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Thread: Old Supertone Mandolin

  1. #1
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    Default Old Supertone Mandolin

    Hi everyone.

    I just acquired a old Supertone Mandolin. The only numbers are printed inside on a piece of paper. It is 13410. Any help as to when it was made or it's value would be appreciated. If someone has the info and needs to see pics, let me know.

    Thanks

    Joe

  2. #2
    Moderator MikeEdgerton's Avatar
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    Default Re: Old Supertone Mandolin

    Supertone was a Sears Roebuck brand name. Sears didn't manufacture anything, they farmed that work out to the builders that built instrument "for the trade". If you post a picture we'll have a better chance of identifying it. Up front, chances are it isn't worth a whole lot of money but being the nice guys we are, we're more than happy to tell you what we can. That 13410 is probably a catalog number as Sears was primarily a catalog merchant when this was sold.

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    Mando-Accumulator Jim Garber's Avatar
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    Default Re: Old Supertone Mandolin

    I tell you what... post some photos and perhaps we will tell you what it is worth. However, when you sell it on eBay, please make a donation to this web site in exchange for the info and advice we have given you. Just a suggestion.
    Jim

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    Moderator MikeEdgerton's Avatar
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    Default Re: Old Supertone Mandolin

    There you go, our new concept.

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    Default Re: Old Supertone Mandolin

    Hi Guys thanks for the responses.

    Yes I will make a donation if I can make a profit on this stuff.

    There is the mandolin and some printed material. The OHSC has a signed picture of "Sunset Carson". Apparently the guy who owned it toured with Sunset.

    Pictures link below.


    Joe T



    http://s300.photobucket.com/albums/n...ble7/Mandolin/

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    Mando-Accumulator Jim Garber's Avatar
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    Default Re: Old Supertone Mandolin

    Hi Joe: What kind of printed material?
    Jim

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    Default Re: Old Supertone Mandolin

    A "EZ Mandolin" book from 1938, a Mandolin fingerboard chart from 1922.

    Thanks

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    Default Re: Old Supertone Mandolin

    PS: Pics of everything at the link in my previous post.

    Joe

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    Moderator MikeEdgerton's Avatar
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    Default Re: Old Supertone Mandolin

    OK, look at this thread.You'll find that the actual manufacturer is questionable. The picture of the Singing Cowboy isn't unusual for this time period. These guys were the rock and roll stars of their time. I knew one named Tex Waterbury that traveled the circuit. I'd be real surprised if the guy was playing this professionally and needed all the beginners stuff. The fretboard chart and the book smack of a student, unless of course they were added later. The mandolin has some value, not a tremendous amount, between $150.00 and $300.00 on a good day in my mind. The dainty little decal finish makes this one attractive, don't plan of the provenance real our imagined to add to the value. By the way, your page of pictures is frying my browser session every time I open it.

    Sunset Carson

    The Sunset Carson picture might be worth something if you find a collector.

  10. #10
    Registered User Clement Barrera-Ng's Avatar
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    Default Re: Old Supertone Mandolin

    Cool little mandolin. As Mike said, actual manufacturer will be hard to ascertain. And to give you a point of reference re: price - one of the nicer looking top of the line Kay mando recently sold for around $211 on ebay, and it's in very good condition:
    http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll...=STRK:MEWAX:IT

    hopefully that gives you a ball park idea of its worth. I also learned something new today: never heard of Sunset Carson until now. Watched a few of his clips on youtube - he's a fine cowday.

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    Default Re: Old Supertone Mandolin

    Hi Guys

    Thanks a lot. Any guess at the apprximate year ?

    Joe

    PS: Sorry about the picture thing. It's just a standard Photobucket thing. Don't have a clue as to why it's doing that.

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    Default Re: Old Supertone Mandolin

    PSS: I did read the threads, so maybe 1920's ?

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    Moderator MikeEdgerton's Avatar
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    Default Re: Old Supertone Mandolin

    Probably the 20's.

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    Moderator MikeEdgerton's Avatar
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    Default Re: Old Supertone Mandolin

    By the way, regarding that Kay in the link on eBay. I'd put it in the late 20's-early 30's but I have no idea where anyone is getting documentation that they could absolutely call that an early 1931. If that information exists it must be a well kept secret. That same headstock was used for decades by Kay.

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    Innocent Bystander JeffD's Avatar
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    Default Re: Old Supertone Mandolin

    A few of questions.

    What are the two dots above the to D and A tuners.

    What is that hole just at the end of the fretboard off the bass side.
    As much as I post, I pick a whole lot more. Just sayin'
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  16. #16
    Moderator MikeEdgerton's Avatar
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    Default Re: Old Supertone Mandolin

    Quote Originally Posted by JeffD View Post
    A few of questions.

    What are the two dots above the to D and A tuners.

    What is that hole just at the end of the fretboard off the bass side.
    The hole off to the end of the fretboard on the bass side appears to be one end of the anchor where someone had a pickup screwed onto it. It looks like it was sitting at an angle and the other one is actually inset into the pickguard.

    The top two look like nails to me.

  17. #17
    Registered User Dobe's Avatar
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    Default Re: Old Supertone Mandolin

    [QUOTE=MikeEdgerton;840360]OK, look at this thread.You'll find that the actual manufacturer is questionable.


    If it's like the one from the above thread, I had one exacly like it except it had a Mother of Toilet Seat fingerboard ( & headstock ?). I'm pretty sure the label read: J & B Serenader, possibly out of Chicago ? I'm even more sure I sold it to Kit at the Olde Town Pickin' Parlour in Arvada, CO. a few years ago. I'd bet anything he's still got it on the wall . He's a swell guy & I'm pretty sure he'd be more than happy to read you the label. He's just listed that $42,000 Martin today if you want to give him a ring. Good luck !

  18. #18
    Moderator MikeEdgerton's Avatar
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    Default Re: Old Supertone Mandolin

    The same mandolin was sold under dozens of brand names. You were close, that would be B & J Serenader.

    Buegeleisen & Jacobson

  19. #19
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    Default Re: Old Supertone Mandolin

    Quote Originally Posted by MikeEdgerton View Post
    The same mandolin was sold under dozens of brand names. You were close, that would be B & J Serenader.

    Buegeleisen & Jacobson
    Just went & picked up some strings @ Kit's , It's still there & yes, brand: B & J ; model : ' the Serenader' & city on the labe was New York ! Mother of toilet seat fingerboard & headstock ! Makes a nice wall ornament but never was much of a player (although playable).


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    Default Re: Old Supertone Mandolin

    Interesting design on that mandolin

  21. #21
    V70416 Michael Cameron's Avatar
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    Default Re: Old Supertone Mandolin

    Nice looking mahogany back. The scale length looks pretty long(?)

    I wonder how many people actually cut and pasted that "Mandolin Fretboard" to the instrument!?
    It probably helped the action too.

    I would clean that thing up(not too much),make sure the gears are working/lubed,put on a set of ligght and cheaps,and hang it on "the wall of shame". That is Louie's(from Encore Music,Albq.NM.) name for his collection of old Kay mandolins. He had a dozen of them hanging on one wall. Some people's kids!

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    Default Re: Old Supertone Mandolin

    can anyone tell me the construction material of this mandolin?
    < godshall@kutztown.edu >

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    Default Re: Old Supertone Mandolin

    I inherited my Mother's Supertone mandolin a bit over a decade ago. It doesn't have a paper sticker inside but is stamped "882" in ink; my Mother was a teenager when she bought it, which dates it to the early 1930's. The instrument I have has never been repaired and plays quite well. I restrung it in the mid 70's and it still has those strings on it. Got the value out of that set of strings

  24. #24
    Registered User AnneFlies's Avatar
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    Default Re: Old Supertone Mandolin

    I just cleaned up and restrung a friend's Supertone mandolin with GHS Ultra Lights. It actually sounds pretty decent, even with a small top crack and some top-sinking. What a wonderful piece of history!
    A "Not Ready for Prime Time" player

  25. #25
    Fix-R-Up-R Jake Wildwood's Avatar
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    Default Re: Old Supertone Mandolin

    These mandolins do sound nice when fixed up, but definitely should only be strung with XL strings (as in, I'd prefer 28w-09 on these) as the neck block is the most under-built thing I've ever worked on. Judging from the materials and build I always thought these were a Harmony make. They share a lot of the same stuff Harmony was using on their 12-fret, 0/1-size guitars at the time.

    Definitely mid-1920s, into the early '30s.

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