There is simply no disputing the "Golden Age" of mandolins was the period from 1919 to 1924 when a gentleman named Lloyd Loar was the head acoustical engineer at Gibson.
Before the F-5 rolled out of Kalamazoo in 1922, the F-4 was Gibson's top-of-the-line model. At that point, the F-4 featured a two-point F-style body with an oval sound-hole. While f-holes would ultimately dominate mandolin design, the oval sound-hole produces a sweeter, rounder tone that can be quite inspiring for songwriters or players looking for more warmth from the mandolin. By 1943, the F-4 was discontinued altogether, so for the most part only prewar examples exist.
This 1922 Gibson F-4 is a sweet-sounding mandolin that was made when Lloyd Loar was in charge. It features a truss rod, which was introduced on the model in late 1922. The nut has been replaced, it sports replacement tuning machines, and the bridge saddle is also a replacement (the bridge base is original). All of the other parts have the proper patent dates and appear to be original. There's some rash from past bridge locations and adjustments, so it's definitely had setup work here and there, but there's no sign of any cracks or structural repairs. The mandolin is fairly clean cosmetically—there's the expected wear of 97 years (especially around the headstock—see photos), but it doesn't have any severe dings, damages, or issues.
As for tone, this Gibson F-4 produces warm, refined tone hat will provide no shortage of inspiration for generations of players to come. The mandolin includes its original case. This Loar-era F-4 is an impressive instrument made a pivotal time in Gibson's history. It has been well preserved over the years, and this old mandolin still has plenty of miles left in the tank!