Well, the Australian Calace from the bowlback thread has arrived, much to my relief. ebay
(I hope the link thing works).
It arrived this afternoon, and was still on the porch when I got home from work at 10PM! After removing a year's supply of bubblewrap, it was gratifying to find it intact, and once polished up and strung (had to use Dogal Calace strings, of course) I have to report it plays well. Only a couple minor flaws: first few frets coud really use crowning; there's a little tab of wood broken off the treble armrest; the bridge may not be original, but no matter, the action is perfect. Can't believe I bought an 80-year-old bowlback that doesn't have to go to the luthier!
Sounded thin at first, but an hour's whacking away at it seemed to invigorate the old thing. It seems to prefer this thick clunky old pick I had in the pickbox.
Inside it has two diverging heavily scalloped braces. The Calace label and signature, date of 1922, and the gold seal in place. Peghead has warped a little, such that the center is a bit depressed, while the edges curve up a bit. Seems to be no problem. Tuners are pretty smooth.
At this time, it seems to have a strong midrange and pleasant bass. The treble is not as intensely trebly as the other (much more lightly-constructed) Italian instruments. Of course, I expect it to change daily until it wakes up and the Dogals settle in. It seems to enjoy and respond to a heavy right hand. The action is pretty low, and the intonation is good right up the neck. Neck is comfortable: not too wide, not too shallow. A little wear from the previous owner's thumb, enough to show it was played. Some pickwear on the table, but not nasty. A player's instrument, in respectable condition overall.
Now instead of going to bed (work impends tomorrow AM, alas), Imagonna go and play some more.