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Thread: Please help me identify the mandoline

  1. #1

    Default Please help me identify the mandoline

    Hello everyone! I really hope for help in identifying the instrument, I'm thinking of buying this vintage mandolin, but the seller, apart from a few photos, can not give any information, neither the country of manufacture, nor even its name. If someone has information about what this tool is, I will be very grateful for your help. Thanks! Click image for larger version. 

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  2. #2
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    Default Re: Please help me identify the mandoline

    Beware - apart from the crack in the front, the centre seam seems to be separating.
    Last edited by Ray(T); Apr-03-2021 at 5:52am.

  3. #3

    Default Re: Please help me identify the mandoline

    My best guess is that it was made in East Germany or Czechoslovakia in the 1950s- possibly the 1960s. It has similarities to a Hofner 542 or 545 and Framus also made a mandolin with these "cat's eyes" but with a solid headstock. Are you in the UK? Various British dealers in the 1950s and 60s bought instruments from these countries which could be sold at very competitive prices- they came in various levels of quality and some were very good instruments. As already mentioned, you need to be aware of its condition and the potential for expensive repairs. You see people asking stupid prices for the instruments made by Framus and Hofner- two makers that were based in Czechoslovakia before WW2 and moved to West Germany after the war to restart production. One British dealer that still exists that sold many of these eastern bloc instruments was Beare & Son Ltd whose "Michigan" brand had a little oval plate that was pinned to the headstock although there was often a label inside- the company had B & S L on the badge. Before WW2 the instruments were all American made- hence the brand of Michigan.

    https://www.invaluable.com/auction-l...1-c-e764fd29e1

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  5. #4

    Default Re: Please help me identify the mandoline

    Hofner or Perhaps Arnold Hoyer. As mentioned above, possiby German made.

  6. #5
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    Default Re: Please help me identify the mandoline

    I can see where Jimmy is coming from. The green MOTS head veneer says Hoyer. The slot head and zero fret says European but the tailpiece, to me, suggests USA.

  7. #6
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    Default Re: Please help me identify the mandoline

    The tailpiece is literally the most used tailpiece on vintage German mandolins. So there's that.

    I presume it was built by one of the few dozen luthiers in East Germany who also built archtop jazz guitars (with a chance it's W. German or Czech as NickR mentioned).
    So most likely not a Framus, Höfner, Hoyer but built in somewhat similar style.
    Eastman MD-315, Eastman MDO-305, Kentucky KM-150, Calace 1917, German concert bowlback, Johnson resonator mando

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