Results 1 to 10 of 10

Thread: Anyone knows what this is?

  1. #1
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Apr 2017
    Location
    San Jose, CR
    Posts
    92

    Default Anyone knows what this is?

    I came across this one at a second hand store and was just amazed how well she plays. The thick body helps giving it a lot of volume and sustain of course, but I find the tone to be surprisingly warm and pleasant even though I just threw some spare strings on it to have a quick listen.

    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	IMG_E6997.jpg 
Views:	284 
Size:	889.4 KB 
ID:	194684
    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	IMG_E6998.JPG 
Views:	258 
Size:	2.13 MB 
ID:	194685
    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	IMG_E6999.jpg 
Views:	192 
Size:	1.08 MB 
ID:	194686

    There are signs to where a label was many years ago at the back of the headstock and an old bag that might indicate it being more than 50 years old, but nothing that really makes me much wiser as to it's origins.

    Anyone here who knows what it might be and maybe a bit of it's story?

  2. The following members say thank you to MandoNina for this post:


  3. #2
    Confused... or?
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    Over the Hudson & thru the woods from NYC
    Posts
    2,579

    Default Re: Anyone knows what this is?

    Interesting tuners, w/ no sign of a screw or rivet holding the gear to the peg. Are they one piece, or is the gear pressed on? No expert here, but I've never seen gears with such totally flat backs before.

    Also suspect there are no screws holding the buttons to the worm gear shaft, meaning they are pressed or glued on?

    BTW, close-ups of tuners can be very informative to those who know, sometimes indicating decade and/or country of origin.
    - Ed

    "Then one day we weren't as young as before
    Our mistakes weren't quite so easy to undo
    But by all those roads, my friend, we've travelled down
    I'm a better man for just the knowin' of you."
    - Ian Tyson

  4. The following members say thank you to EdHanrahan for this post:


  5. #3
    Mando-Accumulator Jim Garber's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2003
    Location
    Westchester, NY
    Posts
    28,453

    Default Re: Anyone knows what this is?

    The only clue I can see is the tailpiece which are typical of German hardware and are often engraved Marcelli. The deeper body I have seen on European mandolins that are often labelled Portuguese style. Many are made in Germany. Just a guess though. Sounds like a good find.
    Jim

    My Stream on Soundcloud
    Facebook
    19th Century Tunes
    Playing lately:
    2018 Campanella A-5 -- 2007 Brentrup A4C -- 1915 Frank Merwin Ashley violin -- Huss & Dalton DS -- 1923 Gibson A2 black snakehead -- '83 Flatiron A5-2 -- 1939 Gibson L-00 -- 1936 Epiphone Deluxe -- 1928 Gibson L-5 -- ca. 1890s Fairbanks Senator Banjo -- ca. 1923 Vega Style M tenor banjo -- ca. 1920 Weymann Style 25 Mandolin-Banjo -- National RM-1

  6. The Following 3 Users Say Thank You to Jim Garber For This Useful Post:


  7. #4
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Apr 2017
    Location
    San Jose, CR
    Posts
    92

    Default Re: Anyone knows what this is?

    Thanks Ed and Jim!

    My first thought was also German for some reason. I think maybe I've seen a similar headstock on some generic German made model from the 50's or 60's, but I might be wrong. The tuners looks and feels nice, but I have little experience on the matter. They might be pressed on.

    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	IMG_7004.jpg 
Views:	65 
Size:	398.2 KB 
ID:	194715

    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	IMG_7006.jpg 
Views:	48 
Size:	356.2 KB 
ID:	194716

    The tailpiece doesn't seem to be nothing special, so it might be hard to derive much of its story from that. When I replaced the strings, I noticed that the old strings had something attached at the very end by the loop. Can't say I've seen many of those strings around.

    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	IMG_7008.jpg 
Views:	58 
Size:	210.6 KB 
ID:	194717

  8. The following members say thank you to MandoNina for this post:


  9. #5
    Mando accumulator allenhopkins's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Location
    Rochester NY 14610
    Posts
    16,754

    Default Re: Anyone knows what this is?

    Those little chenille "wraps" around the ends of strings, supposedly either to reduce unwanted "extra" overtones, or to protect strings from being severed by sharp tailpiece edges, used to be fairly common. Haven't seen 'em lately; I'd hazard a guess that those strings were decades old.

    The other factor that makes me think "European origin," is the unusual shaded finish; not a sunburst, but shaded toward the top edges, and also on the headstock. That and the deep body. Just another shot in the dark...
    Allen Hopkins
    Gibsn: '54 F5 3pt F2 A-N Custm K1 m'cello
    Natl Triolian Dobro mando
    Victoria b-back Merrill alumnm b-back
    H-O mandolinetto
    Stradolin Vega banjolin
    Sobell'dola Washburn b-back'dola
    Eastmn: 615'dola 805 m'cello
    Flatiron 3K OM

  10. The Following 2 Users Say Thank You to allenhopkins For This Useful Post:


  11. #6
    Registered User Eric Platt's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    St. Paul, MN
    Posts
    1,329

    Default Re: Anyone knows what this is?

    Looks like there used to be an oval sticker on the back of the headstock. My thought was also European with the deep body and two piece heel.

    Looks to be of nice quality. The elevated fingerboard puts it above some.

    It could also be a kit build of some type. Don't know why I'd think that. Maybe the dot inlays follow the US pattern rather than European? Even then I'm not sure.
    2017 Northfield F5SA, Strad-O-Lin, 2008 Weber Gallatin F, 2018 Collings MT, 1929 Gibson A Jr., 2018 Eastman MDO-305
    http://ericplatt.weebly.com/
    https://www.facebook.com/LauluAika/
    https://www.lauluaika.com/
    https://www.facebook.com/Longtine-Pl...4404553312723/

  12. The following members say thank you to Eric Platt for this post:


  13. #7
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Apr 2017
    Location
    San Jose, CR
    Posts
    92

    Default Re: Anyone knows what this is?

    Yes your right Allen. I was actually told it had not been played for at least 30 years. Probably more like 40 or 50. That finish also steered me towards Europe and maybe Germany, but I've looked through quite a lot of pictures of european mandolins by now and no luck thus far.

    Unfortunately it's not possible to pick out any lettes from where the label used to be with certainty, but yes it seems to be of relatively nice quality. I hadn't even noticed the dot inlay pattern!

    I was hoping that since it had several "distinct features" like being an archtop A-style with F-holes, V-neck, adjustable bridge and elevated fretboard, there was a chance of finding out it's origins and history by searching online, but now I don't know where to go on looking from here, so I'll keep my fingers crossed someone here recognizes it

  14. The Following 2 Users Say Thank You to MandoNina For This Useful Post:


  15. #8
    Mando-Accumulator Jim Garber's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2003
    Location
    Westchester, NY
    Posts
    28,453

    Default Re: Anyone knows what this is?

    MandoNina: I thought you were in CA but I now see you are in Costa Rica. It may be possible that it was built locally near there? However it does not look like it was too new but could be another possibility. Probably not but I always take into account where it was found.

    Another unidentified mandolin with similar profile here: https://reverb.com/item/16087166-antique-mandoline-8-string-1920-s-natural
    Last edited by Jim Garber; Jun-16-2021 at 10:39am.
    Jim

    My Stream on Soundcloud
    Facebook
    19th Century Tunes
    Playing lately:
    2018 Campanella A-5 -- 2007 Brentrup A4C -- 1915 Frank Merwin Ashley violin -- Huss & Dalton DS -- 1923 Gibson A2 black snakehead -- '83 Flatiron A5-2 -- 1939 Gibson L-00 -- 1936 Epiphone Deluxe -- 1928 Gibson L-5 -- ca. 1890s Fairbanks Senator Banjo -- ca. 1923 Vega Style M tenor banjo -- ca. 1920 Weymann Style 25 Mandolin-Banjo -- National RM-1

  16. The Following 2 Users Say Thank You to Jim Garber For This Useful Post:


  17. #9
    Moderator MikeEdgerton's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Howell, NJ
    Posts
    24,667

    Default Re: Anyone knows what this is?

    I've purposely stayed out of this hoping Jim or someone else would have a catalog page. The body depth is reminiscent of some Mexican instruments I've seen, the neck profile looks more like it was copied from a mid 30's Kalamazoo mandolin, the headstock shape is actually kind of an exaggerated example of some of the Gibson 2nd lines in the 30's. The tuners look to be exquisitely machined tuners that aren't real common and the finish leaves much to question. I suspect a talented luthier someplace along the lines made a mandolin for themselves or someone else based on the examples they had access to. The tailpiece is definitely not a US item. It very well may have come from the place it was found. Unfortunately none of that changes the fact that it was made by an unknown maker and as such is as valuable as one is willing to pay for it. Play it and enjoy it. You'll probably never know the history.
    "Bargain instruments are no bargains if you can't play them". These are the words of J. Garber.

  18. The Following 2 Users Say Thank You to MikeEdgerton For This Useful Post:


  19. #10
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Apr 2017
    Location
    San Jose, CR
    Posts
    92

    Default Re: Anyone knows what this is?

    I've been down in CR for the past decade or so Jim, but moved to Norway last year. I was told that the mandolin has been sitting in a closet here for at least the last 30 years. So I guess chances are it's european.

    Quote Originally Posted by MikeEdgerton View Post
    I suspect a talented luthier someplace along the lines made a mandolin for themselves or someone else based on the examples they had access to.
    Your right. I probably never will know it's story, but that right there is exactly the story I'll choose to belive in every time I play it from now on Thanks Mike.

    I recon I can improve it a bit with a little fretwork, but I like it a lot already and I've gone away from the idea of making it my hiking axe. It will get to spend it's next 30 years protected from the elements as well...

    As always, much appreciated friends!

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •