View Full Version : Mando Viola?
Ran into this beast in a pawn shop--not for sale....
No labels or markings, although I didn't pull it off the wall to have a close look at it...
Anyone ever seen anything like this?
Absolutely...at least similar. The term "mandolinetto" is often applied to waisted mandolins, not just guitar-profiled things by the Howe-Orme Co. So, the John Brandt Co. of Chicago made mandolinettos with odd, cutaway violin profiles in both mandolin and mandola sizes. Brandt's had oval holes. I have also seen English-made pieces with both oval and strange, squiggly, reduced f holes in the same piece. I don't recall the maker of the latter (if I ever really knew).
Is this instrument set up to be bowed?
Apparently, but only because the chin-rest gives that impression...
Bowing double-course strings might be a tad problematical though, no?
that might account for the fact that we're all playing mandolins now, instead of those...
Ah, I retract my former observations if the intent is to bow. However, it doesn't look like there is enough radius to the fingerboard to allow independent bowing of courses.
Bowing double courses is possible - after all, violinists bow double-stops on a regular basis - though I imagine even a small drift in tuning would cause problems. My greatgrandfather made an eight-string fiddle which is still in the family. He supposedly tuned the strings a little bit apart to get a vibrato effect.
However, I don't think this particular instrument was meant to be bowed - the fingerboard looks to be too flat. Looks like one of the many attempts to "ennoble" the mandolin by making it more violin-like.
Yeah, the puzzling thing is that chin rest. The flat neck and bridge would indicate it's not intended to be bowed... but then why have a chin rest?? Perhaps someone added it later, mistakingly thinking it was meant to be bowed??
A mystery to me...
Man, there must be some stunning maple on the back of this thing...
Look at the figure peeking through the f-holes....
I'll see if I can have a better look the next time I'm over there.....
Yeah, check this one out. (http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item=3703387755&category=10179)