The Gibson H-2 was the second of four models of mandola and it was fairly fancy having a “The Gibson” mother of pearl inlaid headstock logo, in this case set at an angle, and below that a mother of pearl fleur-de-lis inlay. This one was made right on the cusp of having an adjustable truss rod, but that came out in 1921 and so it is non-adjustable but the neck is more than reasonably straight. The ebony fingerboard is inlaid with 6 mother of pearl dots in 5 fret positions and bound in crème colored celluloid; the top and back are likewise bound. The soundhole is bound in grained ivoroid and encircled by a rosette of rope (alternating black and crème) marquetry which is itself balanced by a black line on each side, then a wide ring of grained ivoroid and then another trio of rope. This retains its original black one-piece bridge with the little hole on the treble side into which the metal pin that stabilizes the pickguard, and “The Gibson” engraved slide-on nickel-plated tailpiece cover. The adjustable pickguard clamp is somewhat oxidized from the gasses emitted by the celluloid tortoise shell ‘guard, but still bears its “Pat. July 4, 1911” stamp. The tortoise shell color elevated pickguard bears its “March 30, ‘09”
This mandola displayed a small crack on the treble back edge, but this is not moving. Additionally, there was a tiny crack on the treble lower side and if in the process of setting it up we find that his needs glue our workshop will up and glue it. The face is sinking a very small amount under the bridge – not enough to be concerned about in our opinion. There is a “rash” on the face below the pickguard, possibly caused by the celluloid gasses emitted by the elevated pickguard; in this area the finish is crazed. This is, overall, a really nice mandola – and a classy one at that. It sounds wonderful, the way a 92 year old Gibson artifact of the jazz age should. It looks beautiful and it wants you to take it home with you.