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Thread: Vinaccia Mandolin Information

  1. #1

    Default Vinaccia Mandolin Information

    Hello! I am new to the forum but have been reading several threads on history of the Vinaccia family. I inherited (and slightly restored..as it was missing the bridge and strings, plus professionally re-fretted and plays superb now) a Vinaccia mandolin from what appears to be 1901 with the label printed as 18__ and the 8 crossed out to a 9 as if it was turn of the century and they didn't have new labels printed. Does anyone know about this mandolin? History? Value? I am a guitar player of 30 years but know little to nothing on old mandolins. Photos are attached below and hopefully come through. Any and all replies are welcome! Thanks again.
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  3. #2
    Mando-Accumulator Jim Garber's Avatar
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    Default Re: Vinaccia Mandolin Information

    Vinaccia was one of the most respected mandolin shops in Italy. Yours is one of their simpler models but it is worth putting time and money into making it playable. Post some more photos for us bowlheads. It would be nice to see the back at least. Also, a closeup of the tuning machines from the back.

    The tailpiece is not original and the head stock looks as if it is missing a piece at the end. Make sure you use very light gauge strings. My favorite ones for Italian bowlbacks (as well as other nationalities) is Dogal Calace RW92b Dolce.

    I started this thread about 17 years ago to discuss bowlback mandolins. You can browse that for hours if you want to get deeper into what is out there in Bowlback Land.
    Jim

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  5. #3

    Default Re: Vinaccia Mandolin Information

    Thank you for the information Jim! I agree the tailpiece did not look original and now you have me wondering about the headstock. I will send a group of pics of how the mandolin was before the refret and minor woodwork. I'll then try to send close up pics of the finished piece. Let me know your thoughts on them. The original photos should be attached. Thanks again! This came from an uncle in Chula Vista California (who is now deceased) and I have the instrument in Ohio now. No one on that side of the family knows how he got it, or anything about it. Love the mandolin forum. Great information on here!
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  7. #4

    Default Re: Vinaccia Mandolin Information

    Attached should be the refinished piece. All new frets were added, a broken internal brace was repaired, a new ebony top cap was made as well as missing tuning post hardware. A new bridge was ordered, a triangular ebony piece was added on the back of the neck at the headstock. Wether this triangular piece is close to original or not I don't know but it appears to be missing in the original photos. They did string it with light gauge (.009 for high strings) and I try to detune when not in use. It holds tune amazingly well and plays great. It may not be a perfect restoration but it is very playable. Again let me know any thoughts or concerns good or bad. Thanks again.
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  9. #5

    Default Re: Vinaccia Mandolin Information

    This shows a typical Vinaccia headstock of the era.

    https://www.bonhams.com/auctions/16782/lot/16/

  10. #6

    Default Re: Vinaccia Mandolin Information

    Interesting! Almost wonder if it broke off and was sanded out to look like it does now? That is more than I knew before. Thanks for the link!

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