View Full Version : Help identifying a Brazilian Rosewood Mando

Jun-08-2014, 10:07am
I've tried both the "Repair" and the "show us a pic" threads with no luck so I'll try here and see if anyone can shed any light on this mandolin.

I just got this off Ebay and was delighted to find that it is in very good shape, one loose brace with just a bit of face warp that should easily come out when I re-glue the brace.


Brazilian Rosewood back and sides, Brazilian Rosewood neck, Spruce top, inlaid plastic tortoise shell pick guard, plain nickel plated tuner plate on back of headstock, Ebony fingerboard and an unusual black heel cap. There are no cracks except for a one in the fingerboard. At first, I assumed from the pictures that it might have been a high end Regal but upon receiving it, I was very surprised to find that it has a Brazilian rosewood neck as well. I know of no Regal with a rosewood neck (I did consult the excellent Regal Guitars book) and am curious to know if anyone had any ideas about the maker of this Mandolin. It doesn't seem like any Washburns I've seen either though the tuning gears are reminiscent of both Washburn and Regal.

If I were to guess, I'd suggest a possible date of the 1910-1920s based on the body style, tuners and overall appearance. The unusual "Gibsonesque" headstock shape and uncommon inlays (no two alike) certainly are unique. Inside construction appears to be clean and of good to high quality. In terms of quality and craftsmanship, I'd rate it a 7.5 on a scale of 10.







Any thoughts would be appreciated!

Jim Garber
Jun-09-2014, 9:56am
I believe that these were often sold by Sears-Roebuck under their Supertone brand. Jake Wildwood has restored a few and he believes that they were made by Harmony. Take a look at this page (http://antebelluminstruments.blogspot.com/2012/11/c1915-supertone-flatback-mandolin.html) on his blog.

Jun-09-2014, 3:52pm
I was gonna say Harmony/Supertone, but Jim beat me to it.

Jun-09-2014, 11:02pm
Thanks for the info and web links. That one on Jake's site looks quite similar. I've sent him an email with the link to this post to get his thoughts and will let you know what he says.

Jun-09-2014, 11:39pm
Interestingly enough, I also came across this, which has many similar features as well.


Jun-10-2014, 6:52pm
Supertone and Regal were part of the giant complex of mass-produced guitars, mandolins and banjos that were manufactured in Chicago during the teens and twenties. This one looks like a teens Regal to me, but they were all inter-related at the time

I was gonna say Harmony/Supertone, but Jim beat me to it.