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Thread: Vinaccia Naples Mandolin ?

  1. #1
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    Default Vinaccia Naples Mandolin ?

    I'm new to the Cafe.
    Years ago I saw an advert for old wood in the north of the UK. Turns out it was the son of a deceased Violin Maker - I bought several veneers and as I was leaving when I saw an instrument hanging on the wall that I ended up buying for very little.

    I've done research and think its a Vinaccia from around 1770 in rather wose wear than I'd like!

    You get to understand a lot about how they were constructed though !

    I've collected references to early (1770s or so) vinaccias from around the word and have likely 40 or so from that period I know of. Just found a fantastic PDF in Italian - Sapienza University Di Roma - La Catalogazione Dei Mandolini with masses of pictures.

    Does anyone reckon they know which Vinaccia family member this is by? There is no label.

    Can anyone recommend a good luthier experienced on Vinaccia to restore - it would be nice to restore to playable condition but this may not be possible.

    Does anyone know what the frets were made of - silver? Some have been replaced with mahogany slips.

    Any help appreciated.

    Regards Hugh
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  2. #2
    Mando-Accumulator Jim Garber's Avatar
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    Default Re: Vinaccia Naples Mandolin ?

    Hi Hugh: I am no expert on the early Vinaccia mandolin but was wondering if you could provide a link to the pdf you mention. It sounds pretty interesting. There are people on these forums who have some more specific knowledge of Vinaccia and other early makers. I would think that that particular neck joint might be a hint to the maker as well as other construction details such as bracing.

    One question: what is the writing on the inside of the top? Was that the name of the violin maker.

    Yes, it would be nice to restore it but you prob need to find an expert on these instruments and it may be pretty expensive would prob only be worth it if it were an important historical instrument. it would be a pretty extensive restortation.

    One thing might be to re-contact the son of the luthier you bought it from and see if he had any of his dad's log books to see if he had any information on this.

    I was at a mandolin convention here in the US in the fall and a woman had a mandolin similar to yours in somewhat better shape. She also suspected it may be a Vinaccia. I am not entirely convinced but anything is possible. I look fwd to hearing what others may think.
    Jim

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    Default Re: Vinaccia Naples Mandolin ?

    Jim,

    Thanka for your note - I bought it 30 years ago so lost all contact with the guy who placed the small add. What frustrates me is he had all sorts of violon wooden forms that I should have bought !

    If you have contact name of lady with her mandolin would love it

    Please find attached link to pdf on the web - its a really good long publication from a student thesis I think - I must brush up my Italian though !

    http://padis.uniroma1.it/bitstream/1...0mandolini.pdf

    Regards Hugh

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    Default Re: Vinaccia Naples Mandolin ?

    Jim, Forgot to say that writing on inside of top says:

    TOM BUYNET or TOM BURNET 1926

    I'll see if I can find more on research

    Regards Hugh

  5. #5
    Mando-Accumulator Jim Garber's Avatar
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    Default Re: Vinaccia Naples Mandolin ?

    That is probably a person who repaired it in the past. Possibly the luthier shop you bought it from?
    Jim

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  6. #6
    Martin Stillion mrmando's Avatar
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    Default Re: Vinaccia Naples Mandolin ?

    Here's a 1769 instrument by "Joannes" Vinaccia with a couple of nice photos. Strong similarities.

    http://www.ebay.com/itm/Rare-Mandoli...item35bb2231cc
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    Mando-Accumulator Jim Garber's Avatar
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    Default Re: Vinaccia Naples Mandolin ?

    That mandolin has been on sale for quite a few years. Fred Oster had it on consignment for a year or two and Roger (the eBay seller) has it listed on his site for, I would guess, at least 5 years. This eBay one has a much shorter neck by about 2 frets which is a little odd to me. Maybe at that time they hadn't decided how long a neck to make. This one is joined at between the 7th and 8th frets. I wonder if the neck had been shortened for some odd purpose.
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    Jim

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  8. #8
    giuseppe severini
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    Default Re: Vinaccia Naples Mandolin ?

    Really interesting.
    G.

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    Albert the Magic Pudding Graham McDonald's Avatar
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    Default Re: Vinaccia Naples Mandolin ?

    I suspect that this mandolin might be a mongrelised Genovese instrument, with an added Vinaccia label. The trapezoidal scratchplate is common with the 12 string Genovese models which had a brief popularity around the end of the 18th century, and none of which had a label. Below is a pic of one from the German National Museum in Nurnberg from Stephen Morey's collection of pics.

    cheers

    graham

    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Garber View Post
    That mandolin has been on sale for quite a few years. Fred Oster had it on consignment for a year or two and Roger (the eBay seller) has it listed on his site for, I would guess, at least 5 years. This eBay one has a much shorter neck by about 2 frets which is a little odd to me. Maybe at that time they hadn't decided how long a neck to make. This one is joined at between the 7th and 8th frets. I wonder if the neck had been shortened for some odd purpose.
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  10. #10
    Registered User Tavy's Avatar
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    Default Re: Vinaccia Naples Mandolin ?

    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Garber View Post
    That mandolin has been on sale for quite a few years. Fred Oster had it on consignment for a year or two and Roger (the eBay seller) has it listed on his site for, I would guess, at least 5 years. This eBay one has a much shorter neck by about 2 frets which is a little odd to me. Maybe at that time they hadn't decided how long a neck to make. This one is joined at between the 7th and 8th frets. I wonder if the neck had been shortened for some odd purpose.
    Is it me, or does the bridge slope the wrong way on that one?

  11. #11
    Mando-Accumulator Jim Garber's Avatar
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    Default Re: Vinaccia Naples Mandolin ?

    Quote Originally Posted by Tavy View Post
    Is it me, or does the bridge slope the wrong way on that one?
    It is not you but I also have a feeling that it is not tuned up. The A course looks kind of slack for instance.
    Jim

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  12. #12
    Mando-Accumulator Jim Garber's Avatar
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    Default Re: Vinaccia Naples Mandolin ?

    Quote Originally Posted by Graham McDonald View Post
    I suspect that this mandolin might be a mongrelised Genovese instrument, with an added Vinaccia label.
    I tend to agree with your assessment, Graham.
    Jim

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  13. #13
    Mando-Accumulator Jim Garber's Avatar
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    Default Re: Vinaccia Naples Mandolin ?

    I was looking for something in the BBON thread and found Eric Liefeld's assessment of the Music Treasures' Vinaccia:

    Yes, this one is a heavily-modified Mandolino Genovese that has been on the market for some time. In its original form, this was the mandolin type that Paganinni (and not many others) wrote for. I've seen a couple others over the years that bear similar labels... and at least one of those had been modified in a similar fashion, if memory serves.

    Note that it was once a six-course instrument that has been cut down to be a four-course instrument. It would have been tuned originally as an octave guitar. The peghead was originally much longer. It has been whacked off and is missing four pegs for two doubled courses. The neck has been carved down from the sides to be narrower for similar reasons. The neck was once approximately as wide as the last metal fret. The six original hitch pins are still visible at the bottom of the instrument.

    That the seller mentions none of this (except the hitch pins) is perhaps telling...
    Jim

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