Well nobody guessed it, so here it is: today Lowe Vintage acquired a Gibson F-5 mandolin, hand-signed and dated by Gibson acoustic engineer Lloyd Loar on February 26, 1923! This fine piece came to us by way of Jim Smith of Knoxville, TN, a retired Bell South man and mandolin player for Knoxville-based bluegrass bands “The Pinnacle Boys” and the “Knoxville Bluegrass Band”. Jim acquired this mandolin in September of 1968 when it was 45 years old. For those of you like ourselves who aren’t great with math, that makes this mandolin exactly 90 years old. We met up with Jim and his friend, a one Mr. Sonny Osborne, in Asheville, NC. After listening to Jim pick a bit, we hung around, swapped stories and shared some laughs before parting ways. We’re sure Jim is going to miss his Loar, but he’s left it in good hands. We appreciate the opportunity to help you find your dream instrument, no matter how rare!