F-5 mandolin. It is in great playing condition with normal wear associated with a mandolin of this age that has been consistently played.The interior label is signed by Lloyd Loar, Acoustic Engineer, and dated March 31, 1924. The other label is noted F-5 and serial number 80263. Yes, I know who Lloyd Loar is and the legend surrounding his mandolins. I’ll get to that later. This wonderful mandolin has an incredible lively tone that only gets louder as you tear into it. It plays effortlessly with low action and responds very well to dynamics, whether you are chording or soloing. It’s tone is really magical. There is an immediate crack as you hit the strings, then the notes just bloom from there. It’s treble is clear and sweet and it’s bass is warm, full, and tight. Very different from the flubby bass that new Gibsons have. It’s volume and projection can nearly drown out a dreadnaught and it is so loud when you play it, that you can barely talk above it. If this is a Loar, I fully understand the mystique surrounding them. I have played MANY Collings and Gibsons and I own a very nice Weber. This thing flat kills them all in every category. A Collings comes the closest, in my humble opinion, but even then it’s barely close. It has a substantial, but very comfortable neck that the notes ring out clearly on all the way up the fretboard. It is a real joy to play and hear. Notes fill the room when you dig into this thing with the kind of chop mandolin players lust after. Backing off, the tones becomes very sweet and lyrical. This particular piece responds wonderfully to picking dynamics. The whole mandolin comes alive and the wood vibrates freely when you tear into it.
There is obvious wear and modifications, as you can see in the pictures, but I will list them to the best of my ability just so you are clear on what you are buying.The scroll on the headstock has been broken and professionally repaired. It it appears to be an old repair and is very solid. The nut has been replaced, but the original nut will be included. The bridge, while very old, may also be a replacement. I’m not positive, though. It is missing the tailpiece cover and original tuners, although the tailpiece appears to be original. The new tuners, while quite nice and hold tune well, have been worn as well. I would also not rule out the possibility of a neck reset, as it is very common for such an old instrument, though I can’t be sure. The strap button also seems to be a replacement. It is also missing its pickguard. There is some fret wear, but it still plays wonderfully. There are two frets missing and a binding crack by the fretboard extension. All dots and inlays appear to be original. The finish also appears to be original, though it has significant play wear, scratches, etc., as you can see in the pictures. The truss rod cover has been replaced, which I’ll get to later as well. There are no repairs that I can find to the body, neck, etc. except for the headstock scroll which I mentioned earlier. The top, while thin and lively, has no sinking, cracks, etc. Overall, this piece is a very solid mandolin with a ton more life in it. This is THE best sounding mandolin I’ve ever heard.
Now, the story behind it. It came from the mountains of West Virginia. It belonged to a guy named Brandon Farley. A child prodigy, he was best known for playing in Ralph Stanley’s band. He has also made guest appearances with Ricky Scaggs and performed with this mandolin at the Grand Ole Opry. Everything I’ve ever heard of him is that he was an impossibly gifted musician who started having run ins with the law and soon lost everything. He gave up this mandolin and now lives in obscurity with a bad reputation around central West Virginia. Allegedly, this was his grandfathers mandolin, who was the original owner of it. The truss rod cover still bears Brandon's name. The case comes with one of his hand written set lists, his strap, and a program from a festival he played at with Ralph Stanley. They were in the case when I got it and they are yours, if you want them.
Now a very important part-
I am not a luthier, nor am I a mandolin expert. I am a guitarist, collector, and a novice, at best, mandolin player. I am also not a representative of Gibson or a Gibson historian. Please understand that. I will do my best to answer any and all questions to the best of my ability, but I am not an expert, by any means. I can also not completely verify that this is a genuine Loar or even a Gibson. Only Gibson can do that and if you have ever dealt with their customer service, then you know what a nightmare that can be (I own a ES-335 and a Les Paul). Regardless, they are the only ones who can verify if an instrument, no matter what it is, is a real Gibson. I do, however, know instruments and am quite familiar with Gibsons from the early 20th century, so here is what I know. This mandolin’s build quality, finish, appointments, and wear are all consistent with that era. This is genuine wear, not a relic job. As far as the Loar possibility, it is side bound, just like Bill Monroe’s famous Loar. This is a very uncommon feature that most new F-5s have never bothered to replicate. The peghead inlays, especially the positioning of the flower pot, varied very much in those days. This one is consistent with most I’ve seen from the middle to late part of Loar’s tenure at Gibson, which is when this one appears to have been made. The top angle of the headstock has the subtle consistencies of Loar mandolins, as well. The interior labels appear consistent with the age and wear of the mandolin. They do not appear to have been altered in any way. The writing on the labels and Loar’s signature all appear to be consistent as well. I have studied many photos of Loar’s signature and this one is pretty consistent with every one I’ve seen, given his general inconsistencies in penmanship. Some were wrote in pencil, some in ink. This one is in ink. Signatures can be forged, though and I’m well aware of that. Another difference between the vintage pieces and the new Gibsons is the peghead overlay. The originals had a very thin layer of holly which you could see the grain in the right light, not the thick black coated overlay that you find on new Gibsons and most modern mandolins. The overlay here is very thin. There are allegedly 326 Loars ever made and only 228 have been documented. I also know that a notoriously inaccurate website, who’s completely unauthorized by Gibson, has this serial number listed as an L-5, though that guitar has never been documented either. However, they may be right on this one, though. I do not know. This mandolin has spent it’s life gigging in the mountains of West Virginia, so drawing a perfect history will be hard for anyone. Without sending it to Gibson (yikes!), I can’t be 100% sure either way.
However, please understand this- I am not claiming this is a Lloyd Loar. I am not foolish enough to do that without the proper documentation. I know what they are worth and the last thing I would want to do is cheat anyone. I am merely presenting the evidence of what this mandolin is, not telling you what it may or may not be. All I can really go off of is what this mandolin is, the story behind it, and what the label claims it is. Upon receiving this piece, I researched it to the best of my ability while comparing it extensively to many examples of Loar’s mandolins and I just want you to know exactly what you are buying. The buyer assumes responsibility for this mandolin upon purchase, so please fully understand what you are buying. Sold as is.
It comes with a nice, non-original hardshell gig bag that fits and protects it nicely. This is a extremely well crafted mandolin that has incredible volume and tone that will make any player or collector very, very happy. My reserve is set very low, especially considering what this piece is.
Check out my other auctions for other great deals on fine instruments!
Please feel free to ask any questions. I will do my best to answer them. I’ve been an eBay member for 11 years with an outstanding track record and I guarantee your satisfaction 100%, so buy with total confidence. My customers are my greatest asset and I will work hard to make your buying experience second to none.
This mandolin will be fully insured with Free Fast Shipping!!!!
I will ship not ship this item internationally, but international buyers are welcome to contact me. We may be able to work something out.
Payment required within 24 hours. If you have not been an eBay member for over 6 months, have zero or negative feedback, or have a history of not paying for items as indicated in your feedback, please contact me before bidding. PayPal only. Thank you.
Good luck bidding!

The listing came with a new set of photographs.

6. The original discussion thread continued, a second one had opened here (http://www.mandolincafe.com/forum/showthread.php?96593) in the interim, and a third thread opened here (http://www.mandolincafe.com/forum/showthread.php?96611) as soon as the new listing appeared.

7. On June 24th, eBay pulled the listing, at a point where the bidding was in the region of $10,000. That same date, Stuart Smith registered on the Cafe.

continues....

houseworker

Sep-04-2013, 4:39pm

8. On July 6th, eggplant04 relisted the mandolin, now under the heading "1924 Gibson F-5 Master Model Vintage Mandolin Very Nice, Great Tone". No longer an auction, it was a three day listing with a BIN of $14,000.

It had a new, less detailed description:

Up for sale is my 1924 Gibson F-5 mandolin. It is a wonderful player with great tone and incredible volume. This thing sounds unbelievable! The tuners have been replaced and it is missing it's tailpiece cover. It also appears to have had a neck reset at some point. Other than that, it appears all original. Lots of play wear. Very solid overall. A real vintage beauty!!! Comes with a newer hard case.
Check out my other auctions for other great deals!
Please feel free to ask any questions and I guarantee your satisfaction 100%, so buy with total confidence. My customers are my greatest asset and I will work hard to make your buying experience second to none.
As Always, Free Fast Shipping!!!!
I will ship internationally, but international buyers will need to contact me first.
Payment required within 24 hours. If you have not been an eBay member for over 6 months or have a history of not paying for items as indicated in your feedback, please contact me before bidding. Thank you. Sold as is.
Good luck bidding!
Posted with eBay Mobile

9. On July 6th, it was showing as having sold for $12,000 although no sale appears to have been completed.

10. It appears to have been immediately relisted using the same listing details, since on July 7th it was showing as having sold for $14,000. Again no sale actually appears to have resulted.

11. On July 8th, Stuart Smith posted on this thread (post #107)

I guess what is really confusing to me is not whether it's real or how much it sold for, but why a bunch of presumably grown men would spend hours upon hours complaining about an instrument they couldn't afford anyway. Who really cares what it sells for? That's between the person selling it and the buyer. Instead of whining or drooling over pictures of Loars, you should pick up your Chinese Kentucky or Washburn and start practicing. Then you can be a half-way player decent out gigging instead of being a bunch "has beens/never were" and wasting your mid-life crisis hunched over a computer screen. This seems like a product of too much time and too little life or talent.

12 On July 15th, it was again listed on eBay by eggsplant04 apparently with a new set of photos, but it was pulled by eBay with a matter of hours. I don't appear to have an archive copy of that listing to hand.

10. On 26th August, the mandolin was listed on the Springfield Craigslist under the heading "1924 Gibson F-5 Master Model Mandolin Vintage - $15000 (Springfield, Il)" We know that the seller was Stuart Smith. The listing used the pictures from the most recent eBay listing, which didn't show some of the instrument's most distinctive features.

Here's the description Mr Smith used in the Craigslist listing:

Up for sale is my 1924 Gibson F-5 Master Model Mandolin. It was my grandfather's. It has a lot of wear from being played a lot over 80 years, but is very solid and plays well. It is very loud. All original, except the tuners which he replaced, but they're old too. Label is dated March 31, 1924. There appears to be a repair on the headstock scroll, but it is very solid. It is also missing two frets. No cracks or breaks, just lots of playing wear. It comes with newer strings. I restrung it in hopes of learning it, but just never have had the time which is why I'm selling it. It doesn't come with a case, but if you need one I can probably get you one.
I am willing to ship it, but I will only do so if the transaction is done through PayPal. Otherwise, I will accept cash or a cashier's check upon pick up.
Location: Springfield, Il
it's NOT ok to contact this poster with services or other commercial interests

It has subsequently been listed on the Nashville, Chicago and Richmond Craigslist listings, using the same pictures and text as the Springfield listings. All of those listings have now been withdrawn by Mr Smith.

Finally, post #15 in this thread adds to the story:

Plot thickens.

Well known retail dealer and forum member, someone everyone would recognize, told me a Gibson representative (well known forum member) actually saw this instrument in person recently and confirmed to the owner it was a fake.

Oopsies.

:)

mrmando

Sep-04-2013, 4:40pm

They didn't normally sell musical items at all, but had a steady business on eBay selling gold and silver in small quantities.
Suggests a pawnshop-type operation, which would fit nicely with some of the known facts.

houseworker

Sep-04-2013, 4:53pm

This was the post I alluded to related to the first seller. If Mr Henry was as well-informed as he sounded, it gives a good idea of the sort of sum Stuart Smith probably fronted up to acquire the mandolin.

You guys need to back off a bit. The seller is not trying to cheat or defraud anyone. He bought and was trying to sell a mandolin that he knew little about, let alone who Lloyd Loar was. He pulled the listing because he had 200 people wanting to come to his doorstep and pay him $10K for a Loar. The dang thing scared him not for what he had done but for what greedy people were doing to him.

Gary Hedrick

Sep-04-2013, 6:05pm

This was the post I alluded to related to the first seller. If Mr Henry was as well-informed as he sounded, it gives a good idea of the sort of sum Stuart Smith probably fronted up to acquire the mandolin.

Really????? didn't know much about it......got scared......Horse Pucky

houseworker

Sep-04-2013, 6:48pm

I've now established that the first eBay seller was Godfather's Pawn of 407 Rogers Street, Princeton (Principal: Steven L Pritchett). Wonder how much Stuart Smith gave them to get the jump on the eBay sale?

mrmando

Sep-04-2013, 7:02pm

Yes, I thought it might be Godfather's Pawn, as suggested by the name GFP LLC. A pawn transaction is just the sort of scenario where one might acquire a mandolin without acquiring essential information about it.

So it appears likely that Mr. Farley encountered some financial distress and had to pawn his mandolin ... or perhaps sold it to someone who later pawned it. So whatever Mr. Farley's other shortcomings might be, he doesn't seem to have direct responsibility for the eBay and CL fiascos.

Jim Garber

Sep-04-2013, 7:50pm

This is truly amazing. When this is finally wound up, I wonder who will write the screenplay?

I also know that a notoriously inaccurate website, who’s completely unauthorized by Gibson, has this serial number listed as an L-5, though that guitar has never been documented either.

Oh, man... where did that come from?

Paul Statman

Sep-04-2013, 8:15pm

This is truly amazing. When this is finally wound up, I wonder who will write the screenplay?

Jim, you're a crackup!

William Smith

Sep-04-2013, 8:36pm

Maybe we'll all get real lucky the next time this "LOAR" changes hands and it gets smashed into dust during shipping so we don't have to hear about it anymore.:sleepy:
Too bad it can't just sell for what it is, a fantastic sounding handmade F-5!

vegas

Sep-04-2013, 10:08pm

Maybe we'll all get real lucky the next time this "LOAR" changes hands and it gets smashed into dust during shipping so we don't have to hear about it anymore.:sleepy:
Too bad it can't just sell for what it is, a fantastic sounding handmade F-5!

I don't think this mandolin will go out of play even if it were somehow "smashed into dust." Grifting schemes are always re-used by other grifters once they learn about one that works. It is all too easy to copy the information and pics on the Internet and relist it somewhere else.

Someone, somewhere, will send them money and see the money "smashed into dust" with no return. It must have worked in the past in order for someone to list the same scam again.

auteq

Sep-04-2013, 10:17pm

This is truly amazing. When this is finally wound up, I wonder who will write the screenplay?

I totally agree and very interesting, it is like "pawn stars" meets the "red violin" with a little "scooby doo" come upance in that -"old man S. Smith would have gotten away with it, if it hadnt been for the Cafe's meddling kids.". Also no sex, Samuel l Jackson, cartoon dog or a bickering family business, but I gotta say impressive how you all have pieced this together and potentially helped stop multiple fraudulent sales.

Barry Wilson

Sep-04-2013, 10:28pm

I love this thread

f5loar

Sep-04-2013, 11:08pm

What gets me is this mandolin we know has "been around the block" a few times and has changed owners several times yet it remains without those two frets and still no case for it. It's not the first time someone has gotten bitten over misrepresentation by Pawn Shops nor will it be the last. However in this case I can see how easy a Pawn Shop could mistake this one for the real deal, but that don't excuse the price it is being traded at. Even a low turnover Pawn can access the internet and find out what a real 1924 F5 Gibson is going for. Why the cheapo price? My guess is they gave Brandon $5000 and sold it to XXX for $10,000 in a quick double their money turn around. And how did this same fake go from a homemade copy in the 80's to someone's grandfather having owned it for over 80 years. I kinda wish this Brandon Farley would come forth here and tell his side of what he got for it, why the missing frets and why no case. I suspect Brandon has gone into deep hiding and left no forwarding address.

mrmando

Sep-04-2013, 11:13pm

Brandon might be a houseguest of the State of West Virginia by this time, if allegations are true...

f5loar

Sep-04-2013, 11:36pm

That would be keeping it low key!

fatt-dad

Sep-05-2013, 7:47am

If nothing else the provenance is well developed by now. An historical piece for any collector!

f-d

f5loar

Sep-05-2013, 8:36am

You got that right!l I don't see how this owner will be able to sell this one any other place but right here on the café. We know the mandolin better than he(she) does. We also know they are reading this thread on the café. So I say let the bidding begin to find out what this Fake F5 Loar copy is worth. I'll start the bidding high at $1000.

Marty Jacobson

Sep-05-2013, 8:42am

This whole story is so depressing... I just hope this mandolin gets back in the hands of someone who will use it for its true purpose again -- making people happy.

Jim Garber

Sep-05-2013, 9:12am

Yes, I feel sorry for this poor mandolin who is floating around and just wants to be played and loved. :(

I hope there will be a happy ending for this story.

Jstring

Sep-05-2013, 9:20am

I've really enjoyed reading this thread. Of course, I had to google Brandon Farley after reading 8 pages of posts - there are quite a few videos of him playing the mandolin in question.

I don't think anyone has posted any examples, so here's one:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=khspk8U1dmM

It may not be a real Loar, but it's a great bluegrass mandolin! And he's a talented player. I hope there's a good end of the story for both of them....

f5loar

Sep-05-2013, 9:50am

wow! That impressed me! Brandon has got his Monroe chops going on there. Great sounding Fake Loar. I just up my bid to $1200 but only if it comes with a case.

Gary Hedrick

Sep-05-2013, 10:08am

This whole story is so depressing... I just hope this mandolin gets back in the hands of someone who will use it for its true purpose again -- making people happy.

Agreed but not after relieving some poor soul of his money in the chase for something that this isn't.

Good mandolin....just not a Loar...

William Smith

Sep-05-2013, 10:11am

wow! That impressed me! Brandon has got his Monroe chops going on there. Great sounding Fake Loar. I just up my bid to $1200 but only if it comes with a case.

Yes that Mandolin does sound great! I'll go $1250! The mando don't look the best but sound is whats important anyway. We should hold a café auction for fun and see what it would go for?

Scott Tichenor

Sep-05-2013, 11:02am

Brandon isn't on my radar. Maybe someone else's. Can't speak for him and I don't like seeing someone accused of something without proof, even if they have proven to be of questionable character otherwise. Stuart Smith--that isn't a problem.

Facts, not speculation, which is rampant in this thread:

- The same person that has been answering Craig's List ads named Stuart Smith used the same email address with a variation of his name in it from an email provider we all know to answer those CL inquiries.
- That same address appears in an article bearing his name with a picture of him.
- His Facebook page under the name Stuart Smith contains the same photo in the article that contains this same email address.
- That same email address was used to register on this forum and post within this thread back in early July, the post was removed for violating forum guidelines and he was booted because he was representing the instrument's interest but not disclosing he was the seller.
- The IP address of the location used to register here matches the same geographic area where he has authored an article under the name Stuart Smith and the email address already mentioned.

I have no evidence Stuart Smith actually owns this instrument, but it's clear he's acting as the seller of it and I know where he lives... actually, I know his address. How? Not many secrets on the web if you know how to navigate it. One thing is for sure, if he's trying to cloak himself on the web he's unbelievably clumsy and clueless.

I question if Brandon has anything to do with this... or maybe they're pals. Sort of doubt it, but some of the speculation way back stretches things beyond what I can believe. Bottom line is, may be a great instrument. Wouldn't try buying it, and until it's represented honestly he's going to receive a lot of attention for the long haul.

pefjr

Sep-05-2013, 11:26am

This whole story is so depressing... I just hope this mandolin gets back in the hands of someone who will use it for its true purpose again -- making people happy. I don't think it's the mandolin, I think it's Brandon's talent that we hear. That kid can play, we can see this on the utubes, and he would sound good on any mandolin. As he has proven, if that mandolin is a Epiphone.

Marty Jacobson

Sep-05-2013, 12:33pm

I am not going to say anything about anyone. I am just going to post one screenshot of a comment from this link:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=khspk8U1dmM

106402

f5loar

Sep-05-2013, 1:45pm

What we do know of Brandon from the above youtube video is under the comments that Brandon told people he had a '24 Loar and has a '34 flathead Gibson banjo, one of 14 his father told others. Speculation rules out it being a real '34 flathead too. Just listened to the video again................ and I'm up to $1325 for the Fake Loar.

f5loar

Sep-05-2013, 1:48pm

And one more thing, just because you throw in a few dozen hot licks into a Monroe instrumental and call it by Monroe's title does not give you the right to claim you wrote the tune. Son James would be mighty upset over that there! Just saying! :whistling:

evanreilly

Sep-05-2013, 2:10pm

Bet Stuart Smith is going to be selling #72214 soon....

Jim Garber

Sep-05-2013, 2:48pm

For historical purposes, a closeup of Brandon and mandolin. Is this the mandolin in question?

Marty Jacobson

Sep-05-2013, 3:31pm

Yes, that's the same mandolin. Key features are the color, the scroll which curls around a little more than a Gibson scroll, the pearl truss rod cover, and wear patterns.

woodwizard

Sep-05-2013, 4:08pm

Well after reading the entire thread... I've come to the conclusion that this is probably a nice mandolin ... It's the owners of it that's not so nice :)

Jim Garber

Sep-05-2013, 4:18pm

Yes, that mandolin needs a good home. Maybe we should take up a collection.

f5loar

Sep-05-2013, 5:00pm

Missing the frets too. Maybe Brandon removed them like Apollon did to hit those special trick notes high up the neck.

Ken Waltham

Sep-11-2013, 4:30pm

I think I would follow Scott's advice on this one...

Scott Tichenor

Sep-20-2013, 8:36am

There's a reason this subject hasn't come up for awhile and the story can now be told.

Someone who wishes to remain anonymous purchased the instrument. Upon receiving it that individual sought expert advice eventually engaging the opinion of two very well known Loar experts. One is a member, the other I don't believe ever engages on any forums for any instrument.

A complaint was subsequently filed with PayPal--that's how intial payment was made. PayPal made a refund to the buyer in full. The State Attorney General of Illinois and local police have decided this is not a criminal case but might be a civil case only if the payment was not returned--it was.

The buyer has opted to return the instrument to the seller.

You read that last sentence right.

Yes, I know all of the arguments and concerns that will be raised. I don't think it has yet been shipped but I'm not going to be surprised to see it for sale online again in the very near future. Don't bother trying to contact me privately for further information as I truly don't have any more. That includes the name of the buyer--I do not know the name.

Steve Sorensen

Sep-20-2013, 9:28am

Too bad the instrument wasn't impounded as evidence.

Steve

Perry Babasin

Sep-20-2013, 9:41am

Where is that Fireplace poker when you need it!! They could have added just a little more "distressing".

AlanN

Sep-20-2013, 9:46am

The fact that the seller was, temporarily, able to sell it as advertised is flabbergasting.

mandoross

Sep-20-2013, 9:51am

Well I'll never be duped into buying a fake Loar. I can't afford one in the first place!

William Smith

Sep-20-2013, 10:02am

I might've said this before but too bad this "fake" can't just sell for what it is, a GREAT sounding instrument, a lot of mandolins sound good but there are a smaller batch that sound great. I'd play that mandolin with pride if I owned it, there is nothing wrong with it "well the whole Loar issue is a problem"

almeriastrings

Sep-20-2013, 10:30am

That is quite unusual, in that Paypal normally require destruction of counterfeits and fakes. I know of two cases personally where they have demanded that. There are newspaper reports that confirm this too:

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2082060/PayPal-eBay-buyer-destroy-2-500-violin-deemed-counterfeit.html

It sounds to me like the seller agreed to a refund within 10 days, which would have 'bypassed' Paypal enforcing one (and their usual destruction conditions). Quite likely the seller knew (and knows) this... gets a chance to sell it again, even if they lose the $$$ this time around.

mrmando

Sep-20-2013, 1:21pm

Keeping an eye on Craig's List.

Bluejay

Sep-20-2013, 2:36pm

I sincerely hope this outlaw mandolin finds it's way into some players hands. It's a shame the drama surrounding what seems to be a darn good sounding instrument. Shame on you guys that think it should be destroyed. Maybe the new owner should take a chunk of glass and scratch off the logo

Jim Garber

Sep-20-2013, 2:40pm

Forever the optimist, I still have a feeling that this will work out and this mandolin will end up in the hands of a player who will love it for what it is and will pay for it what it is actually worth.

Shame on you guys that think it should be destroyed.

I don't think anyone here said that they thought it should be destroyed only that there are some news items that said that Paypal did that in the past.

f5loar

Sep-20-2013, 2:51pm

It's not the first fake to change hands without knowing. But in this case the current owner knew well it was a fake and if he didn't yet refused to have it appraised for $50 or so then shame on him. We have told it was fake for free which should have at least sparked enough interest in him to have it professionally appraised. Since he didn't speaks volumes of his character. Just saw on Hardcore Pawn TV show where a Pastor came in with a Babe Ruth signed baseball complete with appraiser papers with it. They agreed to pay the price he wanted provided it came back from their appraiser it was a real signature. It came back as fake and the deal was off. I agree in that his seller needs to bite the bullet and his loss and advertise it for what it truly is and sell it. Either put a fair marker price on it (below $5000) or let it go to auction and land where it lands. Likely a great copy of the Loar F5.

William Smith

Sep-20-2013, 2:58pm

I'd pay 5G for it all day long, " If I didn't just buy another 34 F-7" its got the sound caliber of a mandolin costing 5 to 10 times more easily.

Scott Tichenor

Sep-21-2013, 9:14am

I'd exercise caution assigning a value on this one which no one here has played to my knowledge. While the individual that bought it clearly can't tell a badly faked Loar from a dozen images, they did say it sounded like a $300 instrument, in writing. My fear is people reading this think because someone says it's worth X amount that it really is. Talk about some seriously messed up marketing...

It's worth what someone is willing to pay and what someone else is willing to accept. The YouTube video might have it sounding great but it's far more evidence of the talent of the individual playing it. Great mandolins will not make you a great player. If you suck as a player, the instrument isn't going to help you much.

testore

Sep-22-2013, 12:06pm

With so many beautiful mandolins out there, with so many great builders around, a few of them making GREAT Loar copies, why would anyone buy such an UGLY mandolin from such a dubious source under such nasty circ*mstances? The cafe does such a great job of connecting honest builders with honest buyers. The collective expertise is invaluable. Why look in a dark alley for something that is so easy to find in broad daylight. I can't feel sorry for anyone losing good money buying a crappy mandolin. There is no excuse for it.

mandolinfox

Sep-22-2013, 4:06pm

I feel like if it were some other commodity instead of mandolins, I could very well have been taken. That worries me.

mrmando

Sep-22-2013, 4:28pm

This is what happens in a corporate culture where the "Free Market" is a sacred dogma that must be protected at the expense of everything else. I'm no socialist, but having rules about things like this does not seem like excessive government regulation to me.
Current trademark and intellectual property laws, not to mention basic protections against consumer fraud, are more than adequate in the present situation. If somebody at Gibson decides that Stuart is hurting their brand as well as his own reputation, they'll have plenty of material with which to go after him.

If I were Stuart I would quit while I'm ahead and either keep the mandolin or sell it for exactly what it is.

barney 59

Sep-22-2013, 7:13pm

I'm a bit bewildered about the "destroy the counterfeit" policy of Paypals... I sell something that turns out to be counterfeit or is at least claimed to be counterfeit. Who gets to decide who the "expert" is that makes the determination that it is in fact counterfeit?
I don't have the option of returning the money in exchange for the item back? Does this all happen before Paypal has given me my money therefore I get nothing? The woman in the article is correct in that a Stradivarius(or Stainer or Amati etc.) label in a Violin can hardly be grounds for claiming that it is a counterfeit. It has been done for so long and so often that that label is almost meaningless, and many rare and valuable instruments in their own right also have those labels.

Michael Lewis

Sep-23-2013, 12:55am

As long as the instrument bears the labels and logo like the real thing it may at some time in the future be offered again for sale by someone else who may or may not know it's real identity. This is a distinct possibility and can cause financial harm to an unsuspecting buyer.

John Clay

Sep-23-2013, 8:27am

What a great thread and an object lesson in caveat emptor!

Hmmm, this fake Gibson is acquiring quite a colorful history. If someone ever buys the instrument for a modest price (i.e., does not get ripped off thinking it is a genuine "Loid L'ore"), I have a simple solution:

Keep the instrument for 20 years. Add the word "Fake" to the pearl inlay and the serial sticker, as in, The Fake Gibson. Post a photo to this thread as the last comment before this is closed to confirm that it is the same notorious but resilient fake Gibson that has been resurfacing on ebay like a Phoenix rising from the ashes. Save the youtube video of the instrument being played (linked earlier in this thread). Print a copy of this thread to archive the history of its pawnshop and ebay journey.

Then, play it publicly for novelty tunes ("now this here is a lost tune by Mr. Billman Row that he used to play on this very same Fake Gibson"). Or simply keep it in a closet and off ebay.

After 20 years, it can then be sold (with full disclosure of the instrument's true history and a copy of this thread as it's pedigree) as a one-of-a-kind item. I suspect there are collectors who would buy it at a higher price because of its notorious history, or even out of nostalgia. ("Could that really be "The Fake Gibson" with the Fake L-5 serial number? Several vintage dealers have now confirmed that that it really is The Fake Gibson that inspired 10 pages of threads on The Mandolin Cafe on its mysterious journey from West Virginia to Illinois!")

Voila, problem solved.

Mark Wilson

Sep-23-2013, 10:38am

Agreed! Great thread. And well done efforts to keep the spotlight on attemps to unload this now famous fake Loar wantabe.

The big mystery to me is: when did this mandolin go from seemingly decent F5 copy to Loar-era forgery?

Mandobar

Sep-23-2013, 3:37pm

Agreed! Great thread. And well done efforts to keep the spotlight on attemps to unload this now famous fake Loar wantabe.

The big mystery to me is: when did this mandolin go from seemingly decent F5 copy to Loar-era forgery?
when someone got greedy.

Tobin

Sep-23-2013, 4:11pm

The big mystery to me is: when did this mandolin go from seemingly decent F5 copy to Loar-era forgery?

When they put "The Gibson" on the headstock and forged Lloyd Loar's signature on a fake Gibson label inside. That is pretty much the classic definition of forgery.

This mandolin was a forgery from the start. The maker had to have known that one day this would happen.

Darryl Wolfe

Sep-24-2013, 8:57am

One thought to keep in mind is that mandolins of this sort change hands all the time. Clone copies with labels and Gibson on the peghead have been made for years, and I know of none that have been "reversed". They change hands from person to person at the instrinsic value of the mandolin itself and based upon who happened to build it.

What makes this case special is the repeated attempts to sell the mandolin as a real Gibson at a price that is also "fraudulent" when the seller knows darn well what he has.

This, more than the mandolin itself is the subject of this thread.

Stephen Perry

Sep-24-2013, 7:56pm

What would greatly change the situation would be the involvement of 1) law enforcement or / and 2) the formal legal system.

I think it would be fun, but the litigants would probably not feel the same.

mrmando

Nov-26-2013, 2:50am

<not hosting discussion on that one.>

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