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Thread: Rare Circular Shaped Tuning Machine German Made Mandolin

  1. #1

    Default Rare Circular Shaped Tuning Machine German Made Mandolin

    Hello my friends.
    I have this mandolin that has the most unusual tuning machines I have ever seen. The backplate is not unusual, but those circular brass tuners???? Have you ever seen it? By the way, perfectly working from late 19th c. Early 20th.c. . Made by Leopold Mitching, in Elberfeld Germany.
    So what do you think about it? How much could be valued?
    Click image for larger version. 

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  2. #2
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    Default Re: Rare Circular Shaped Tuning Machine German Made Mandolin

    Hello, Supermario,
    Thanks for sharing some photos of these very rare circular tuners.
    Leopold Mitsching (not Mitching) was German; he was born in 1865 and labels of instruments made before 1918 mention "Hofinstrumentenmacher" which means (Royal or Imperial) Court instrument maker, as you probably know.
    As the label of your mandolin mentions "Geigenmacher", it means that it was made after 1918.
    If your mandolin is mint, it could reach some 300 to 400 $ in Europe, I guess.
    All the best

  3. #3
    Mando-Accumulator Jim Garber's Avatar
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    Default Re: Rare Circular Shaped Tuning Machine German Made Mandolin

    I have some jpeg examples in my files of similar tuners, I have to access my computer which I may be able to do tomorrow.
    Jim

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  4. #4

    Default Re: Rare Circular Shaped Tuning Machine German Made Mandolin

    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Garber View Post
    I have some jpeg examples in my files of similar tuners, I have to access my computer which I may be able to do tomorrow.
    Those knobs look just like the knobs on an old dresser I have. Wierd.

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  6. #5
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    Default Re: Rare Circular Shaped Tuning Machine German Made Mandolin

    Quote Originally Posted by Rdeane View Post
    Those knobs look just like the knobs on an old dresser I have.
    Drawer pulls were my first impression. I've applied them to lots of non-standard uses: coolers, tool boxes, tie-offs on car bumpers & roof racks, etc. If they screw right on to a tuner shaft AND provide a comfortable grip, why not? And -in some folks' diabolical opinion- all the better if it befuddles the experts a century later!
    - Ed

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  7. #6
    Mando-Accumulator Jim Garber's Avatar
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    Default Re: Rare Circular Shaped Tuning Machine German Made Mandolin

    I finally found similar tuners on this unlabelled bowlback. No further info though.
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    Jim

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  8. #7
    Mandolin tragic Graham McDonald's Avatar
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    Default Re: Rare Circular Shaped Tuning Machine German Made Mandolin

    The best description I could imagine is "design fail".

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  10. #8
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    Question Re: Rare Circular Shaped Tuning Machine German Made Mandolin

    On a lathe the worm gear can be cut the round gear is easier to cut from the same stock

    do you see a line that suggests its brazed in the shaft. ??
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  11. #9

    Default Re: Rare Circular Shaped Tuning Machine German Made Mandolin

    Don’t knock it till you try it, gang. As an expedient repair for a broken button on this antique, I went to the electronics hardware cache and added a knurled 1/8” control knob, aluminum with two small set screws. To my fingers, and on this particular string, it works as well or better than the button. So then did an image search for tuner buttons and found, even in the modern era, mostly minor variations of the traditional two-grip-surface buttons, probably all descended from violin/lute pegs which were single, carved pieces of wood in that shape for a reason. So, knurled round wheels, cylinders, other shapes…
    Click image for larger version. 

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  12. #10

    Default Re: Rare Circular Shaped Tuning Machine German Made Mandolin

    Quote Originally Posted by mandroid View Post
    On a lathe the worm gear can be cut the round gear is easier to cut from the same stock

    do you see a line that suggests its brazed in the shaft. ??
    Worms are usually an involute profile, like the gear, so they are usually hobbed. The next most common processes are milling or grinding. They are rarely made on a lathe except as an expedient when other ways are not available.

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