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Thread: Help with a 1900's Bowlback Mandolin please?

  1. #1
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    Default Help with a 1900's Bowlback Mandolin please?

    Hey!
    A friend of mine has an old (1900's) Antonio Cerrito Bowlback Mandolin. Overall, it looks to be in very good condition, with no cracks or other serious damage.
    I haven't seen it in person, so I don't know if the neck or frets need any work. From the attached photos, you can see that inlay is missing on the 3rd, 5t, and 17th frets. Is it worth fixing up?
    Any information on this is appreciated!

    Thanks!
    Pete

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  3. #2
    Full Grown and Cussin' brunello97's Avatar
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    Default Re: Help with a 1900's Bowlback Mandolin please?

    Oh, yeah Pietro Dodici....

    That is a muy delightfuloso mandolin.

    The neck looks un po' wonky but that's a bonafide piece of American mandolin history.

    Your amigo has to fill in a little bit of backstory on this mandolin before we come forward with our share.

    Justo.....?

    Mick
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  5. #3
    Registered User Tavy's Avatar
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    Default Re: Help with a 1900's Bowlback Mandolin please?

    I'm with Mick, looks like it's worth fixing up to me.... now having said that, if your plan is to sell it, forget it, just sell it. But if you want to play her, then you would get your moneys worth from having her properly repaired. I certainly don't see any unrepairable issues from what I can see in the photos.

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  7. #4
    Mando-Accumulator Jim Garber's Avatar
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    Default Re: Help with a 1900's Bowlback Mandolin please?

    I agree wholheartedly with my esteemed colleagues assessment. I have seen guitars with this maker's labels but don't recall any mandolins.
    Jim

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    Default Re: Help with a 1900's Bowlback Mandolin please?

    Thank everybody!

    The owner asked if I could string it up. Will I damage the top with new strings? Does this kind of mandolin take any special strings? I was planning a light gauge: 9-34 Gauge.

    Whaddya' think?

  9. #6
    Mando-Accumulator Jim Garber's Avatar
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    Default Re: Help with a 1900's Bowlback Mandolin please?

    Best strings in my estimation are Dogal Calace RW92b Dolce. Last time I checked Strings by Mail had them in stock. Otherwise you can use GHS A-240 ultra lights. I think the gauges you mentioned are in the correct range.

    Calace strings here: https://www.stringsbymail.com/dogal-...set-16962.html
    Jim

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  11. #7
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    Default Re: Help with a 1900's Bowlback Mandolin please?

    Good recommendations from Jim: the Calaces or the ultra light. It’s the neck joint that is at risk. It’s a little hard to tell from the side view picture but the action looks high. This could be a sign that the neck joint is not stable.
    Pava S/N 21
    Calace Bowlback

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  13. #8
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    Default Re: Help with a 1900's Bowlback Mandolin please?

    Quote Originally Posted by brunello97 View Post
    Oh, yeah Pietro Dodici....

    That is a muy delightfuloso mandolin.

    The neck looks un po' wonky but that's a bonafide piece of American mandolin history.

    Your amigo has to fill in a little bit of backstory on this mandolin before we come forward with our share.

    Justo.....?

    Mick
    Turns out her Italian Grandfather bought it new in 1910.

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  15. #9
    Full Grown and Cussin' brunello97's Avatar
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    Default Re: Help with a 1900's Bowlback Mandolin please?

    Quote Originally Posted by Peter Coronado View Post
    Good recommendations from Jim: the Calaces or the ultra light. It’s the neck joint that is at risk. It’s a little hard to tell from the side view picture but the action looks high. This could be a sign that the neck joint is not stable.
    It may be stable, but rotated a bit up out of position.

    Looks like there is some material to work with on the bridge if you need to bring the action down some.

    The trade of playability for the slightly reduced string break angle over the bridge will likely be worth it.


    Mick
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