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Thread: What type of Mandolin is this?

  1. #1

    Default What type of Mandolin is this?

    Hi all, absolutely new to both the instrument and this forum.

    Came across the instrument as I'm showing below. Love to know a few things about if anyone could answer these from a few pictures alone:

    Where would this instrument be from? I'm in Europe so I'm assuming this Mandolin is also.
    It looks like it has some age to it, anyone got any idea how old this one is?
    What I find very surprising is the bent headboard. Is that something you seen before? It looks like something had been glued into it.. Would that be a makers mark or something?

    For the rest i have no information at all. There are no stickers or any other labels that might suggest a certain brand, country or age. So I'm really curious if you can tell me more about it!

    If it helps i can try and take further pictures!

    I bought it for decorative purposes, but do you think it can still be played?

    Thanks in advance!
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  2. #2

    Default Re: What type of Mandolin is this?

    It looks like the product of a Klingenthal workshop- it has German tuners. This is not the same but was made by a well-known firm in the area. Yours may be newer.

    Here is a thread that looks at a mandolin with some of the same basic features. As is mentioned the name given is the maker of the tailpiece.

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  4. #3

    Default Re: What type of Mandolin is this?

    Thanks for the quick reply! Indeed in both links I see a lot of similarities between those and the one I have. What I notice now, but haven't noticed before is that the tailpiece on my mandolin appears to not be the original one. It is clear from the impressions around the tailpiece that once another type/size has been on there.

  5. #4

    Default Re: What type of Mandolin is this?

    You might want to spend time searching for photos of German mandolins from Saxony which may lead you to a maker. I have a Meinel & Herold flatback from about 1930 which has the same style headstock as on the Reverb mandolin and yours. You mentioned if it would play. The photos suggest it may well do. The simplest way to find out is to go up each course of strings fretting a note and listening for string buzz- or the note not sounding at all. The chances are this may occur towards the sound hole but if it is ringing clear for most of the fingerboard, then it will play. It does not look as though the strings are very high off the fingerboard, so it may buzz and it may not as the neck appears to be pretty good but the photo is not definitive on this. The bridge appears to be in the right place- or thereabouts, so it may have been a player a while back before you acquired it. It looks well made. There is at least one crack on the top- possibly more but although that is a shame, it will not affect its potential as a playable instrument.

  6. #5

    Default Re: What type of Mandolin is this?

    As far as cracks go- it is impossible to rule them out from a photo. My mandolin which was retailed by a Milanese dealer M & Z- and exported to England- a family member had trained at Meinel & Herold and the top looks perfect but there is the tightest almost indiscernible crack which I spotted after a couple of days. It is always reckless to sell an instrument proclaiming it to be "crack free" because they are not always obvious- and the seller made no such claim for this mandolin.

    Attachment 205788

  7. #6
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Nov 2019

    Default Re: What type of Mandolin is this?

    To state the obvious:
    This mandolin is inspired by Luigi Embergher's mandolins.
    They were there the hottest sheet at the beginning of the last century (and still are).
    So you will find more or less detailed copies of his mandolins all over Europe. Might be German but always hard to tell unless you find an old catalogue with that exact model.
    Looks like your mandolin has an indentation in the headstock with glue residue as far as I can tell from the pictures. There might have been some inlay there. Also the whole top part of the headstock might have broken off at some point and then reglued.

    Overall: you have a fluted back and nice ornaments, definitely more on the higher end of the spectrum.
    You might want to show it to it to a luthier, this one has the potential to be worth an overhaul.
    Eastman MD-315, Eastman MDO-305, Kentucky KM-150, Calace 1917, Gibson A ~ 1920, Johnson resonator mando

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