cases and lining colors?

  1. DerTiefster
    I'll send P.M.s to assorted of the members here (I don't know how posting notices work for social groups), but I'm curious whether the color of case lining was correlated in any way with the model of mandolin for the Vega cylinderbacks. I'm in the process of acquiring a rosewood-backed 205 model with gold case interior. Eddie posted a mahogany-backed (202?) with green case lining. These could have been part of the trim packaging by Vega or might have been random or possibly even customer-selected. Does anyone know?

    Hmm. I can see no means of posting pics with this "social group" discussion. I'll add a case pic to the social group photos if I can.

    Addendum: i put a pic of the open case into my Vega album and it's also part of the social group photos.
  2. BradKlein
    I'll be surprised if we're able to find a consistent correlation between case color and model of the CB mandolins. Sometimes I think that CF Martin co, with its amazing consistency over the decades has created an expectation that other companies kept as intricate records, and acted with a similar logic year after year, when that just does not seem to be the case for any other fretted instrument company. (maybe Steinway?)

    And even Martin's case options are complex to reconstruct. (see extensive threads on the UMGF)

    My maple backed 205 came in what seems to be an original case -- pear shaped, different than a Gibson A case, but without visible 'shoulders' for the points, green silk lining.
  3. Eddie Sheehy
    I don't have cases for either my 205 or 305. The green case in the pic for the 202 was a late teens I think...
  4. DerTiefster
    There's a 1924 maple 205 now at with a purple lined case (serial #37502)

    There's a 1920 mahogany(?) 202 serial #38824 at with an old case but no color shown. I'll ask about the color. The proprietor isn't certain it's an original case, though.

    There's a nominally 1913 10-string possibly 302 for sale by Marc Silber (mahogany?) with a case with purple interior.

    These examples of maple 205 and mahogany 302 with purple case interiors probably show that there is -no- correlation between model and case. Ah, well. But they are nice pictures. And there -is- a remaining possibilty that case color was correlated with price. But it seems more likely it was random or (which seems more likely to me) the customer's choice among cases in stock at any given store.

    Addendum: I've seen the green case interior picture that Eddie Sheehy posted, several purple interiors on the web, the tan/gold interior in the pic I posted, and have had one report of a red interior but don't yet know the instrument it houses.
  5. Bob DeVellis
    Bob DeVellis
    I don't have any empirical information but I'd be very surprised if case lining color had any relationship to what went inside it. It makes much more sense that a mess of cases showed up and, if an instrument fit, it was put into it. If anything, there might be an association between color and date of case manufacture. But cases and instruments get re-sorted over time, so I can't imagine that much information can be garnered from case lining colors. Now, if color coincided with other case characteristics, then it might be that certain colors were used on better cases while other colors were used on less expensive ones. But even if that were the case, it doesn't necessarily follow that the cheap instruments always wound up in the cheap cases and vice versa. I'm not even sure that a purchase necessarily included a case, as opposed to the case being purchased separately. Catalogs might give some insights.
  6. zookster
    For what it's worth --- I have a rosewood 205 with a purple lined case. I think Bob is right, just reach for one in the pile and box it.
  7. DerTiefster
    I have seen several examples by now of model 202 mandolins with original end-loading cases, very like the cases commonly seen for the bowlback mandolin. I have seen possibly only one mandolin looking like the 202 model but with the standard clamshell cylinderback case. One apparent 203 model mandolin dating from 1916 (by S.N.) appeared to have an original case, purple lined, which had bumpers to hold the mandolin flat instead of letting its body rock on the curved cylinder back. The ebay seller said he'd owned three other CB mandos and this was the only one which had such bumpers in the case. You might look at your cases to see whether there has been any such bumpers loosely glued in, but which ultimately fell out. I suspect they were not common and may have only existed for early CB production. This 1916 mandolin had dot fretboard markers.
  8. wormtowndj
    So happy to find this group.
    My case, also purple, has no sign of missing bumpers. I was never confident I had the original case at all - but aside from the color, it is identical to the photo posted by Eddie (mine: ). As you can see, mine is a 202 from 1920 with a sunburst finish.
  9. DerTiefster
    It's not a terribly active group, but given the sparse distrubution of surviving/playable cylinderbacks, that is probably reasonable. I've been devoting only a little time to the 305 mandola I have in my care, but I love its sound.
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