All of the serial number de-coders I have read about state that CS production serial numbers will always be CS followed by 5 digits, where the first digit is the year. I take this to mean made in 2011, but I can't beleive the CS knocked out 50000 guitars in 2011 so what do the other 5 digits mean?
Any and all information or picture contributions are welcome. Whether the guitar and mandolin bodies were actually made in the Cole workshop, or purchased elsewhere and decorated there, is not known.
In this article I have attempted to assemble whatever information has been collected so far about W. Frank Cole's patent for mandolin construction suggests he intended to make them, but no pictures of the workshop have surfaced yet.
25.2” scale, round C neck carve with a 1-3/4” bone nut.
Hand polished high-gloss lacquer finish with a hint of amber tone.
Few instruments were made in the last years before the sale in March, 1922, but there must have been something worthwhile left to spur the purchase of the company by Nokes & Nicolai.
Patents: Note: Cole banjo serial numbers are frequently on the top of the strut, on the side towards the head; to see them you must first remove the head or use a mirror.
Hand carved ebony bridge, tailpiece, and pickguard; matching curly Koa neck.
Simple but tastefully appointed with mitered multiple purflings, multi-layered headstock overlays, brass-purfled headstock face, gold Schaller tuners, and pearl Graf logo.
Kent Armstrong floating pickup, with pickguard mounted volume and tone controls.
So much of the beauty of this guitar is in the details of Graf’s masterwork – the bevel to the F-holes edges, the shape of the cut away, the carve of the bridge and the brass string ground inlayed into the tailpiece.
Often the same number is stamped somewhere on the inside of the rim, too.