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Thread: Are either of these mandolines?

  1. #1

    Question Are either of these mandolines?

    These were given to my mom quite a while back from a friend who had immigrated from Italy, so I'm not sure if that's where they are from. They belonged to her friend's daughter when she was young, so I'm not sure if they are meant for kids. I am not finding anything similar online. The guitar-looking one is small like a ukulele, but the strings attach at the bottom like a mandolin. It almost looks like these were possibly made by the same maker? There are no names or numbers anywhere inside or out. The mandolin shaped one actually sounds pretty decent.

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  2. #2

    Default Re: Are either of these mandolines?

    No.
    Eastman 615 mandola
    2011 Weber Bitteroot A5
    2012 Weber Bitteroot F5
    Eastman MD 915V
    Gibson F9
    2016 Capek ' Bob ' standard scale tenor banjo
    Ibanez Artist 5 string
    2001 Paul Shippey oval hole

  3. #3
    Registered User Simon DS's Avatar
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    Default Re: Are either of these mandolines?

    …..
    Last edited by Simon DS; Jul-02-2022 at 4:08am.

  4. #4
    Registered User John Kelly's Avatar
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    Default Re: Are either of these mandolines?

    Both seem to have had the tuner plates cut to remove tuners - note the fixing screw positions. The teardrop-shaped instrument has a tailpiece made for only 4 strings while the guitar-bodied one has a mandolin tailpiece to accommodate 8 strings.

    The rather heavy pickguards on both have close similarities in their design and fixing; they seem very heavy for small soundboards. Possibly both instruments made by the same person and using parts that were readily available?

    I wonder if the guitar body was originally made with 8 strings and the headstock shortened to remove two of the tuner holes after those tuners were cut from the plate?
    I'm playing all the right notes, but not necessarily in the right order. - Eric Morecambe

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    Registered User lucho's Avatar
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    Default Re: Are either of these mandolines?

    Hi there: The four string instrument might be tuned as a cavaquinho... There is a portuguese version of it with a different name and shape. The 6 string, I have one of them that we call octavina tuned in perfect fourths... a bit lower than a bandurria.
    Last edited by lucho; Jul-02-2022 at 10:50am. Reason: spelling

  7. #6
    Mando-Accumulator Jim Garber's Avatar
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    Default Re: Are either of these mandolines?

    Measurements might be helpful here especially scale lengths. Brescian mandolini are tuned the same as standard neapolitan mandolins GDAE but usually with gut/nylon strings. They could have been meant as instruemnts for a child and built to be single strung to make it easier.
    Jim

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    Registered User Ranald's Avatar
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    Default Re: Are either of these mandolines?

    Could the "guitar" one be a čelović, a type of tamburiza or tamburica, Serbo-Croation stringed instruments? I'm not convinced, but it's a possibility. Croatia is quite close to Italy.
    Robert Johnson's mother, describing blues musicians:
    "I never did have no trouble with him until he got big enough to be round with bigger boys and off from home. Then he used to follow all these harp blowers, mandoleen (sic) and guitar players."
    Lomax, Alan, The Land where The Blues Began, NY: Pantheon, 1993, p.14.

  9. #8
    Professional Dreamer journeybear's Avatar
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    Default Re: Are either of these mandolines?

    Quote Originally Posted by John Kelly View Post
    The teardrop-shaped instrument has a tailpiece made for only 4 strings while the guitar-bodied one has a mandolin tailpiece to accommodate 8 strings ... I wonder if the guitar body was originally made with 8 strings and the headstock shortened to remove two of the tuner holes after those tuners were cut from the plate?
    I also want to point out that the guitar-shaped one has a bridge and nut slotted for six strings, not eight, despite its eight-string tailpiece. Bridges are easily replaced; nuts not quite so. I'm pretty sure these are home-made instruments which utilize spare parts or whatever was handy. They do not look professionally or commercially built to me. I would say they are not mandolins.

    Nor are they mandolines.

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