View Full Version : My First Bowlback

Aug-13-2005, 3:46pm
I bought this a couple of weeks ago at a nice local shop. They were using it as a wallhanger-- it was dirty, covered in dust, loose and aged strings. The owner and I talked mandolins a bit, and he then agreed to let me have this one for a remarkably reasonable price.

I cleaned off the dust, removed most of the dirt with some Gibson's polish and elbow grease. hit the metal parts with some Simichrome I have left over from my banjo days. I cleaned the strings, but have yet to change them.

And you know what? It's not a bad mandolin at all. It has quite a few cosmetic issues, but it intonates properly, plays easily, and has pretty nice tone. It's a Soveriegn brand, which I've learned was one of the Oscar Schmidt brands in the early 20th century. The biggest suprise is elegant and beautifully engraved fretboard inlays-- hard to see in the photo, but really quite striking.

Aug-13-2005, 3:47pm
and the back....

Aug-13-2005, 4:53pm
nice looking bowl, just got mine a days ago too, check out the order of the bowl...:) http://www.mandolincafe.net/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/smile.gif

Aug-14-2005, 6:37pm
Interesting. Yes, Sovereign was an Oscar Schmidt brand, but this looks much more like an early Lyon & Healy than any Oscar Schmidt I've seen.

Aug-14-2005, 9:35pm
As much as I can tell you is that inside the mandolin is a small label that says "Sovereign" in large block letters, and "Warranteed" beneath in script letters.

Bob A
Aug-15-2005, 11:26am
I hope you've put extra-light strings on it, or you'll warp the neck. GHS makes a cheap set; there are better strings available, but they're kinda pricey. (Worth it, though).