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Thread: Lyre mandriola thing!

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    Jo Dusepo, luthier Dusepo's Avatar
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    Default Re: Lyre mandriola thing!

    Interesting, it doesn't have any dron strings which makes me wonder what the point was.

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    Default Re: Lyre mandriola thing!

    I can’t see any point other than the shape increases the internal volume but, more strangely, it has two pairs of the mysterious “holes”!

    I won’t be bidding.

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    Default Re: Lyre mandriola thing!

    Quote Originally Posted by Nevin View Post
    Interesting, it doesn't have any dron strings which makes me wonder what the point was.
    My thought too. I was going to title this thread calling it a harp-mandriola, as per the listing, but then thought it'd need those open strings to be one, so I called it a lyremandriola (...thing! )
    I am a luthier specialising in historical and world stringed instruments. You can see more info at my website.

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    Default Re: Lyre mandriola thing!

    So your theory is that the extra loop-do-loop would be making a lyre out of it, and/or the seller?

    I, too, am wondering about the purpose of that arm, and also the two sets of holes. Perhaps they are meant to allow sound to issue more freely from that chamber. All in all, it is a bit of an odd duck. And it's not quite April Fool's Day, even in England.
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  7. #6

    Default Re: Lyre mandriola thing!

    It's clearly a German made instrument. The only thing I can suggest is that as a 12 string it was a concern that despite the large headstock it might not be neck-heavy enough- so that big handle was added to be sure it was.

  8. #7

    Default Re: Lyre mandriola thing!

    You'll notice that it was obviously designed to accommodate the extra string courses - e.g., location of 'sound' hole relative to fingerboard, mounting holes for another bridge, etc. Perhaps construction was abandoned prior to mounting tuners on the headstock 'arm,' installation of additional tailpiece, and bridge . . ? or perhaps these were removed at some point. It appears to be a fairly rustic build, so my guess is an unfinished project. This type of 'harp'-type fretted instrument was common in the days of zither popularity.

  9. #8
    Mando-Accumulator Jim Garber's Avatar
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    Default Re: Lyre mandriola thing!

    Whoops! For some reason this page got posted twice. Sorry! See below.
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  10. #9
    Mando-Accumulator Jim Garber's Avatar
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    Default Re: Lyre mandriola thing!

    Take a look at this page on Gregg Miner's Harp guitar site (scroll down or just look below to my screen shots). First of all these are based on Italian designs from earlier in the last century. Those little holes on the bass "arm" appear on many standard Italian bowlbacks including Calaces. No one has ever come to a definite conclusion but they are not for adding anything to the instrument except maybe aeration.

    For your convenience, are two screen shots of these from Gregg's site:

    Click image for larger version. 

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    In the second screenshot you can see, if not that exact mandriola that Jo discovered, one exceptionally close in details. Unfortunately it is also IDed as Unknown.

    Also, Musikalia, a modern shop in Sicily makes a copy of a harp mandolin similar to that one.

    Click image for larger version. 

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    Default Re: Lyre mandriola thing!

    It has D. R. G. stamped on it- making me think that there should be an M. as well but that might have been omitted:

    "The acronym D.R.G.M. stands for Deutsches Reichsgebrauchsmuster."

    "From 1891 to 1952, products manufactured in Germany might have been stamped with this D.R.G.M. designation, if the manufacturer opted not to pay the outrageous patent fees that Germany was charging, but instead chose to copyright their product’s intended way of use, or design. This copyright was initially for a period of 3 years, with an option to extend it for another 3. This gave the copyright owner a maximum of 6 years protection."

    My best guess would be 1920s.

    Edit: I assume the "unknown" example Jim has posted has its bridge in the right place- unlike the eBay instrument.

  13. #11
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    Default Re: Lyre mandriola thing!

    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Garber View Post
    In the second screenshot you can see, if not that exact mandriola that Jo discovered, one exceptionally close in details. Unfortunately it is also IDed as Unknown.
    I believe that IS the same instrument. The scalloping on the lower edge of the pickguard is identical. Also, note the location of the two lighter-colored blemishes just below the bend, on either side of the strings. The floating bridge has been repositioned. Unknown manufacturer, but known location. For now ...
    But that's just my opinion. I could be wrong. - Dennis Miller

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  14. #12
    Mando-Accumulator Jim Garber's Avatar
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    Default Re: Lyre mandriola thing!

    Yes, I now see the DRG(M)—that is what I get from only looking at the photos on my phone. I didn't see that mark.

    OTOH I found this addition from the same page that NickR quoted from (directly over the paragraph he quoted):

    D.R.G.M., or sometimes DRGM, is not a German patent. It was instead a way for inventors to register a product’s design or function in all states within Germany.
    So it is quite possible that this *was* made in Italy and imported into Germany and acquired the stamp to protect the manufacturer in Germany. At least that is the way I understand it.

    Germany did make lots of harp guitars and other instruments with extra strings. The maker could have been German possibly but it seems like the design was predominantly Italian.
    Last edited by Jim Garber; Mar-31-2021 at 5:33pm.
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  15. #13

    Default Re: Lyre mandriola thing!

    Ah! Perhaps I was fooled. I'm going to stick to playing them and leave organology to you

  16. #14

    Default Re: Lyre mandriola thing!

    Here is a photo from the auction house which sold it. I still reckon it to be German- some Italian dealers like Monzino sold German made instruments as well as constructing them. The auction house- a specialist instrument seller did not speculate on the maker or its origin. Looking more closely at the tuners, I think it might even be 1930s.

    Click image for larger version. 

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  17. #15

    Default Re: Lyre mandriola thing!

    Definitely German. Markneukirchen makers often used two soundports in the odd places, unlike the Italian (Calace, Kisslinger) that always had them centered below the bridge. And D.R.G.M is a dead giveaway. Plus being not very elegant overall is also kinda German.

  18. #16

    Default Re: Lyre mandriola thing!

    This one was posted up a few years back:

    https://www.mandolincafe.com/forum/t...5273-Mandriola

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