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Thread: Pretty Bowlback Naples 1900-ish

  1. #1

    Default Pretty Bowlback Naples 1900-ish

    This is not seriously over-ornamented but is pretty. I am assuming that the headstock flourish was probably nailed on when new. Quite a nice instrument and apparently in okay condition.

    https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/Vintage-A...4AAOSwagpgTKys

  2. #2

    Default Re: Pretty Bowlback Naples 1900-ish

    De Meglio No 2 model clone

  3. #3

    Default Re: Pretty Bowlback Naples 1900-ish

    I am surprised at the price it made- not a fortune, but it appeared to be in good order and was an attractive looking instrument.

  4. #4
    Full Grown and Cussin' brunello97's Avatar
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    Default Re: Pretty Bowlback Naples 1900-ish

    Quote Originally Posted by vic-victor View Post
    De Meglio No 2 model clone
    For posteriority.

    We've held any number of inconclusive discussions on DeMeglio output here.
    Some of the so-called "clones" look like really bad copies with a few DeMeglioid features.

    I wonder if it is these bad copies that prompted the long-winded warning on the later (and longer) DeMeglio labels.

    Others, like this ones really do look like DeMeglios....

    Given their prodigious output, I wonder if they didn't also make mandolins for the 'trade' so to speak, like L+H, Martin, Vega, etc. did here in the US to be labeled by someone else.

    If you could make this good of a copy of a DeMeglio mandolin....why not just make your own mandolins?

    I realize that their are plenty of faux Gibson out there and the iconic F-5 design is straight out of the Gibson model...but there have been far fewer iconic (proto) types of high end mandolins in the US when compared with the Neapolitan and Roman bowlbacks (Calace, Embergher, Vinaccia, Cristafaro, Monzino etc. etc.)

    I still find the DeMeglio mandolins fascinating.

    Mick
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  5. #5

    Default Re: Pretty Bowlback Naples 1900-ish

    Hi Mick. Anything possible, but I guess lesser known makers would copy any popular style if that helped selling. De Meglio were popular, looked attractive and were often copied. There were very close nice Model 2 copies with fluted bodies, for example, one thing that De Meglio itself never done (or at least we have not seen one yet, perhaps). Another guess is that De Meglio allowed other makers using their "sistema" for a fee, like Gelas did, for example.

  6. #6
    Mando-Accumulator Jim Garber's Avatar
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    Default Re: Pretty Bowlback Naples 1900-ish

    Do we know that this is not a DeMeglio? In any case it has the patent stamp so possibly design was licensed by DeMeglio. It has the behind bridge tensioner and the slotted side vents, same headstock shape and decorative metal piece.
    Jim

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    Default Re: Pretty Bowlback Naples 1900-ish

    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Garber View Post
    Do we know that this is not a DeMeglio? In any case it has the patent stamp so possibly design was licensed by DeMeglio. It has the behind bridge tensioner and the slotted side vents, same headstock shape and decorative metal piece.
    I think it's possibly not a DeMeglio, Jim. It could be not a DeMeglio.
    It has some not-DeMeglio-traits, leading me to be convinced that it is either a DeMeglio or that it isn't.

    Mick
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    Mando-Accumulator Jim Garber's Avatar
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    Default Re: Pretty Bowlback Naples 1900-ish

    It could be a genuine non-DeMeglio Since it definitively has traits. On the other hand it also has some non-traits that could easily lead us to a genuine non-Larson.
    Jim

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    Default Re: Pretty Bowlback Naples 1900-ish

    It would be interesting to know more about how DeMeglio and 'DeMeglio clones' were made. I imagine a shared workshop with a lot of specialisms performed by highly skilled individuals, using common suppliers of hardwear, MoP, tortoiseshell, etc, some of which ended up with DeMeglio labels, some of which didn't. The similarities between the labelled and the 'clones' are too great to be explained by a copycat workshop setting up in another part of Naples. I don't imagine the artisan community of that city tolerating that behaviour. More likely is some kind of cooperative production to allow for economies of scale as well as common access to skills and supplies, such as economic geographers have noted since Victorian time in Italian cities. Any economic geographers out there looking for a PhD project?
    Anglocelt
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    Default Re: Pretty Bowlback Naples 1900-ish

    Quote Originally Posted by Anglocelt View Post
    It would be interesting to know more about how DeMeglio and 'DeMeglio clones' were made. I imagine a shared workshop with a lot of specialisms performed by highly skilled individuals, using common suppliers of hardwear, MoP, tortoiseshell, etc, some of which ended up with DeMeglio labels, some of which didn't. The similarities between the labelled and the 'clones' are too great to be explained by a copycat workshop setting up in another part of Naples. I don't imagine the artisan community of that city tolerating that behaviour. More likely is some kind of cooperative production to allow for economies of scale as well as common access to skills and supplies, such as economic geographers have noted since Victorian time in Italian cities. Any economic geographers out there looking for a PhD project?
    I think your post makes a lot of sense (and not just because I have often thought the same thing myself )

    I think we toss the term "clone" around here a little too liberally. Some of the faux DeMeglios I've seen have just been poor copies. They wouldn't fool anyone and perhaps weren't designed too...just copying some overt DeMeglios details.

    Then, of course, are the "Sistema DeMeglio" which often look like Grade B or Grade C DeMeglios.

    Others, such as the one under discussion might properly be called a [I]clone[/I) as they seem nearly identical to a proper DeMeglio.

    "Economies of Scale" is a good topic as well. Given the output from the DeMeglio shop one might think a larger facility might have been required...or perhaps a distributed means of production.

    No PhD candidate am I but I've long fancied taking a trip to Napoli and asking around about the DeMeglios. Again, given their output, publishing and legacy in the pianoforte business, there could well be a trail to find and follow up on. Would make for a great walking tour of the city.

    Mick
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  12. #11

    Default Re: Pretty Bowlback Naples 1900-ish

    Quote Originally Posted by brunello97 View Post
    No PhD candidate am I but I've long fancied taking a trip to Napoli and asking around about the DeMeglios. Again, given their output, publishing and legacy in the pianoforte business, there could well be a trail to find and follow up on. Would make for a great walking tour of the city.

    Mick
    Sounds like a fun thing to do! Actually, record collectors have had good luck making similar trips to small Southern towns where rockabilly records were produced. (Same with blues and garage records, as well..) Some of the rarer stuff can be $100-1000 per 45, with the occasional super-rare title bringing $5K or more. I never found a $5K record, but more than once loaded the car with $100-300 45's totaling that amount.....

    Often I find people usually think records are worth very little, while the same people usually (and incorrectly) assume any old instrument is valuable.

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  14. #12
    Full Grown and Cussin' brunello97's Avatar
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    Default Re: Pretty Bowlback Naples 1900-ish

    Quote Originally Posted by Jeff Mando View Post
    .... making similar trips to small Southern towns where rockabilly records were produced.....
    That would be a fun drive and equally worth exploring the local catfish, fried chicken and curious 'cue variations along the way....

    Mick
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