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Thread: Beautiful bowlback

  1. #1

    Default Beautiful bowlback

    The seller mentions that it has some similarities to Marin made bowl backs and the engraved tailpiece cover is also a similar flourish but whether it was made by Martin is up for debate the volute for a start and what appears to be a one piece neck. It appears to be a very nice instrument.

    https://www.ebay.com/itm/27500241698...IAAOSwNxxheFHm

  2. #2
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    Default Re: Beautiful bowlback

    The strings look pretty heavy, though it's hard to judge from a photo. Hope the seller isn't wrecking what seems to be a decent old instrument.

    I sent a message to the seller.

  3. #3

    Default Re: Beautiful bowlback

    Sending that message is a good idea. I see that some of the bridge saddle appears to have broken off- as has part of the bridge.

  4. #4
    Full Grown and Cussin' brunello97's Avatar
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    Default Re: Beautiful bowlback

    I have seen some Style 6 and 7 Martin bowlbacks with the type of 'cowling' at the bowl / neck joint (not sure what to call it) that we see often enough on L+H mandolins.
    Of all the Martin bowls I have in my files, only one has a fretboard extension, but of a very different configuration than this.
    I haven't seen any where the 'broken pediment' headstock actually has such a clear open space, either.
    The asymmetrical scratchplate isn't a familiar Martin design, either.


    I couldn't confidently venture a maker, but it doesn't look like a Martin to me.

    Mick
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  6. #5
    Mando-Accumulator Jim Garber's Avatar
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    Default Re: Beautiful bowlback

    I agree with Mick. Not a Martin but does look like it is well made. After a quick look-thru of some of my files I get some sense of possibility of it made by Favilla Bros. No one single example that has all the features but a few characteristics in my files.

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    On the other hand there are also Galiano/Ciani bowlbacks.

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    Jim

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  8. #6

    Default Re: Beautiful bowlback

    Jim, I think your Favilla Bros suggestion looks to be based on some good evidence. It does have plenty of appeal and will sell, I am sure- although it might take a while.

  9. #7
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    Default Re: Beautiful bowlback

    It is a very nice looking instrument indeed. While I cannot contribute any suggestions as to who the maker might have been, I am confident that it was not made by Martin.
    And for the record, I have seen similar engraved tailpieces on instruments built by several different makers.

  10. #8
    Mando-Accumulator Jim Garber's Avatar
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    Default Re: Beautiful bowlback

    There seems to be a crack in the headstock that any potential bidders should be aware of. Seller says, “There is a small crack at the top of the neck.”

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  12. #9
    Full Grown and Cussin' brunello97's Avatar
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    Default Re: Beautiful bowlback

    Jim, I think the Ciani / Galiano connection here might be the ringer. I was looking examples of their work over as I was fishing around to answer above.
    Or at least from among the likely floating posse of Italian / Italian-American craftspeople who worked in that PA to NY orbit and very well could have worked with Favilla or Luigi Ricca, even.
    CM De Julio comes to mind, but the work of his that I have seen is quite a bit fancier, almost in the exuberant Mannello tradition.
    So does DB Porazzo, but I have only a single example of his work in my files, which does include an bound, open Vinaccia style headstock, but little other resemblance outside the excellent detailing and craft.
    Some Stetsons show a similarity in detailing and the asymmetrical scratchplate, but that's as far as that goes.
    FWIW I'm not thinking this is a Midwest mandolin.

    Mick
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  14. #10

    Default Re: Beautiful bowlback

    Yes, recessed tuners and fragile headstocks do go together. One would hope it is not serious and an easy fix but that would be revealed once the tuner unit had been removed. Ideally, the seller ought to do (while restringing with lighter strings!) that but I would hope that the crack is small but is certainly a consideration to any buyer.

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