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Thread: Washburn inlay/tailpiece design?

  1. #1

    Default Washburn inlay/tailpiece design?

    Currently on SGW. A Washburn bowl back with a Smurfy pattern on both the pickguard and pierced through the tailpiece. I just canít interpret it as a design. The white areas are not a reflection, but there might be missing inlay there that was figurative. Anybody know what this is supposed to be?
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  2. #2
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    Default Re: Washburn inlay/tailpiece design?

    I’d suggest that constant playing has kept the white areas of the inlay cleaner than the rest - look at the top wear and that on the rosette.

  3. #3
    Mando-Accumulator Jim Garber's Avatar
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    Default Re: Washburn inlay/tailpiece design?

    Ivoroid or plain cream colored celluloid. This is either a style 80 or 85 early Washburn mandolin circa 1892. Do you have a link? I assume the auction is over?
    Jim

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  5. #4

    Default Re: Washburn inlay/tailpiece design?

    It made $59.99, which indicates a motivated buyer. The duplication of the pattern on the tailpiece and the inlay suggested that it had some significance, but I just couldn’t see what.
    But, detectives, don’t despair. I just won another bowl back on SGW that should arrive in a week or so with a need to be identified - and hopefully put back into action. The last one with the traffic-light pair of butterflies turned out to sound really good after very minor work, even with century-old strings. Won at $26. Alternating it daily with my ‘best’ one.

  6. #5
    Mando-Accumulator Jim Garber's Avatar
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    Default Re: Washburn inlay/tailpiece design?

    I was just curious to see the other photos. The style 85 is the only one that Washburn made at that time with fluted ribs. Do you have a link?
    Jim

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  7. #6

    Default Re: Washburn inlay/tailpiece design?

    https://www.shopgoodwill.com/Item/130643329
    If this doesn’t function, I’ll detach and copy the individual pix.

  8. #7
    Mando-Accumulator Jim Garber's Avatar
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    Default Re: Washburn inlay/tailpiece design?

    I was just looking to see if it had the fluted ribs but no, so it is a style 80.
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    Jim

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    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

  9. #8

    Default Re: Washburn inlay/tailpiece design?

    Other than showing off more craftsmanship, is there thought to be any functional sonic role of fluting? I’m thinking that the staves have to be thicker overall and the bowl heavier.
    My latest one arrived today, and I may be able to mostly identify it - Japanese, post war, so maybe not too exciting. Clues are mounting holes for one of those wrap-around armrests, and top purfling that ends about 3/4 of the way around on each side. Tuners look original and are held on with Philips-ish screws. Attention is needed at the neck joint, so unless someone tells me I’ve got Suzuki’s first mandolin and not to, I’m going to, as one of my South Asian customers says, “do the needful”

  10. #9
    Mando-Accumulator Jim Garber's Avatar
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    Default Re: Washburn inlay/tailpiece design?

    American makers rarely made fluted ones and if they did they were the very top of the line or presentation models. I had a style 6 Martin with amazing workmanship and the early Washburns. I don’t think Vega ever bothered even with their artist models. Lots of Italians did. I have an Embergher No. 3 with perfect fluted back but that was only an orchestra model though his other soloist mandolins had fluting. I guess it is mostly to show off craftsmanship but beautiful when done well.
    Jim

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