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Thread: Contemporary Pumpkin Tops?

  1. #1
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    Default Contemporary Pumpkin Tops?

    Hey all, so I somehow (and very luckily) find myself in the midst of a custom build…well perhaps at the very beginning stages. I head to a luthier friend’s shop next week to pick my tone wood pieces and the big question that is coming up for me is “what aesthetic do I want?”

    Love the orangery glow and brown stain backs of a teens Gibson and am aware of Dave Surette’s Girouard pumpkin top. But who else out there have you seen as examples of modern builders with pumpkin top finishes?

    Love a burst and all, but I want to have something a little different and stand out. Also constantly drooling over the Honey Amber finish on a lot of Collins’ and Northfield’s Amber finish.

    What have you seen out there from contemporary makers in the pumpkin top realm? This would be an A style with F-holes.
    Brian Carroll

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  2. #2
    Registered User Jill McAuley's Avatar
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    Default Re: Contemporary Pumpkin Tops?

    Pretty sure Max Girouard has done a pumpkin top oval A in the past.
    2018 Girouard Concert oval A
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    Default Re: Contemporary Pumpkin Tops?

    Quote Originally Posted by Jill McAuley View Post
    Pretty sure Max Girouard has done a pumpkin top oval A in the past.
    Indeed. Aware of that one per my original post, it belongs to David Surette…and actually saw it in Max and Lauri’s shop just before the finishing (it was being finished just before a Girouard I had built in a previous life).

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    Default Re: Contemporary Pumpkin Tops?

    Quote Originally Posted by Jill McAuley View Post
    Pretty sure Max Girouard has done a pumpkin top oval A in the past.
    Looks like the Girouards have done an oval hole pumpkin top as well! (Just did some social media stalking on their Instagram)

  5. #5

    Default Re: Contemporary Pumpkin Tops?

    Glad to be part of the contemporary pumpkin top clan. I asked for this finish from Max and Lauri in homage to my first good mando, a p-t A model I got back in about 85 or so. But my Girouard is an A-5 model, so it's got the F-holes. As you noted, they do also make a beautiful A model with an oval soundhole. There's a number of us up here in ME and NH now who've got Girouard pumpkin tops, and love 'em!
    In terms of other makers, the Collings honey amber looks similar; to me, the Northfield looks lighter. But maybe some custom makers would be up for the challenge of trying the pumpkintop look? There's lots of old Gibson examples out there to use as models. Good luck with your new mando!

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    Registered User Ranald's Avatar
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    Default Re: Contemporary Pumpkin Tops?

    Could someone please post a picture of a pumpkin top?
    I keep thinking of this guy from my childhood, but I don't think they put his face on mandolins.

    Click image for larger version. 

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    Robert Johnson's mother, describing blues musicians:
    "I never did have no trouble with him until he got big enough to be round with bigger boys and off from home. Then he used to follow all these harp blowers, mandoleen (sic) and guitar players."
    Lomax, Alan, The Land where The Blues Began, NY: Pantheon, 1993, p.14.

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    Registered User Simon DS's Avatar
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    Default Re: Contemporary Pumpkin Tops?

    Aaaah, MAS, now let’s see what we’re talking about, pumpkin top -sweet!
    https://duckduckgo.com/?q=pumpkin+to...ages&ia=images

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    Registered User Ranald's Avatar
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    Default Re: Contemporary Pumpkin Tops?

    Quote Originally Posted by Simon DS View Post
    Aaaah, MAS, now let’s see what we’re talking about, pumpkin top -sweet!
    https://duckduckgo.com/?q=pumpkin+to...ages&ia=images
    Thanks. I understand the attraction -- to the mandolins that is. (The country singer, Wilf Carter, sang a song about the bear.
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vzOc...annel=dvdman49. )
    Robert Johnson's mother, describing blues musicians:
    "I never did have no trouble with him until he got big enough to be round with bigger boys and off from home. Then he used to follow all these harp blowers, mandoleen (sic) and guitar players."
    Lomax, Alan, The Land where The Blues Began, NY: Pantheon, 1993, p.14.

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  11. #9
    Dan Sampson mando_dan's Avatar
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    Default Re: Contemporary Pumpkin Tops?

    The Kentucky 272 is a pumpkin. Looks good enough to eat actually.
    1999 Buckeye #18 (Bucky)
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  12. #10

    Default Re: Contemporary Pumpkin Tops?

    Weber Bitteroots have a pumpkin top, used to have before the change of ownership.

    Dave H
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    Registered User Jill McAuley's Avatar
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    Default Re: Contemporary Pumpkin Tops?

    Wasn't the Weber Vintage A a kind of pumpkin top-ish finish? I had one briefly and if I recall correctly the colour of the top definitely leaned towards the pumpkin end of the spectrum.
    2018 Girouard Concert oval A
    2015 JP "Whitechapel" tenor banjo
    2018 Frank Tate tenor guitar
    1969 Martin 00-18




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    Registered User Simon DS's Avatar
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    Default Re: Contemporary Pumpkin Tops?

    I think Fylde made one too, delicate orange/reddish with a beautiful pale blue-turquoise inlay.
    Last edited by Simon DS; Sep-17-2021 at 6:33am.

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    Registered User Sue Rieter's Avatar
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    Default Re: Contemporary Pumpkin Tops?

    Quote Originally Posted by Simon DS View Post
    I think Fylde made one too, delicate orange/reddish with a beautiful pale blue-turquoise inlay.
    That sounds really nice. I am a sucker for turquoise.

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  17. #14
    Registered User Geno's Avatar
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    Default Re: Contemporary Pumpkin Tops?

    This mandola (not mine) built by Michael Heiden is nice looking. Click image for larger version. 

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  19. #15
    coprolite mandroid's Avatar
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    Question Re: Contemporary Pumpkin Tops?

    I have a Lebeda F, (Jazzica, 89/01) that is entirely 'pumpkin' with brown tortoiseoid binding , though I've called it 'Cognac'.. ..

    Recently had it re-fretted with Stainless steel ..
    Last edited by mandroid; Sep-18-2021 at 5:51pm.
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  20. #16
    Registered User BBarton's Avatar
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    Default Re: Contemporary Pumpkin Tops?

    I'm not sure whether Peter Sawchyn is building these models currently, but I had an F-4 style he custom-built with what he called a french violin finish.Click image for larger version. 

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    Too many instruments...too little time

  21. #17
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    Default Re: Contemporary Pumpkin Tops?

    My Weber Bitterroot is a Pumpkin top, and I love it.

  22. #18
    Registered User Ranald's Avatar
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    Default Re: Contemporary Pumpkin Tops?

    Quote Originally Posted by Ranald View Post
    Could someone please post a picture of a pumpkin top?
    I keep thinking of this guy from my childhood, but I don't think they put his face on mandolins.

    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	punkinhead.jpg 
Views:	8 
Size:	10.5 KB 
ID:	196326
    Quote Originally Posted by Thanks. I understand the attraction -- to the mandolins that is. (The country singer, Wilf Carter, sang a song about the bear.
    [url
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vzOc...annel=dvdman49[/url]. )
    Punkinhead might not have made it onto a mandolin, but Wilf made it onto a guitar:

    https://flatwatertoys.com/shop/wilf-...am-scene-sold/
    Robert Johnson's mother, describing blues musicians:
    "I never did have no trouble with him until he got big enough to be round with bigger boys and off from home. Then he used to follow all these harp blowers, mandoleen (sic) and guitar players."
    Lomax, Alan, The Land where The Blues Began, NY: Pantheon, 1993, p.14.

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