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Thread: Early Roman mandolins with wooden pegs (ca. 1850-1880)

  1. #1

    Default Early Roman mandolins with wooden pegs (ca. 1850-1880)

    My recent musings about a 1875 De Santis mandolin have led me to get interested in the early, pre-Embergher Roman production in the 1860s and 1870s: mandolins with a rather uniform appearance, sober style, with few decorations, usually a maple back and neck, and the so-called Roman pegs, wooden with a brass rod inserted inside.
    Has anyone got material about this obscure era of mandolin-making, or instruments of that sort?
    Here are a few images from the collection of the musical instrument museum in Rome. The first one by Biaggio Molinari, the next ones anonymous.
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    This is taken from the Method for mandolin playing, by Giuseppe Branzoli, Rome 1875, that clearly depicts that style of mandolin as the "old style", alongside Petroni's innovations.
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  3. #2

    Default Re: Early Roman mandolins with wooden pegs (ca. 1850-1880)

    And a De Santis example from the same period, to compare with the other ones
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    (pegs are not original)

  4. #3

    Default Re: Early Roman mandolins with wooden pegs (ca. 1850-1880)

    Other than having seen a few such instruments, I'm not aware of any substantial writing about them. I'll follow this thread with interest.

  5. #4

    Default Re: Early Roman mandolins with wooden pegs (ca. 1850-1880)

    Thank you. Yes, it is strange that it seems it never attracted any attention.
    I suspect that, since these instruments are often unlabeled, they probably go unnoticed and pass as later ordinary instruments.

    Though, it is probably on that sort of mandolin that important players such as Costantino Bertucci first played; and it was this style of lutherie that served as the basis for the gradual evolution of the modern Roman mandolin, whether we assign this to De Santis and Maldura (as it seems now the common doxa) or to Bertucci (https://www.treccani.it/enciclopedia...Biografico%29/).

    Do you have any additional photos of instruments to add to the thread?

  6. #5

    Default Re: Early Roman mandolins with wooden pegs (ca. 1850-1880)

    And this is a 1879 Antonio Petroni, same style (except for the pegs/mechanics)
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  7. #6

    Default Re: Early Roman mandolins with wooden pegs (ca. 1850-1880)

    About Roman pegs, this excerpt from Jules Cottin's method
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  8. #7

    Default Re: Early Roman mandolins with wooden pegs (ca. 1850-1880)

    Quote Originally Posted by quartino View Post
    Do you have any additional photos of instruments to add to the thread?
    Alas, I don't think specifically. If I do, they're likely on an old writable CD, and I'm not certain where.

  9. #8
    Mando-Accumulator Jim Garber's Avatar
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    Default Re: Early Roman mandolins with wooden pegs (ca. 1850-1880)

    I found this 2017 article by Lorenzo Lippi for free download here: https://www.academia.edu/43449381/Ma...rcial_strategy

    For your convenience I will try to post the pdf here. There are a couple of photos of an early Maldura mandolin with wooden pegs.
    "Mandolin patents in Italy between 1870 and 1930: between real innovations and commercial strategy."

    I also just found this recently published book by Lippi: https://www.amazon.com/Giovanni-Batt.../dp/8831444212
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Mandolin_patents_in_Italy_between_1870_a.pdf  
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  11. #9

    Default Re: Early Roman mandolins with wooden pegs (ca. 1850-1880)

    Thanks, Jim, I know both, but Mr. Lippi covers only the innovations that departed from that early Roman style, and not that style itself. When it appeared, who where the luthiers who worked this way, etc., are still a mystery...
    By the way, the mandolin pictured in the PDF and the book is the mandolin on which Maldura played, but it was made by Giovanni De Santis. It is thought to be the first instrument on which the innovations of the new style were applied, although this may not be true, as an earlier, 1875, instrument I have located also has the new features.

  12. #10
    Mando-Accumulator Jim Garber's Avatar
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    Default Re: Early Roman mandolins with wooden pegs (ca. 1850-1880)

    Thanks, I figured you would know all that, but just in case…
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  13. #11
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    Default Re: Early Roman mandolins with wooden pegs (ca. 1850-1880)

    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Garber View Post
    ... figured you would know all that, but just in case…
    The rest of us, probably not so much. Thanks, Jim!
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  14. #12
    Mando-Accumulator Jim Garber's Avatar
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    Default Re: Early Roman mandolins with wooden pegs (ca. 1850-1880)

    I received Lorenzo Lippi's book yesterday but did not have a chance to read it.
    Jim

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  15. #13

    Default Re: Early Roman mandolins with wooden pegs (ca. 1850-1880)

    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Garber View Post
    I received Lorenzo Lippi's book yesterday but did not have a chance to read it.
    Keen to hear something of contents.

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    Full Grown and Cussin' brunello97's Avatar
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    Default Re: Early Roman mandolins with wooden pegs (ca. 1850-1880)

    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Garber View Post
    Thanks, I figured you would know all that, but just in case…
    The pdf is a good read, Jim, thanks for linking.

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  17. #15

    Default Re: Early Roman mandolins with wooden pegs (ca. 1850-1880)

    Early Embergher
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  19. #16

    Default Re: Early Roman mandolins with wooden pegs (ca. 1850-1880)

    That certainly is a very nice instrument!
    Interesting to see that Emnbergher at that time used paper lining for the interior of the bowl, while De Santis and others used already wood shavings much before.
    The 1st and 3rd photos show two different bridges. Is there any of both that is original?
    Is the instrument yours ? Did it surface in Russia?

  20. #17

    Default Re: Early Roman mandolins with wooden pegs (ca. 1850-1880)

    The instrument is not mine and not from Russia. I believe, it was restored by Lorenzo Lippi at some stage, so this is how the new bridge came into the picture. Someone was trying to sell it 5 years ago or so. The paper linings are not necessarily original, it could have been added in earlier restoration. Looks like it has been cut around the existing label.

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