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View Full Version : Ciani mandolin really a Stradolin?



Cary Fagan
Sep-10-2020, 11:06am
I noticed this ebay listing for an oval hole mandolin with a label saying it was made by Galiano Raphael Ciani. But it looks identical to a Stradolin I once owned.

Here's the listing:

https://www.ebay.ca/itm/1925-A-Galiano-Raphael-Ciani-Bowl-Back-Mandolin-with-23-strings/254651366709?hash=item3b4a677d35:g:qmwAAOSwi8FfANb-

And here are some pics of my Stradolin:

https://www.mandolincafe.com/forum/threads/70190-Stradolin-Oval-Hole

Fake label? Any thoughts?

MikeEdgerton
Sep-10-2020, 11:40am
Ignore what the label says, that is a Strad-O-Lin genre oval hole mandolin, made right here in the US by whomever one wants to think made them. I'm sure if you look inside it will have the well known clamp marks (https://www.mandolincafe.com/forum/threads/30669-Inside-a-strad-o-lin) on the blocks.

CarlM
Sep-10-2020, 12:04pm
The title on the listing also says it is a bowl back.

Sue Rieter
Sep-10-2020, 12:05pm
So how did that label end up in there then? And why does the title of the listing say Bowl Back mandolin? Questions, questions.

MikeEdgerton
Sep-10-2020, 12:13pm
So how did that label end up in there then? And why does the title of the listing say Bowl Back mandolin? Questions, questions.

Easy, someone glued it in there. A large number of instruments have glued in labels over the years. The Strad-O-Lin genre mandolin were sold under dozens of brand names and probably almost as many were sold with no brand name.

MikeEdgerton
Sep-10-2020, 12:14pm
The title on the listing also says it is a bowl back.

I was taken aback by the 32 strings until I figured out they were selling loose strings with it.

Sue Rieter
Sep-10-2020, 12:32pm
I was taken aback by the 32 strings until I figured out they were selling loose strings with it.

:))

Cary Fagan
Sep-10-2020, 12:56pm
It is all a little confusing. Perhaps the seller doesn't know what a bowlback is? My oval hole stradolin was a nice little instrument. Laminated top. Not loud. But that's a decent price for a fixer upper that I would have already bought when I was playing 'catch and release' a few years ago.

Cary Fagan
Sep-11-2020, 8:24am
Couldn't stand it anymore. so I bought the thing.

MikeEdgerton
Sep-11-2020, 8:45am
Couldn't stand it anymore. so I bought the thing.

I like your style. :cool:

It might be solid, the one in the link I posted above was.

Cary Fagan
Sep-11-2020, 8:51am
Actually, yeah, Mike, I looked at my older post where I'd said it was solid. I misremembered.

rcc56
Sep-11-2020, 9:54am
Easy, someone glued it in there. A large number of instruments have glued in labels over the years. The Strad-O-Lin genre mandolin were sold under dozens of brand names and probably almost as many were sold with no brand name.

A couple of years back, there was extended discussion about an old flat back octave mandolin that had a label pasted in it made from an old Gibson catalog page or trade magazine ad. Although the instrument was undoubtedly of Chicago or east coast origin and bore no resemblance to any Gibson product, some of our members just insisted that if it had a Gibson label, it must be a Gibson instrument. Sigh . . .

"There's a sucker born every minute."

People have been glueing false labels in violins for over 200 years. We don't see as much of it in the mandolin/guitar/banjo world, but it is done.

A caution to anyone buying a high dollar collectable instrument such as a prewar F-5, Martin guitar,or especially an old Mastertone banjo: Learn to recognize the authenticity of the old instruments. If you have any doubts, have the instrument verified by an established vintage dealer before money changes hands. The potential buyer and the seller will have to work out who absorbs the costs. If a seller is not willing to have an instrument inspected, walk away . . .

NickR
Sep-11-2020, 11:18am
We had a discussion on this mandolin a while back and Mike Edgerton posted some photos of one looking at its inside that you may wish to look at:

https://www.mandolincafe.com/forum/threads/151325-1930s-Galiano-branded-Stradolin-Oval-Hole

I trust it works out as a good buy!

Jim Garber
Sep-11-2020, 3:48pm
The label says nothing about Ciani. There were some mandolins that had Galiano labels with Ciani's name on them. I would guess that Galiano (IIRC a brand of Oscar Schmidt) distributed these bought from the Strad-O-Lin supplier. Nothing unusual here. I think the label is genuine.

MikeEdgerton
Sep-11-2020, 4:22pm
The label says nothing about Ciani. There were some mandolins that had Galiano labels with Ciani's name on them. I would guess that Galiano (IIRC a brand of Oscar Schmidt) distributed these bought from the Strad-O-Lin supplier. Nothing unusual here. I think the label is genuine.

This (https://www.mandolincafe.com/forum/threads/126321-A-Galiano-early-1900s) may be where the mis-information came from. I didn't even think about the Italians. I don't remember seeing the "A." at the start of those labels but I guess they were there.

Cary Fagan
Sep-11-2020, 5:13pm
You're right, Jim. I assumed there was part of the label that I wasn't seeing.

MikeEdgerton
Sep-12-2020, 7:37am
An interesting thing to note. I've seen Strad-O-Lin genre mandolins labeled with dozens of known brand names, this is the first I've seen with an Oscar Schmidt label. Please make sure you post pictures in the Strad-O-Lin user group when you get it.

I will also note I am surprised it's just the paper label. Most if not all of the others had the stenciled name painted on the headstock.

Cary Fagan
Sep-12-2020, 8:14am
Will do, Mike.

Eric Platt
Sep-12-2020, 8:15am
Glad someone here got it. Was very close a number of times to buying it. Looks to my eyes like it's solid top and back at least. Will love to hear your report on it once you get it.

It's very possible the Galiano label was for a different consortium than just Oscar Schmidt - http://stellaguitars.com/about/stella-guitar-myths-factoids/

MikeEdgerton
Sep-12-2020, 7:08pm
Galiano was a Schmidt brand name and if Schmidt didn't make the Strad-O-Lins (and I don't think they did) they didn't make this (that would fit the Stella page). I think they played the same game that most of the people selling instruments did, buy whatever you can and brand it one way or the other to fill your orders.

NickR
Sep-13-2020, 4:49am
Neil Harpe in his book on Oscar Schmidt instruments describes Galiano as one of the other distributors such as Bruno who sold OS made guitars. He shows an A. Galiano label with the name of Joseph Nettuno as builder and then writes: Nettuno, Cerrito, Ciani and perhaps others shared the Galiano brand name. Some labels identify the maker, others do not."

MikeEdgerton
Sep-13-2020, 7:07am
Eric linked to Neil's website in this post (https://www.mandolincafe.com/forum/threads/151569-Ciani-mandolin-really-a-Stradolin?p=1787277&viewfull=1#post1787277). There were at least two different Martin's building and labeling guitars in NYC as well but I'm pretty sure the label in that instrument matches the Schmidt labels and if it doesn't it should fall back to one of the other distributors. The name may have been shared, I doubt the label was.

NickR
Sep-13-2020, 8:11am
I think the seller did a search for Galiano and found a Ciani made Galiano and assumed this mandolin was made by Ciani when we all know it's a Strad-O-Lin.
Here is a Galiano made by Stromberg-Voisinet from Jake Wildwood's museum listings:

https://jakewildwood.blogspot.com/2010/10/c1925-stromberg-voisinet-galiano.html

Indeed, here is one with a combined Ciani and Galiano label and the seller just assumed the mandolin was also made by Ciani.

https://www.invaluable.com/auction-lot/a-galiano-raphael-ciani-roundback-mandolin-216-c-5744d5e8b9

MikeEdgerton
Sep-13-2020, 8:53am
Check the link in this (https://www.mandolincafe.com/forum/threads/151569-Ciani-mandolin-really-a-Stradolin?p=1787225&viewfull=1#post1787225) post. The fact that this label is in instruments made by different makers probably points to a distribution operation and even though Schmidt built instruments I question if they built everything they sold. They were a money making venture and I think they went wherever they could do that.

NickR
Sep-13-2020, 10:40am
Yes, that's interesting. Here's an article about the Galiano that Nick Lucas played when Gibson came calling. Apparently, this Galiano he played was made by Raphael Ciani. A copy has been made which is also shown. I don't know if Nick Lucas kept the original- probably not.

http://fraulini.com/2020/06/nick-lucas-galiano/

rcc56
Sep-13-2020, 11:28am
..

rcc56
Sep-13-2020, 11:30am
Ernest "Pop" Stoneman also played a guitar made in the Galiano shop.
Generally speaking, most of the Galiano instruments were made with more care than many of the other instruments distributed by Schmidt.

It is my opinion that at least some of the instruments with a Galiano label were not made in the shop operated by Ciani, Nettuno, and Cerrito. The OP's instrument is one. The label may have been added later.

Cary Fagan
Oct-03-2020, 4:04pm
A follow up. Got the mandolin. Basically in nice shape. The back had come off at some point and didn't align perfectly, probably because the body shifted a bit before it was put back on. It wasn't well glued on so I removed it and was surprised to find two braces on the top, the expected one below the hole and another long brace somewhat above the bridge. They're so big and crude I decided to shape them and take a modest amount of wood off. Now I've got the back glued back on and clamped. The tuners were stiff but oiling them seems to have done the trick. It might take me a while to fit a proper bridge to the top. I'd post a couple of pictures but I'm not seeing how. I guess the site has changed things. I'll try to figure it out.

Cary Fagan
Oct-03-2020, 4:19pm
Somehow I couldn't see the buttons on firefox. So I shifted to Chrome. The second photo, if you can see it, is after I shaped the braces. You can see I was very conservative. (You might also notice the missing binding in the hole in the second pic. It popped out. I glued it back.)
188948188949188950

MikeEdgerton
Oct-03-2020, 4:21pm
With the expected clamp marks on the head block and tail block

MikeEdgerton
Oct-03-2020, 4:23pm
I'm surprised by the second long one as well. It wasn't inside this (https://www.mandolincafe.com/forum/threads/30669-Inside-a-strad-o-lin) one.

Cary Fagan
Oct-03-2020, 7:33pm
Me too. The top is solid, btw. And the back, although i couldn't tell what kind of wood it is.

MikeEdgerton
Oct-04-2020, 6:55am
Me too. The top is solid, btw. And the back, although i couldn't tell what kind of wood it is.

I expected it would be solid. Nice catch.

brunello97
Oct-04-2020, 4:27pm
Nice work, Cary, thanks for sharing.

I added a brace in just about the same location on a KM11 after a catastrophic top collapse. Seemed like the only way to save it.
It really tightened up the sound, particularly at the high end.
Lost some low and mid range response but it survived and I'm still playing it (now and then.)

Interested in hearing how yours sounds....

Mick

Cary Fagan
Oct-29-2020, 10:48am
Here's a sound sample.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6LoT5TzQjW0&feature=youtu.be

Cary Fagan
Nov-21-2020, 8:27am
I've now posted photos in the Stradolin group. Yesterday I passed it on to a happy new owner.