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Thread: Need help identifying old mandolin

  1. #1

    Default Need help identifying old mandolin

    My husband found and cleaned up an old mandolin he found being used as decoration. The guy who sold it to us said it was his grandpas and hadn't been touched and just sat as decoration since he died in the 70s, and was never played before that. He said he never even put strings on it. You can see a part of the logo, but we are having trouble identifying. It cleaned up and played surprisingly well. Here is a link to the photos: https://drive.google.com/folderview?...p_drugjqasBbY2

    Anyone have any ideas? Any help would be appreciated

  2. #2
    Moderator MikeEdgerton's Avatar
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    Default Re: Need help identifying old mandolin

    I can't get the image files to open. When I try to download the image they are trying to zip. From the thumbnails it looks like a fairly common instrument. If somebody can get the image files down and post them here it can most likely be identified.
    "Bargain instruments are no bargains if you can't play them". These are the words of J. Garber.

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    Moderator MikeEdgerton's Avatar
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    Default Re: Need help identifying old mandolin

    OK, finally got them to open. Here they are:
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    "Bargain instruments are no bargains if you can't play them". These are the words of J. Garber.

  4. #4
    Moderator MikeEdgerton's Avatar
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    Default Re: Need help identifying old mandolin

    The headstock looks a bit like the Oscar Schmidt built mandolins, or it might be Regal built. Does anybody recognize what's left of the label?

    It's not an expensive instrument, the fretboard was dyed or painted, the binding is the same and I'm pretty sure or at least I hope it didn't leave the factory with that brace at that angle.
    Last edited by MikeEdgerton; Sep-26-2021 at 11:29am.
    "Bargain instruments are no bargains if you can't play them". These are the words of J. Garber.

  5. #5

    Default Re: Need help identifying old mandolin

    Thank you for your help. On the logo it looks like there is an O followed by either a Y or possibly X?

    He picked it up for $25 and has less than $50 getting strings and a new bridge. He likes to revive old instruments and play around with them. We were just curious as to what it is because we like to get the story on his old finds.

  6. #6
    Moderator MikeEdgerton's Avatar
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    Default Re: Need help identifying old mandolin

    Keep checking back, more people will make comments and may be able to further Identify the label. Chances are that the label won't ID the maker, it will ID a distributor that bought it for resale.
    "Bargain instruments are no bargains if you can't play them". These are the words of J. Garber.

  7. #7
    Moderator MikeEdgerton's Avatar
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    Default Re: Need help identifying old mandolin

    Quote Originally Posted by Katiecrescent View Post
    He picked it up for $25 and has less than $50 getting strings and a new bridge. He likes to revive old instruments and play around with them. We were just curious as to what it is because we like to get the story on his old finds.
    He's probably close to or exceeded the value of the instrument in a resale situation.
    "Bargain instruments are no bargains if you can't play them". These are the words of J. Garber.

  8. #8
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    Default Re: Need help identifying old mandolin

    It might have said Sovereign. Oscar Schmidt used the name in the 20s, but I could not find a pic of that decal with a quick search.

  9. #9
    Moderator MikeEdgerton's Avatar
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    Default Re: Need help identifying old mandolin

    I think this might be in the era of Oscar Schmidt moving to United.
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    "Bargain instruments are no bargains if you can't play them". These are the words of J. Garber.

  10. #10

    Default Re: Need help identifying old mandolin

    Quote Originally Posted by mclaugh View Post
    It might have said Sovereign. Oscar Schmidt used the name in the 20s, but I could not find a pic of that decal with a quick search.
    Here is an old thread with a picture of a Sovereign mandolin and logo. The logo does not look like it.

    https://www.mandolincafe.com/forum/t...reign-Mandolin

  11. #11

    Default Re: Need help identifying old mandolin

    It is one of the Peter Sorkin brands- Nobility, Royalist (which is what I think yours is), Leo Master etc etc and as Mike has mentioned already, that means it is on the evolution from Oscar Schmidt to Fretted Instrument Manufacturers to United timeline.Some were branded as United with the style of logo on this mandolin. On that basis, it is a Stella derivative. I have one that is very similar and I now know it was made in the 30s- by OS or FIM- as the engraved tailpiece is an OS identifier, it seems- and I imagine FIM had some left over and used them.

    Mine was branded as a Santacilla from PMICO of NYC- more Sorkin brands. It is about 8 down in this thread:

    https://www.mandolincafe.com/forum/t...anded-Mandolin

    Finally, here is one- lower grade than mine but similar that was on eBay recently. https://www.ebay.com/itm/15453587087...p2047675.l2557

  12. #12

    Default Re: Need help identifying old mandolin

    Here is an Oscar Schmidt Stella that sold on eBay recently. You can compare it to your mandolin:

    https://www.ebay.com/itm/27494953850...p2047675.l2557

  13. #13
    Moderator MikeEdgerton's Avatar
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    Default Re: Need help identifying old mandolin

    Quote Originally Posted by NickR View Post
    Here is an Oscar Schmidt Stella that sold on eBay recently. You can compare it to your mandolin:

    https://www.ebay.com/itm/27494953850...p2047675.l2557
    You can compare the shape. The one on eBay appears to have a better quality wood and what looks like real binding around the top. It's got the same painted fretboard. The one on eBay also doesn't have that funky misplaced brace. Other than that they are similar.
    "Bargain instruments are no bargains if you can't play them". These are the words of J. Garber.

  14. #14

    Default Re: Need help identifying old mandolin

    Quote Originally Posted by NickR View Post
    It is one of the Peter Sorkin brands- Nobility, Royalist (which is what I think yours is), ...
    Bingo. I was trying to figure out what brand name had *OY* in it. That sure looks like the one on the headstock here:
    https://www.worthpoint.com/worthoped...yal-1914479648
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  15. #15

    Default Re: Need help identifying old mandolin

    Here is a Medalist with the same logo. Different body appears to be a Belltone faux resonator type of thing.Click image for larger version. 

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  16. #16
    Moderator MikeEdgerton's Avatar
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    Default Re: Need help identifying old mandolin

    Made by the same company under a few different brand names. Those decals apparently didn't age well

    That's probably the most intact one I've seen thus far.
    "Bargain instruments are no bargains if you can't play them". These are the words of J. Garber.

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