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billkilpatrick
Apr-16-2012, 8:29am
Bill: you could have saved me some searching by just posting the eBay item#. The eBay listing (http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/Mandolin-mandolino-mandoline-SUPERTONE-SING-/280859108075?pt=UK_Musical_Instruments_Sting_Instr uments&hash=item416481e2eb) is here. Your seller is in Finland but it looks to me that the mandolin was made, or at least patented in Germany I think that is what Gesch. means something like manufacturer -- I really do not know German. We need Martin here.

Here are the pics. It says Superton Sing not Supertone. No relation at all to the Sears line. Also, i would guess that this dates much later than the US Supertones, maybe 1950s or even later. It does look interesting with that vertical soundhole -- I like that and a very deep bowl. Let us know how it is when it arrives.

thank you jim - you're a marvel, with your internet know-how. of course i'll post pictures and sound sample when it arrives but ... i really must learn to pay more attention to detail. thanks again!

riffhard
Apr-16-2012, 8:32am
Before you buy those new tuners you might try a little bit of oil on the ones that are on the mandolin. Also, those tuners might be fine but the spacing of the posts may not be exactly the same as your old mandolin. If you can buy the new tuners in a store with the mandolin there that would be better.

From the fragment of the label and the type of tailpiece I would guess that your mandolin was made in Germany, not Italy.

Thanks Jim. The Label says "Musikhaus Kratochwil, 1020 Wien Taborstraße". This shop does not exist anymore. And I could not find any info about it on the web. I think this is only the label of the seller, don't think that they built it.
I live in Vienna. Mandolines are rather exotic instruments here. :( So i'm afraid i have to order the new tuners. Could not find anything at the Website of Klangfarbe, which is the biggest musicstore in Vienna. If they dont fit i will return them.
The pic's are a few weeks old, i already tried it with oil, forgot to mention.

riffhard
Apr-16-2012, 8:44am
Bill: you could have saved me some searching by just posting the eBay item#. The eBay listing (http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/Mandolin-mandolino-mandoline-SUPERTONE-SING-/280859108075?pt=UK_Musical_Instruments_Sting_Instr uments&hash=item416481e2eb) is here. Your seller is in Finland but it looks to me that the mandolin was made, or at least patented in Germany I think that is what Gesch. means something like manufacturer -- I really do not know German. We need Martin here.

Here are the pics. It says Superton Sing not Supertone. No relation at all to the Sears line. Also, i would guess that this dates much later than the US Supertones, maybe 1950s or even later. It does look interesting with that vertical soundhole -- I like that and a very deep bowl. Let us know how it is when it arrives.

"Gesch." does not mean manufacturer. If it should be "Geschäft" it means "shop".
What's the word before Gesch.? Can't read that on the pic.

Jim Garber
Apr-16-2012, 8:50am
"Gesch." does not mean manufacturer. If it should be "Geschäft" it means "shop".
What's the word before Gesch.? Can't read that on the pic.

I think it says: "PATENTANTL. GESCH." then the number underneath. I have quite a few old German instrument catalogs and the companies sometimes have Gesch. after them, so you can see my confusion.

Jim Garber
Apr-16-2012, 9:01am
Thanks Jim. The Label says "Musikhaus Kratochwil, 1020 Wien Taborstraße". This shop does not exist anymore. And I could not find any info about it on the web. I think this is only the label of the seller, don't think that they built it.
I live in Vienna. Mandolines are rather exotic instruments here. :( So i'm afraid i have to order the new tuners. Could not find anything at the Website of Klangfarbe, which is the biggest musicstore in Vienna. If they dont fit i will return them.
The pic's are a few weeks old, i already tried it with oil, forgot to mention.

It still looks German to me. There are tailpieces like that usually stamped Marcelli but made in Germany. See here (http://www.mandolincafe.com/forum/showthread.php?17080-Who-made-this-mandola&p=207383&viewfull=1#post207383) and here (http://www.mandolincafe.com/forum/showthread.php?52795-Looking-for-info-on-my-mandolin&p=688962&viewfull=1#post688962).

Strange... I would think that those tuners not having rust would be turnable. Have you taken them off the mandolin to try them?

brunello97
Apr-16-2012, 9:04am
My guess is that the gesch. in this case is an abbreviation for geschützt which means 'protected' as in patent protected or something like that. Ma sto sparando al buio. My German skills remain an embarrassment. Kooky looking mandolin, Bill. I look forward to hearing it.

Mick

riffhard
Apr-16-2012, 9:05am
I think it says: "PATENTANTL. GESCH." then the number underneath. I have quite a few old German instrument catalogs and the companies sometimes have Gesch. after them, so you can see my confusion.

Ok, so it means "geschützt". In combination with Patent this simply does mean it is protected by patent no ....

Now i can read it. It says: "Patentamtlich geschützt".
Patentamt = patent office
geschützt = protected

riffhard
Apr-16-2012, 9:10am
It still looks German to me. There are tailpieces like that usually stamped Marcelli but made in Germany. See here (http://www.mandolincafe.com/forum/showthread.php?17080-Who-made-this-mandola&p=207383&viewfull=1#post207383) and here (http://www.mandolincafe.com/forum/showthread.php?52795-Looking-for-info-on-my-mandolin&p=688962&viewfull=1#post688962).

Strange... I would think that those tuners not having rust would be turnable. Have you taken them off the mandolin to try them?

Than most likly it is a german one. I called it italian because that is what the person i bought it from told me. :redface:
Yes, i took the tuners off. They are even very hard to turn without any string tension. I think they are bend.

jlatorre
Apr-16-2012, 10:04pm
Well, it's not exactly a mandolin but it's a bowl-back.

I thought I'd try my hand at making a Renaissance Mandore, which is the ancestor of the mandolin. Here's a picture of what I came up with:

85141

The rosette was a cheat; I ordered one already laser-cut from a supplier. And although it first had gut frets, i found them to be too much a pain in the ass, so I substituted standard frets.

Here's a picture of it from the rear:

85142

jlatorre
Apr-16-2012, 10:13pm
I forgot to add that the woods are maple and rosewood, with a spruce soundboard and a maple neck. The rosette is padauk. The internal bracing is fairly modern ... X-bracing with some fans at the bridge. Right now I have it strung with Aquila "nyl-gut" stringing, tuned like a conventional mandolin, but since the E string wants to break, I may have to re-think that.

Ignore the pictures. They're for another mandolin I made. I pasted them into this missive by mistake and now I can't figure out how to delete them. Sorry.

Jim Garber
Apr-17-2012, 10:19pm
Hey, Bill I found another one similar to your Superton with a Wunderlich label on eBay Germany (http://www.ebay.com/itm/beautiful-german-Mandolin-C-A-Wunderlich-ca-1950-/330712296970?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_0&hash=item4cfffd2e0a#ht_4502wt_1082). If that is the going price, you did quite well.

billkilpatrick
Apr-18-2012, 2:35am
wow! ... i paid £86 - nothing like an absent zero to make the heart grow fonder. c.a.wunderlich - i'll look for the name when the mandolin arrives - giuseppe in finland (love it) says he sent it yesterday. thanks, jim - really appreciate it

Jim Garber
Apr-18-2012, 7:29am
I have a C.A. Wunderlich catalog from my friend in Austria, but that is an earlier one from the 1920s I think, and this mandolin does not appear in it.

billkilpatrick
Apr-18-2012, 8:20am
assuming mine is associated with him, both appear to be from the 1950's - you've really done it now, can't wait for it to get here and this is italy, afterall, with italian postal snafu's galore ...

Martin Jonas
Apr-18-2012, 8:30am
Hey, Bill I found another one similar to your Superton with a Wunderlich label on eBay Germany (http://www.ebay.com/itm/beautiful-german-Mandolin-C-A-Wunderlich-ca-1950-/330712296970?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_0&hash=item4cfffd2e0a#ht_4502wt_1082). If that is the going price, you did quite well.

Well, that one is a Buy-It-Now that nobody has bought yet, so not much indication of market value.

I do agree that Bill's looks rather nice -- I'll be interested to hear his impressions. From what I can make out, C.A. Wunderlich was a fairly prominent instrument wholesaler/distributor, not a maker. Thus, their business model would have been similar to that of Zimmermann -- they commissioned smaller makers in the Vogtland region to make instruments for them at various market/price points. Some, but not all, of their instruments (and probably the lower end of the range) may have been made in factory-like manufactures wholly owned by them.

Bill's instrument looks rather upmarket -- few German mandolins have a proper fretboard extension and those that do were usually intended for players who can actually play up there, i.e. the top end.

Martin

Jim Garber
Apr-18-2012, 8:37am
I guess it is a going price assuming it actually goes. :)

I do like that Edvard Munch vertical hole and look fwd to the report of sound and playability when it does arrive, Bill.

billkilpatrick
Apr-18-2012, 10:07am
... me too. edvard munch - hah!

thanks martin - all knowledge gratefully received

riffhard
Apr-18-2012, 2:12pm
Hey, Bill I found another one similar to your Superton with a Wunderlich label on eBay Germany (http://www.ebay.com/itm/beautiful-german-Mandolin-C-A-Wunderlich-ca-1950-/330712296970?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_0&hash=item4cfffd2e0a#ht_4502wt_1082). If that is the going price, you did quite well.

The one on eBay must be the Mando equivalent to an original 59 Gibson Les Paul. :))
Beside of eBay you find old Mandolines in Austria also at Willhaben.
Here is one (http://www.willhaben.at/iad/kaufen-und-verkaufen/freizeit-hobby-kulinarik/mandoline-mit-tasche-38421874?adId=38421874) that looks a bit like the one on ebay. I don't think he will get the price he wants.
Or this (http://www.willhaben.at/iad/kaufen-und-verkaufen/freizeit-hobby-kulinarik/mandoline-mit-koffer-38421445?adId=38421445) one from same seller. And another (http://www.willhaben.at/iad/kaufen-und-verkaufen/freizeit-hobby-kulinarik/neapolitanische-mandoline-ca-1920-38420534?adId=38420534) one.
Or what about this one (http://www.willhaben.at/iad/kaufen-und-verkaufen/freizeit-hobby-kulinarik/alte-mandoline-37523027?adId=37523027)?

billkilpatrick
Apr-18-2012, 5:29pm
just what i - or anyone else - needs ... more tempting sites, selling mandolins

pleased to meet you riffhard - this could be the start of a very expensive friendship ...

riffhard
Apr-19-2012, 3:41am
What else would you do with the money? Spend it on useless things like food or cloth? :grin:

billkilpatrick
Apr-19-2012, 4:21am
i'm in shock! - mandolin arrived in 3 days ... this is italy!?! - some signs of repair and refinishing, which was very well done - has the characteristic delicate, brittle sound but less so - happy-chappy:


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PwMhd75FJQE

Martin Jonas
Apr-19-2012, 4:59am
Congratulations, Bill -- that looks and sounds a really nice bowlback, especially straight out of the box via Ebay! Great bargain at that price.

Martin

billkilpatrick
Apr-19-2012, 5:18am
grazie martino! - video has elongated the image somewhat - don't have the other for comparrison's sake but the bowl seems deeper on this one; sound board a little broader at the base

Jim Garber
Apr-19-2012, 8:18am
You did good, Bill. Sounds nice already. What strings will you use?

billkilpatrick
Apr-19-2012, 11:09am
thanks jim - at the moment, his - but (somewhere?) i'll buy a set of dogal calace (light) strings

billkilpatrick
Apr-19-2012, 1:37pm
... just did - on italian ebay - dogal calace RW92B DOLCE

Jim Garber
Jun-24-2012, 8:06pm
Hey, Bill I found another one similar to your Superton with a Wunderlich label on eBay Germany (http://www.ebay.com/itm/beautiful-german-Mandolin-C-A-Wunderlich-ca-1950-/330712296970?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_0&hash=item4cfffd2e0a#ht_4502wt_1082). If that is the going price, you did quite well.

This one is still available on eBay Germany (http://www.ebay.com/itm/330748054967).

brunello97
Jun-24-2012, 9:00pm
This one is still available on eBay Germany (http://www.ebay.com/itm/330748054967).

I have to listen to a lot of German spoken on a regular basis. No offense, but it isn't exactly samba to my ears. But then again sometimes something like this comes along:

Der Hals ist aus Ahorn.

Amazing.

Mick

mando1man
Jun-27-2012, 6:27pm
Here's my 1905 Martin Style 5
8850888509

mando1man
Jun-27-2012, 6:28pm
8851088511

mando1man
Jun-27-2012, 6:29pm
8851288513

Jim Garber
Jun-27-2012, 10:16pm
Here's my 1905 Martin Style 5

That is a real beaut, mando1man! Amazing condition.

brunello97
Jun-28-2012, 12:47am
That is a real beaut, mando1man! Amazing condition.

Even the Clown Shoe is in perfect shape. That is really something.

Mick

mando1man
Jun-28-2012, 11:20am
Thanks fellers. I got it from a gal that plays in a mandolin orchestra in Washington state. She said that seh was selling it to buy a Gilchrist dola. It's set up nice and has a very cool tone. And it was not expensive :-) It came with the original leather case (rare) and a new one.
88537

Eugene
Jul-02-2012, 11:39pm
I'd be happy to take it off your hands slightly less cheaply, mando1man! [Inset slyly winking emoticon of your choice here.]

Jim Garber
Jul-03-2012, 8:34am
I'd be happy to take it off your hands slightly less cheaply, mando1man! [Inset slyly winking emoticon of your choice here.]

For those who do not know, Mr. Eugene Braig, among other achievements, is the originator of the term "clown shoe case."

roady43
Jul-07-2012, 10:31am
Latest acquisition is this German bowlback made from flamed apple (extremely rare!). I fell in love with it as soon as I saw it at the makers place in February (when I picked up my Embergher which he had repaired). So he left me with it since and I played a lot of performances with it.

roady43

brunello97
Jul-07-2012, 12:07pm
Very nice, Roady43. I think it has a clean yet dynamic look. The slight asymmetry is appealing to me as well. The fruitwood is beautiful. At first glance, I thought it was cherry. Where is the builder from?

Mick

Jim Garber
Jul-07-2012, 1:00pm
roady43: Yes, any reason you would keep the name of the maker secret? Please so let us know who he/she is. It looks, from the photos, that this is impeccable workmanship.

Also, I believe that there is a wide difference -- almost polar opposites -- between the Embergher mandolin and the German styles including, neck shape, tone and approach to playing. Do you play particular kinds of music with each type of mandolin?

roady43
Jul-07-2012, 4:57pm
Very nice, Roady43. I think it has a clean yet dynamic look. The slight asymmetry is appealing to me as well. The fruitwood is beautiful. At first glance, I thought it was cherry. Where is the builder from?

Mick


roady43: Yes, any reason you would keep the name of the maker secret? Please so let us know who he/she is. It looks, from the photos, that this is impeccable workmanship.



Thank you Mick and Jim.
In fact I didn't want to keep the builders name secret but he asked me not to be "published". So I waited with putting up pictures here until I owned the mandolin, which is since yesterday. He even didn't put a label inside the mandolin, he is not in the internet and builds intruments only on special request. He has his workshop only a few kilometers from where I live.

Because of his extraordinary craftmanship I ordered another mandolin from him which will be finished at the end of the year: black Rio palisander bowl with thin maple filings, spruce top with black Rio scratchboard and a special peghead kit that allows exchangeable stringing (wood or machine pegs, different number of courses, gut or steel strings). Exchangeable nut and bridge, only 4 bone pins for the strings... Very exciting. I've never seen or heard something similar and I'm very happy that he accepted the experiment with my crazy "invention". My goal was to have the possibility of no metal parts on it. A security exit is build in as well: if this fails (because tuning could become a real issue, specially when wood pegs are combined with steel strings!) the peghaed always can be transformed into an ordinary machine head.

roady43

roady43
Jul-07-2012, 5:53pm
Also, I believe that there is a wide difference -- almost polar opposites -- between the Embergher mandolin and the German styles including, neck shape, tone and approach to playing. Do you play particular kinds of music with each type of mandolin?

I love to play the Embergher very much and like to practise on it. The fretboard is very comfortable for me (coming from the violin) and it is much easier to reach the high notes because of the slim shape of the body. The sound is bright and clear, in colors I would call it silvery. Very good sustain and the basses are astonishly strong. I played it once in Otello in January. Nice for the Italian repertoire. I might need it for Don Giovanni (on period instruments) but then will put on the Lenzner Cosnort or even gut strings. Still looking for a Vinaccia of the 1790s for that.

As you say the differences between the 2 types are quite obvious.

The German bowlback was played in concerts and opera performances all the time during the last 6 month. Perfect for Romeo and Juliet (Prokofiew) playing from the pit. No problem to come through against the trumpets...
The sound is brilliant, strong, round and remembers a bit at the sound of a cembalo.

roady43

Tavy
Jul-08-2012, 3:28am
Can I just say, that's one sweet looking bowl - love the tailpiece inlay - definitely a head scratcher working out how that was done! :)

Jim Garber
Jul-08-2012, 11:02am
In fact I didn't want to keep the builders name secret but he asked me not to be "published". So I waited with putting up pictures here until I owned the mandolin, which is since yesterday. He even didn't put a label inside the mandolin, he is not in the internet and builds intruments only on special request. He has his workshop only a few kilometers from where I live.

Strange that the maker with such talent would want to avoid even a modicum of fame. Oh well.

roady43
Jul-08-2012, 6:30pm
Strange that the maker with such talent would want to avoid even a modicum of fame. Oh well.

Yes but he is extremely modest, not to say shy and not longing for fame. The other point is, that he had decided to spend as much time as possible for another field he is very involved and successful: sculptures. He is not so young anymore and can't accept to many orders for building mandolins and wants avoid any pressure. At the moment his priority is his artistry as sculptor (the finish of many details of my mandolin tell a lot, e.g. armrest).

roady43

Jim Garber
Jul-09-2012, 8:59am
You are lucky to know him and have been able to convince him to build for you.

brunello97
Jul-09-2012, 9:09am
You are lucky to know him and have been able to convince him to build for you.

He remains an International Luthier of Mystery.


Mick

roady43
Jul-18-2012, 5:54am
Little sound sample with my new German bowlback. Some bars of the 1. Mandolin Part of Prokofiews Morning Serenade from Romeo and Juliet. Unplugged recording in 40sq.m. living room...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CNoQm8dgLQA&feature=youtu.be

roady43

Jim Garber
Jul-18-2012, 10:11am
Cute little tune...not so easy to play, eh?

For our convenience:

Eugene
Aug-25-2012, 2:12pm
Not quite mandolin, but I'd posted images of my weird, rib-backed vihuela way back in 2005, pre-restoration. Chad Neal, mentioned below, completely rebuilt it on the original shell. If anybody happens to be curious, detail can be had at this page of Chad's blog site (http://www.neallutes.com/2009/09/vihuela-for-eugene-eugene-brought-me.html).

Eugene
Aug-25-2012, 2:27pm
This guy has gotten a little discussion elsewhere. It's a ca. 1910s Favilla Bros. piece that cam to me from Fred Oster's Vintage Instruments, Inc (http://www.vintage-instruments.com/). This photo montage is from that shop:

90868


It's a bit quirky. The neck is actually wider than the bowl at the join, and the overhang is decoratively bound. The bridge was a bit beyond functionality because of some warping and cracking. It did not come to me with the bridge pictured here, but rather shipped with a period Vega bridge that didn't quite fit. The soundboard is built for excellent structural integrity and is strongly arched, and the Vega bridge's points are thus left floating in space.

52 ribs, 25 frets, plenty of ornamental pearl--but not too much... I like that the fingerboard eschews ornament, but there are position markers set for the player, along the edge's binding. Whoever commissioned this evidently did so as much for it to be really played as to show off.

It's currently off to my buddy Chad's shop (http://www.neallutes.com/) for some very minor restoration: new bridge, some fingerboard work in upper positions (the extension frets out above 19), replacing a little missing pearl, etc.

What I'd really like to know is who was "M.V.B." as engraved on the shield in the scratchplate? I'm guessing those to be initials of whoever commissioned the original build and suspect that person was based in New York.

Tavy
Aug-26-2012, 3:42am
That's one nice looking bowl!

Eugene
Aug-27-2012, 12:04pm
Thanks, Tavy!

Jim Garber
Aug-27-2012, 1:19pm
What I'd really like to know is who was "M.V.B." as engraved on the shield in the scratchplate? I'm guessing those to be initials of whoever commissioned the original build and suspect that person was based in New York.

Martin Van Buren....???? Nah! Tho I would imagine that this person was a decent player or fancied him or her self so since they had an extended fretboard. Maybe a good thorough looking thru concert listings from the period would find such a person. Then again, it could also have been a wealthy amateur.

Eugene
Aug-27-2012, 2:38pm
Hmmm, a potential presidential affiliation is certainly intriguing, but I think ol' Marty predated this piece by a few years.

barryhall
Sep-19-2012, 7:57pm
Here are some photos of my German "Superton Sing" mandola (i.e., viola scale, not mandolin). I am just getting ready to post it on eBay. Anyone interested?
Barry

91648916499165091651916529165391654

Jim Garber
Sep-20-2012, 8:33am
Here are some photos of my German "Superton Sing" mandola (i.e., viola scale, not mandolin). I am just getting ready to post it on eBay. Anyone interested?
Barry

What is the scale length?

barryhall
Sep-21-2012, 11:39am
It's 17.5 inches from bridge to the zero fret. Body is 16 inches and total length is 31 inches. The bowl is really deep (8 inches) which gives it a very resonant tone. Seems to me that it is intended for viola/mandola tuning (CGDA) which is how I have it currently tuned. Sound right to you? The headstock has an impressed name in script that appears to say "Gläsel." As you can see in the photos, the soundboard says "Superton Sing." On the side of the body is impressed "PATENTAMTL GESCH. 1194879" which I assume is a German patent indicator. Does anyone know more about this maker, probable age, etc.?

Martin Jonas
Sep-21-2012, 12:09pm
"Superton Sing" was a brand name used by C.A. Wunderlich, one of the large musical instruments wholesalers/distributors based in Markneukirchen in Saxony/Germany. Gläsel is a common surname in the Markneukirchen/Vogtland region and there were a whole raft of violin and guitar makers with that surname -- presumably one of them made instruments with this headstock logo and distributed them through Wunderlich. Here are photos of three guitars with the same headstock logo I found online:

91757

Because of the use of the Superton Sing logo, I would think your mandola is probably 1930s -- Wunderlich disappeared from the scene after 1945.

Martin

brunello97
Sep-21-2012, 6:39pm
Those arch tops are pretty hip, Martin. Check the recurve on those.

Didn't Bill K pick up a Sing bowl back mandolin a short while back that we were talking about? The longitudinal sound hole looks familiar.

Mick

barryhall
Sep-22-2012, 5:01pm
Yes. Mine looks like Bill's but my mandola is a lot larger than his mandolin. I wonder if mine was intended for viola tuning CGDA or octave mandolin GDAE. Here's a video of Bill's:
http://youtu.be/PwMhd75FJQE


Didn't Bill K pick up a Sing bowl back mandolin a short while back that we were talking about? The longitudinal sound hole looks familiar.

Mick

JCM
Sep-27-2012, 10:07am
Jim, this mandolin sat in an un-airconditioned boat house in Titusville Florida for at least 60 years!92015920169201792018920199202092021

Jim Garber
Sep-27-2012, 10:37am
Craig: That is a nice one and it looks like it is in good shape. I like the compensated bridge and the monogram on the headstock. Yours is a simply adorned model but made by one of the top three shops in Italy. Was your grandfather a player?

JCM
Sep-27-2012, 1:29pm
Jim, my grandfather sure was a player. I have pictures of him at Norwich Univ. circa 1916 playing in his dorm room. Then some in his orange groves near Titusville, FL. He was one of the civil engineers who laid out the launch pad sites for the Apollo rockets. Thanks for helping me uncover this family mystery!

I think I'll get this mandolin restored and display it in a china type cabinet...then buy myself a starter mandolin to learn on:)

Jim Garber
Sep-27-2012, 1:41pm
You can learn on this one for sure. It is a quality instrument. It would be a real shame to have it locked up in a cabinet. Musical instruments were meant to be played. You would make grandpa proud. BTW it would be cool it you like, to post some pics here of him playing that mandolin.

Jim Garber
Sep-28-2012, 9:42am
Nice looking Ceccherini (http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item=320990122189)for UK buyers only. Price is still reasonable.

roady43
Dec-22-2012, 8:42am
Little Show of my German bolwbacks! Enjoy...


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roady43

Marty Jacobson
Dec-22-2012, 10:00am
That's a very clever idea for the headstock on the one with the ebonized back. That's some beautiful work on all three of these.

Tavy
Dec-22-2012, 12:58pm
Little Show of my German bolwbacks! Enjoy...

Roady those are really sweet, nice work!

JeffD
Dec-22-2012, 2:01pm
Little Show of my German bolwbacks! Enjoy...

Wow. Very cool. The one in the center is suitable for framing. Lovely.

Jim Garber
Dec-22-2012, 5:55pm
Little Show of my German bowlbacks! Enjoy...

Pardon me if you gave us this info already, but who are the maker(s)?

Beanzy
Jul-17-2013, 11:39pm
I had put pics up on my own blog but as a reference am including pics of my recently acquired Calace 58-A (now model 13?)

104556 104557 104558 104559

I've just fitted a new nut which has resolved some of the set-up problems originally bodge-fixed by a zero-fret someone had fitted, the gap from that has been successfully filled by an ebony insert. The bridge in the pic has now had the slots re-filled and will be re-slotted next weekend when I'm home. Even just the new nut means the 'a' strings stay in tune properly. As it's a G only compensated bridge I'm using Thomastick medium strings with the wound 'a'.

Tavy
Jul-18-2013, 5:04am
Oooo nice! What year was that one made out of interest?

Beanzy
Jul-18-2013, 8:19am
Aye well there's the rub. I reckon it's probably 1977 or re-worked in recent years, but it was listed as 1922 in the shop and the label could be read either way.
It had a different bridge originally as this one (a proper Calace one from what I can see) has a different footprint and the top has the little marks from registration nipples on either side of the old bridge.
The label looks like this; 104565104566

Jim Garber
Jul-18-2013, 8:39am
Eoin: I suppose if the current bridge works with the strings you like then it is fine. I see that the current Calace model thirteen has a compensated bridge. I would assume that they use Dogal Calace roundwound strings.

Jim Garber
Jul-18-2013, 8:50am
I won't swear on it but it looks more like a 1977 than a 1922. I have a 1974 Calace mandola and the finish looks like this one. I have had a couple of 20's mandolins but they look different.

Beanzy
Jul-18-2013, 8:58am
Fingers crossed the filling & re-slotting is ok (the upper a slot had been cut too deep). I have another one fitted at the moment while the one in the photo sets. It's in ebony with a brass insert, but the tone isn't as full sounding as the rosewood /bone one due to the harder materials. The main thing is it sounds super with the bridge in the pic so I'm working from a great reference point, and any alternatives for looks have to shape up to that before they pass muster. :)

My hunch is '70s like you say; as the finish on the fretboard definitely looks a bit 'Friday afternoon' / valpolicella influenced and I've read comments saying things weren't the most 'finished' during that phase. The second fret M.O.P and fret are aligned like grandpas dentures too.

Jim Garber
Jul-18-2013, 10:35am
Eoin: do you make your own bridges? If not, Dave Hynds (http://mandolinluthier.com/) makes some nice ones. I would go for a compensated ebony/bone one. Not fond of a brass saddle. Too metallic.

Tavy
Jul-18-2013, 10:51am
Eoin: do you make your own bridges? If not, Dave Hynds (http://mandolinluthier.com/) makes some nice ones. I would go for a compensated ebony/bone one. Not fond of a brass saddle. Too metallic.

I like to think I do too, and Eoin's just round the corner from me... just saying :)

Jim Garber
Jul-18-2013, 11:46am
Sorry, John....

peterk
Dec-06-2013, 12:48pm
Here's a mandolin which was repaired by R.A. Mango, NYC (in 1930s ?) which I have just started fixing a bit. A label by Mango is stuck inside the bowl, perhaps on top of the maker's label ? Eeither way, the mandolin is anonymous for now.
I am half way thru with cleaning the headstock as well as the tuning machines, and there is still a fair amount of work to be done. The mandolin might need some fret levelling/shimming, not sure yet.
While the instrument is relatively austere wrt MOP ornaments, I kind of like the tunner pin bushings made of MOP.

110218110219110220110221110222

Jim Garber
Dec-06-2013, 3:02pm
That is beautiful, Peter. Definitely Italian, prob Napoli, possibly Vinaccia. I have seen that bug on (I thought) of of the Vinaccias but can't seem to find it. Of course, inlay is not much of a clue to maker since they often bought from a third-party inlay catalog.

I asked in the builder's section how to carefully remove a glued-over label and not damage the one underneath. it can be done. Mostly they sad start with an application of a damp cloth and see what happens.

peterk
Dec-06-2013, 3:18pm
That is beautiful, Peter. Definitely Italian, prob Napoli, possibly Vinaccia. I have seen that bug on (I thought) of of the Vinaccias but can't seem to find it. Of course, inlay is not much of a clue to maker since they often bought from a third-party inlay catalog.

I asked in the builder's section ho to carefully remove a glued-over label and not damage the one underneath. it can be done. Mostly they sad start with an application of a damp cloth and see what happens.

Thank you Jim, I also think that the mandolin may have some Vinaccia elements:

(1) The headstock shape, particularly the simplified classic pediment volutes.
(2) The bug in the scratch plate corner.
(3) Scratch plate outline (scalloping)
(4) The skirt: scalloping, tulipwood binding.
(5) Soundhole rosette: small and simple, but with very fine and uncommon MOP elements.

The only component I am very unsure about is the tailpiece with the hinged armrest.....I can not recall that type from a few Vinaccia instruments I've seen on the net.

Jim Garber
Dec-06-2013, 3:30pm
T
The only component I am very unsure about is the tailpiece with the hinged armrest.....I can not recall that type from a few Vinaccia instruments I've seen on the net.

Tailpiece is not original, I am pretty sure. I agree with the others tho Vegas and Martins and prob a few others have similar peghead shapes with that cutout.

peterk
Dec-06-2013, 3:38pm
Yes, you are of course right about the headstock shape....not very uncommon.
In addition, when I removed the tailpiece, the wood underneath showed some evidence of a retrofit.

There is something funny about the label inside.......I'll take a shot of it momentarily.:grin:

It almost looks like he hand wrote "Repaired by" as an afterthought, with a pencil, just before sticking the label inside the mandolin. Perhaps it occurred to him that his label alone might have been interpreted that he made the instrument himself.;) It would have been so nice if he added the date of the repair completion. As far as the maker's label is concerned, it might be underneath, or not.

Incidentally, at the bottom of Mango's label he proudly states: "Repairing artistically done."

110233

Jim Garber
Dec-06-2013, 4:36pm
Just got this Embergher No. 1 today and took some quick pics. I can't tell the year since the store in Zurich pasted their label over the original Embergher one (just like Mr. Mango above).

I stupidly forgot to take a full-length photo of the back, but you get the idea.

The thins is dirty but should clean up pretty well. Someone did try to fill the back crack in the bowl and glue the scratchplate down with carpenters glue. There is a small separation on the bass side of the tailpiece. otherwise, structurally it looks like it is in good shape. The neck angel looks pretty good. The original bar frets need to be worked on to make it play well. The top looks quite nice. There is some light coming thru the bowl so possibly that may need to be looked at as well.

This is the original bridge. Embergher made many of the bridge with that "butterfly cut" so it would contour to the top of the mandolin easier -- I guess if the top geometry changes over time or with the weather the bridge would also change with it.

peterk
Dec-06-2013, 5:16pm
Good grief, Jim, what a lovely mandolin......that thing is in excellent state of preservation.
Two hundred dollars you say ? I feel it, it's coming: I shall start sobbing uncontrollably any moment now:crying:.

Here are a few shots of my "Belcanto" Embergher.

110245110246110247110248

Martin Veit
Dec-06-2013, 5:56pm
Jim, thats a very fine mandolin. Yummie!

And Peter, do you know, what my thought is?
I would take off the frontside "Belcanto"-plate very carefully.
So, that you can replace it anytime without harm.
Maybe there is the original embergher-branding beyond.

peterk
Dec-06-2013, 6:10pm
Jim, thats a very fine mandolin. Yummie!

And Peter, do you know, what my thought is?
I would take off the frontside "Belcanto"-plate very carefully.
So, that you can replace it anytime without harm.
Maybe there is the original embergher-branding beyond.

Now, thank you, I didn't even think of that.......I'll remove the "Belcanto" as well as "Hofmann" boilerplate, just to be sure that no Embergher stamp is hidden behind.:))

Jim Garber
Dec-06-2013, 6:16pm
Hah! I would answer to the question: "Luigee Emburger?" Yes, absolutely but not Luigi Embergher, no, definitely not, close but no ceegar.

Jim Garber
Dec-06-2013, 11:46pm
Sorry Peter and Martin. Hofman may have had some connection with Embergher but that is not an Embergher -- at least I have never seen one that looked like that.

Martin Veit
Dec-07-2013, 6:12am
Hah - Jim! Just wait and see!
Sometime we will win :grin:

Jim Garber
Dec-07-2013, 2:07pm
Sure, Martin. Keep posting photos. The ones I have seen in the German catalogs I have are copies, but I would be happy to be proven wrong.

brunello97
Dec-07-2013, 4:36pm
Hah! I would answer to the question: "Luigee Emburger?" Yes, absolutely but not Luigi Embergher, no, definitely not, close but no ceegar.

This never gets old:


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=W22jfjxXHpQ

Mick

Jim Garber
Dec-07-2013, 4:43pm
Hah - Jim! Just wait and see!
Sometime we will win :grin:

You may be right... I spoke to an expert on Emberghers and he told me that there are some genuine Embergher mandolins that were made for Emil Hofmann ones with only an Emil Hofmann label (or no label at all). Also, sometimes there is an original Embergher label and an additional E. Hofmann label. He also mentioned that Hofmann carried Embergher copies (like PeterK's Belcanrto that were not made by the Embergher workshop.

PeterK noticed another Embergher copy on this thread. (there are some Embergher mandolins that were made for Emil Hofmann. Sometimes you find original Emberghers with only an Emil Hofmann label (or no label at all).
Sometimes there is an original Embergher label and an additional E. Hofmann label.)

Hey, you learn something new everyday. I would love to see some examples of the genuine Emberghers with Hofmann label.

Martin Veit
Dec-07-2013, 5:58pm
Jim, you make my day :)

Jim Garber
Dec-07-2013, 6:03pm
Now, you just have to find one of those Emberghers disguised as Hofmanns. :)

Martin Veit
Dec-07-2013, 6:32pm
Let me take a sharp look at the belcanto/Hofmann mandolin,
which my orchestra-companion is playing.
Hey, keep your fingers crossed for me ;)

..uhm - the guys at embergher didn't mention something about that bass?

Jim Garber
Dec-07-2013, 6:51pm
Martin: My friend said that the Belcanto instruments were not made by Embergher.

Martin Veit
Dec-07-2013, 7:05pm
Okay, it's a pity therefor.

But, which brand is it?

I have to do a good look into this cabinet where the bass has rested a long time.
One of the old menbers of our orchestra told me, that this cabinet was made espacialy for the bass.
Maybe there are some old signs.

peterk
Dec-07-2013, 8:39pm
Well, gents, some day I'll remove the "Belcanto" plaque, and you will be looking at my mandolin with admiration once the Emburger stamp reveals itself.:whistling:

barney 59
Dec-08-2013, 7:16pm
I was watching that Emberger as well and then spaced at the end. I'm actually glad that you got it,maybe even more than if I had. The great lesson here is that there are sometimes deals on ebay --still!-- though I find that it's getting rarer and rarer.

Martin Veit
Dec-09-2013, 4:39am
barney, i think, the laugh is, that here in Germany a many bowlback goes into the bay for very low prizes,
where on the other hand the F- and A-Shapes are rare and expensive.
It seems, that in the US it is reverse. Many F- and A-Shapes and low Bowlbacks in the bay.

So - why not make a GMTA = Gentlemans Mandolin Transfer Agreement :grin:

well - as you say: Great minds think alike. ;)

Jim Garber
Dec-09-2013, 7:56am
It is a buyer/bidder's market on eBay and has been for the last few years with the exception of highly desirable instruments. Martin, in the US bowlbacks have been pretty much ignored and called wall-hangers. In bluegrass circles and even in most other genres, rarely does anyone play one. It is only the last decade or so that players have come to appreciate them duly in a large part to interest and discussion right here on these Cafe forums. During the early days of the 19th century in both Europe and North America there was a great amount of them made. Unfortunately many were low end and there are even dealers out there who do not really distinguish between the quality mandolins and the budget ones.

In any case, I do not think that bowlbacks are revered here and get higher price than in Europe. It is relatively rare to find Emberghers, Calaces or Vinaccias or even other vintage quality bowlbacks over here. They seem to be more in Italy, Germany and the UK. There are people like myself and a few of my esteemed cohorts here who do appreciate and play them but the majority of mandolin players here prefer the more standard F and A models.

Martin Veit
Dec-09-2013, 10:08am
Jim, i agree with you.
In my Opinion, it is, because here in Europe esp. in Germany there is a great value
of "zupforchester" aka. mandolin-orchestras. That founds on historical development.
From the ending of the nineteenth century on, there was the "wanderlust movement" or also called the "Naturfreunde".
It was some kind of extraparliamentary opposition.
And these people often came together, doing mandolin-orchestras.
On that, the massmarket have depended.
You can regognize such movements here in germany at each time when people are out of political opression. Most of the mandolinorchestras are foundet in the early 1920s.
From these people, a lot of instruments are now left to their issues.
And 'cause a lot of them don't play mandolin music and often has no roots in music at all, they sell these instruments on ebay without knowlegde about the "real" prize.
So it is possible to purchase a puglisi mandolin for 50€. ;)

For me, it seems, as if in US it may be similar, although there are a lot more F-Shapes and A-Shapes on the market and less bowlbacks.
I think, this is 'cause US Luthiers did more mandolins of that kind.
You have to look to the kind of Folkmusic in the US and in Germany. That are two pairs of shoes :)
US Folkmusic (Bluegrass and similar kinds of music) as i notice is founded on a lot of celtic folk roots.
Sure, there is although the influence of german Volksmusik which our emigrants had brought with them,
but the fiddle and the mandolin or all the cister kinds are heavy in folk music.
The german Volksmusik or should i say Zupfmusik as is ment as camber music is more based on the classic styled instruments.
Bowlbacks are more filigran alike violins than guitars.
Classic mandolin music imitats more the kind of symphonic music than folk music.

Here in europe, in the last years, the - should i say - international folk music is a rising star.
Bands like mumford an suns for eg. are hot. And on that, a lot of young musicians are in to handmade music.
Unplugged or acoustic is still very attractiv.
Playing the mandolin in folk style is fun. And a lot of these mandolin players are looking for F-Styles or A-Styles.

oh - and please forgive me my very unorthodox kind of grammar. Fingers are sometimes faster than the brain :whistling:

Jim Garber
Dec-09-2013, 10:19am
Martin, you speak (or type) English very well, certainly much better than I speak German (not at all).

One question: please explain this:

Bowlbacks are more filigran alike violins than guitars.

The history of mandolin orchestras is very similar to Germany. I was a member of an orchestra in New York that started around 1924 that still is in existence today and celebrating their 90th anniversary. I believe the Milwaukee Mandolin Orchestra is even older. I just have a feeling tho that classical mandolin is taken more seriously in Germany than here partly due to the work of Marga Wilden-Huesgen who started the modern classical mandolin pedagogy there.

Martin Veit
Dec-09-2013, 11:27am
Yepp - what i try to figure out is, that the bowlback mandolins
are builded much filigraner in contrast to the Flatbacks.
More alike the violins for eg.
In my eyes are Flatbacks much more robust.

Jim Garber
Dec-09-2013, 11:57am
Do you mean they are built lighter? That is very true of the better bowlbacks. My Emberghers are super-light.

peterk
Dec-09-2013, 12:55pm
I think Martin is using a German language simile which is not very common in N. American English.......i.e., to be filigree-like.
By that he probably means that bb mandolins appear "dainty" or "delicate" in build compared to some other modern mandolin types.

Martin Veit
Dec-09-2013, 2:34pm
Peter, didn't i say so ? :crying: :grin::disbelief:

Sometimes it's hard in writing english.
Without daily practice, you loose so much auf your skills.
And i won't use a grammarbook or a dictionary everytime.
But it seems as if it is necessary to do so.

Okay, than it has to be more english lecture or so to sharpen the tongue :redface:

Jim Garber
Dec-09-2013, 2:53pm
I thought I understood... I just wanted to make sure. So, Martin V: do you play mandolin and what kinds of music do you play?

peterk
Dec-09-2013, 3:37pm
Peter, didn't i say so ? :crying: :grin::disbelief:

Sometimes it's hard in writing english.
Without daily practice, you loose so much auf your skills.
And i won't use a grammarbook or a dictionary everytime.
But it seems as if it is necessary to do so.

Okay, than it has to be more english lecture or so to sharpen the tongue :redface:

No worry, Martin, your written English is excellent. Besides, from the etymology standpoint, your "filigran" makes more sense than English "filigree".;)

Martin Veit
Dec-09-2013, 4:24pm
Ouch - anyway.
For me, filigree sounds a bit like a can of dogfood ;) nay, that is pedigree.
But, if i 'd used delicate, thats more like something to eat.
And dainty was out of side. But if 've to learn. So dainty is it!
Like in Dainty Daisy from Gordon Lightfoot. More like fairy or lightly or fluffy....:grin:

Holy Shyt,already again the germans with their perfectness!

Thank you all for your understanding. I 'm proud to be in this Kraut :) uups - crowd

Jim Garber
Dec-09-2013, 4:36pm
Filigree is not the right word, at least in English:


fil·i·gree
ˈfiləˌgrē/
noun
noun: filigree; plural noun: filigrees; noun: filagree; plural noun: filagrees

1.
ornamental work of fine (typically gold or silver) wire formed into delicate tracery.
"delicate silver filigree earrings"
synonyms: tracery, fretwork, latticework, scrollwork, lacework, quilling

Perhaps you mean lightweight and/or fragile when referring to bowlbacks?

Martin Veit
Dec-09-2013, 5:17pm
Jim, yes i do.
And it goes in the direction that mandolin-orchestras plays more ethereal like symphonic orchestras (do SO play so?-hmm)
and Bowlbacks are the first choice for MO.
On the other hand, country/folk/bluegrass/whatsever is more down-to-earth
and my sight of it it's often the F-Shaped mandolins.
Its surely a very subjective view.
Anyway - this Thread is about pictures of Bowlbacks and it wasn't my intention
to turn the topic.

Jim Garber
Dec-09-2013, 5:35pm
I was thinking that we could start another thread in the classical section.

In mandolin orchestras in north America, bowlbacks are still rare. I played one and maybe a small handful of others but most play As or Fs. In Europe I think it is very different.

Martin Veit
Dec-09-2013, 5:55pm
Jim, that would be my pleasure.
Please start these thread. :)

Martin Veit
Dec-10-2013, 3:02am
I thought I understood... I just wanted to make sure. So, Martin V: do you play mandolin and what kinds of music do you play?
Uups - hadn't seen your question.
Jim, i di play a little bit mandolin, but been more in the "beginners" line.
My first instument is the guitar. But my plan is to go deeper in the mysteries of the little 8-string :)

What kind of music? Thats very diffucult to say.
First, i 'm nearly 35 years a member of our mandolin orchestra. Therefor i do all these classic style music.
Furthermore, i am a nativ speaking hessian (that means, our regional dialect ?) and du some folkmusic in this dialect.
You can listen her:
http://www.noachteule.de/Noachteule_-_Eann_uusem_Dorf.mp3
http://www.noachteule.de/noachteule_-_s_lappche.mp3
I do a part of the guitar tracks and the mandolin parts on these songs.
And last, but not least, i like to establish a kind of housemusic here in our small village in the purpose of all these anglosaxon housemusicparties i've heard about :confused:

And i like woodworking, so i'm into restauration, esp. guitars an mandolins but only as a hobby.

Bill Clements
Dec-10-2013, 9:39am
Hello Martin,
I enjoyed your folk music!

Martin Veit
Dec-10-2013, 9:58am
Bill, thank you.
Hard to listen to that dialect? Isn't it? :confused:

peterk
Dec-10-2013, 10:15am
Those are delightful tunes, Martin.....and the accent I find quite pleasant to my ear although I couldn't understand much of the lyrics themselves.

Martin Veit
Dec-10-2013, 10:26am
Someday i will translate them.
But i guess, they will be banned from this Forum.
The second tune tells about ol' grannies household remedies.
It goes about
... don't worry if it hurts
... do it like granny said and take your pee on it,
... and if that don't work,
... take a rag on it :grin:

Jim Garber
Feb-05-2014, 8:59pm
Here's a strange little piccolo bowlback on eBay UK. It almost looks like a toy and it is hard to tell the quality, tho it doesn't look exceptional. Dimensions: 29cm x 9 cm - 11,43 inch x 3.55 inch.

Martucci
Mar-08-2014, 3:41pm
Here is the latest Martucci. Probably built around 1903. It needed some general cleanup, a top crack repair, and replacement of some missing inlays.

116481116482116483116484116485116486

Tavy
Mar-09-2014, 3:55am
Wow, you've got to love the workmanship on that - nice mando!

Ben Cooper
Mar-09-2014, 8:07am
116510116511116512116513
I know its not a wonderful mandolin, but it is pretty.

Ben Cooper
Mar-09-2014, 8:08am
116514
Forgot this one.

Petrus
Mar-09-2014, 9:32am
My no-name, open-back, stringless, bridgeless mando. A work in progress. Sounds great when you tap on it though.

In front of my Legba veve, hoping to bring in a little musical energy.
116519116520

Setting on my favorite practice / reading space, where I can kill two birds with one stone.
116521

I'm thinking of maybe sticking some electronics inside before I close the back. If I close the back, it'll just be with a flat board -- I'm not going to try to do all those curved ribs.

Jim Garber
Mar-09-2014, 11:54am
Petrus: I can see closing up the back but how will you deal with the neck block sticking out?

Petrus
Mar-09-2014, 3:42pm
Petrus: I can see closing up the back but how will you deal with the neck block sticking out?

Saw.

Jim Garber
Mar-09-2014, 4:31pm
You will still have to build up the sides a bit anyway. Post some pics when you get it done.

Jim Garber
Mar-09-2014, 4:32pm
116510116511116512116513
I know its not a wonderful mandolin, but it is pretty.

I believe that is a Japanese made bowlback from the 1970s or 1980s.

Ben Cooper
Mar-09-2014, 7:29pm
I believe that is a Japanese made bowlback from the 1970s or 1980s.

Yes, I belive so too! Since we both believe it, it may be true! Is sounds nice though.... not at nice as my Girouard A, but still nice.

Petrus
Mar-10-2014, 3:58am
You will still have to build up the sides a bit anyway. Post some pics when you get it done.

Okay, but it won't be pretty. Remember, you asked for it. :grin:

Of course at the rate I'm going and given my typical procrastination it'll be around mid-2020.

Jim Garber
Mar-10-2014, 7:14am
You sound like me. Only because of a friend with a nice home shop am I finally trying to finish a kit I started a few years ago.

derbex
Mar-11-2014, 9:10am
I got lucky with this Ceccherini from ebay, as far as I can see it is in very good condition and, I guess, until recently owned by a player as it came with a selection of picks, the strings aren't too bad -dull but playable and it has a modern hard case. It doesn't really look any older than my Hathway although it was probably made a centuary earlier.

116603

I am surprised how similar it seems, at least to look at, to the deMeglio I bought recently. On close inspection the bowl of the deMeglio is somewhat bigger, but otherwise they look closely related. The deMeglio does have the side vents and the Ceccherini the double top but to look at them face on you would think they were slightly different models of the same mandolin.

Anyway, can't wait to get the new strings on and see what it really sounds like.

Tavy
Mar-11-2014, 2:11pm
I got lucky with this Ceccherini from ebay, as far as I can see it is in very good condition and, I guess, until recently owned by a player as it came with a selection of picks, the strings aren't too bad -dull but playable and it has a modern hard case. It doesn't really look any older than my Hathway although it was probably made a centuary earlier.

116603

I am surprised how similar it seems, at least to look at, to the deMeglio I bought recently. On close inspection the bowl of the deMeglio is somewhat bigger, but otherwise they look closely related. The deMeglio does have the side vents and the Ceccherini the double top but to look at them face on you would think they were slightly different models of the same mandolin.

Anyway, can't wait to get the new strings on and see what it really sounds like.

Congratulations: if that's the one I think it is, you got the bargain of the year on that one, glad to see it went to a good home!

derbex
Mar-11-2014, 3:49pm
Cheers, they didn't put the maker in the subject line, so I think it slipped under the radar. The deMeglio I bought was the same, I resorted to blowing up the photo to look at the label on that one -shame I didn't do the same to look at the head :redface:

Must stop now though or the other half will catch on :))

Bruce Clausen
Mar-11-2014, 5:36pm
Cheers, they didn't put the maker in the subject line, so I think it slipped under the radar.

Nice score. I got mine from a local Craig's List ad. The owner must have guessed the name in the middle of the label was the maker, so the ad said made by Napoli. Her late grandmother's mandolin, and for once that old tale was really true. Hadn't been touched in decades, but needed very little work. Hope you enjoy yours.

brunello97
Mar-11-2014, 7:43pm
Fair play to you, Derbex. I love these kinds of stories. Many of us do keep our radars set out there as low as possible, yet still things get under. But you folks over there in the UK are in far happier hunting grounds (to mix metaphors) that I can only look at with envy from Stateside.

There is a concurrent thread about someone who picked up a Gibson Snakehead Jr for $295 off Craigslist. About every couple years or so I find myself on the lucky end of mandolin findings. But it is a Zen thing: the joy is in the looking.

Please post more pictures. The Ceccherini - DeMeglio comp has been the source of numerous conversations here. I'd love to see other photos of yours.

Mick

peterk
Mar-11-2014, 11:05pm
John, if it came with a Suzuki case, that should be the one.:crying:
Congratulations, Derbex, a lucky star shone upon you that day.:whistling:

peterk
Mar-11-2014, 11:12pm
Nice score. I got mine from a local Craig's List ad. The owner must have guessed the name in the middle of the label was the maker, so the ad said made by Napoli. Her late grandmother's mandolin, and for once that old tale was really true. Hadn't been touched in decades, but needed very little work. Hope you enjoy yours.

Bruce, that's funny.:grin: My favourite comical eBay listing was for an old mandolin made by "Casa Fondata" in 1837.:mandosmiley: I can't remember the real maker's name.

derbex
Mar-12-2014, 8:01am
Here a few Ceccherini - DeMeglio comparison photos.

116629

116630

116631

116632

The Ceccherini has the fancier inlay.

Excuse the strings on the deMeglio, I don't want to cut them down until I have finished playing with the bridge. The deMeglio is in a bit of a sorrier state, I mentioned elsewhere that tuners have been badly replaced, in addition the fretboard is a bit worn and knocked about, although still usable, funnily the frets themselves don't seem too bad. It's also missing a small pieace of the edge binding. All that said it's playable and I like the noise it makes, so it's probably a keeper, that may become a project :)

peterk
Mar-12-2014, 1:14pm
I wonder sometimes if Ceccherini was merely an upscale De Meglio's line of mandolins dedicated to the UK market, similar to the relationship which exists between Accura and Honda. Has anybody ever seen a Ceccherini's handwritten signature, or perhaps his business/workshop address ? How about Ceccherini's mandolin labels which are devoid of any importer/retailer names ?

I think we need someone to do a thorough research on the De Meglios, Ceccherinis , Vinaccia etc., similar to what the Hills have done on Stradivari and Guarneri. Moreover, by European standards, notable people and events of about 100 years ago is not "deep" history at all.

brunello97
Mar-13-2014, 7:41am
I want to imagine that there was a real Mandolin Cafe (with proper coffee) where these guys hung out in Napoli in 1892 talking shop and comparing their instruments.

Here's a signed Ceccherini label. Most of the ones I have in my files have the signature in this orientation, though some differ as does the color ink. Handwriting looks the same.

I haven't seen a Ceccherini label with an Italian street address yet. If he did win a prize in 1881 I wonder if there are examples of his work around before hooking up with his London agents.

Thanks for getting those photos up Derbex! Great to see those two side by side. I hope you get the DeMeglio up and running soon.

Mick

peterk
Mar-13-2014, 10:06am
The handwritten signature reads "Umberto Ceccherini", but no workshop address, no year of making, and the ubiquitous Voigt's name is on it.
I just can't stop thinking about a mandolin auctioned recently in France which had a J. Pietrapertosa (Paris) label, but every bit of it looked like a Ceccherini's upper echelon instrument. I guess I was not the only one thinking "Ceccherini", because the mandolin sold for something like 650 Euro.

Jim Garber
Mar-13-2014, 10:37am
Interesting... here is that Pietrapertosa mandolin (http://www.ebay.fr/itm/400662105476). It does resemble a Ceccherini. I assume that it has a double soundboard since those brass "staples" are on the top behind the bridge. here are some photos for historical purposes (when eBay no longer has the sale live).

Pietrapertosa also published a method book. I wonder if he commissioned Ceccherini to make mandolins with his name on the label.

Bruce Clausen
Mar-13-2014, 11:49am
The handwritten signature reads "Umberto Ceccherini", but no workshop address, no year of making, and the ubiquitous Voigt's name is on it.

Good point. As with many of these trade names, we don't know if Ceccherini was a builder, an owner of a workshop, or merely a suitably Italian sounding brand name to put on export instruments. The violin world is full of such made-up names.

I like those instruments labeled Vinaccia Brothers that have the handwritten signature "Vinaccia Brothers" written twice in two different hands. But at least you get a date and an address.

peterk
Mar-13-2014, 12:30pm
I assume that it has a double soundboard since those brass "staples" are on the top behind the bridge.

Jim, are you referring to those four string tensioners as "brass staples" ? If I were to make a guess, I'd say those tensioners would be there whether the instrument is provisioned with an inner soundboard or not. I am not even sure the tensioners screw all the way into the 2nd soundboard. However, all guessing aside, I'd like an opportunity to examine a Ceccherini mandolin......I should've been bidding more earnestly on that Pietrapertosa/Ceccherini(?).:(

Furthermore, if we ponder on it a bit, the Pietrapertosa's label is quite odd: it reads "Fabrica di mandolini Napolitani", and then he writes his Paris address which he was also using as the publisher's address for his method booklets. I would also think that attaching Ceccherini's name to the mandolins, assuming that mandolin is a bona fide Ceccherini, would fortify their market appeal. The A. Voigt's labels feature Ceccherini's name very prominently, thus in the United Kingdom the Ceccherini mandolin brand must have been viewed favourably. Yet not so in Paris ?

peterk
Mar-13-2014, 12:31pm
I like those instruments labeled Vinaccia Brothers that have the handwritten signature "Vinaccia Brothers" written twice in two different hands.

Bruce, that is interesting....I didn't know that.

Bruce Clausen
Mar-13-2014, 1:57pm
For example, some of the labels posted by Jim here:

http://www.mandolincafe.com/forum/showthread.php?74521-Sorting-out-the-Vinaccias&p=942344&viewfull=1#post942344

Graham's explanation (post 35 in that thread) sounds oddly logical.

Jim Garber
Mar-13-2014, 2:01pm
Honestly, Peter, I haven't a clue whether Ceccherini was more recognized as a quality instrument even in Italy. It seems from the photos of the Pietrapertosa that it has a double soundboard. Perhaps we need to do more research into all of this. There were many ex-pat Italians in other cities. If Sr. P was originally from Napoli and teaching in Paris, he prob wanted his students to know his origins and likely was importing mandolins from Napoli.

As for Voigt, if he was exclusively importing Ceccherini's mandolins into the UK than he may only have been selling them there. We don't really know, do we?

derbex
Mar-13-2014, 3:29pm
Jim, are you referring to those four string tensioners as "brass staples" ? If I were to make a guess, I'd say those tensioners would be there whether the instrument is provisioned with an inner soundboard or not. I am not even sure the tensioners screw all the way into the 2nd soundboard. ?

I'm pretty sure that they don't, I had to take all the strings off to replace the leather pad so I waggled a string between the sounboards and it didn't seem to meet any obstructions.

peterk
Mar-13-2014, 4:26pm
Well, some makers from Naples went an extra mile when authenticating their mandolins with handwritten signatures: compared to the De Meglios, the Vinaccia brothers with their double signature do not seem peculiar any longer.:grin::grin:

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peterk
Mar-14-2014, 1:26pm
Here is Sophie Davies with her De Meglio, year 1898. The artist who made the sketch apparently had a very keen eye for detail veracity.

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Jim Garber
Mar-14-2014, 4:10pm
Here is Sophie Davies with her De Meglio, year 1898. The artist who made the sketch apparently had a very keen eye for detail veracity.

At the bottom it says "From a Photograph by A. Ramano..." I think... so they sketched from the photo. Neat. Do you own that one Peter?

Jim Garber
Mar-14-2014, 4:15pm
I think there are a few Demeglios in this group. I had posted some details on the Antique Photo thread (http://www.mandolincafe.com/forum/showthread.php?552-Antique-Photo-of-a-Mandolin-of-the-Day&p=546606&viewfull=1#post546606).

peterk
Mar-14-2014, 4:29pm
At the bottom it says "From a Photograph by A. Ramano..." I think... so they sketched from the photo. Neat. Do you own that one Peter?

No, Jim, that was the closest mandolin to the sketched one which I could find on the internet.
There is currently one fancy De Meglio being auctioned on eBay, with the starting bid of 800 Euro. That one has a different MOP inlay style in the soundboard edge band, and also that metal applique on the headstock. Inlaid sleeveguard too.
If it wasn't for the headstock shape and the string tensioner design, one could confuse a fancy De Meglio for a fancy Ceccherini.

peterk
Mar-14-2014, 4:34pm
I think there are a few Demeglios in this group. I had posted some details on the Antique Photo thread (http://www.mandolincafe.com/forum/showthread.php?552-Antique-Photo-of-a-Mandolin-of-the-Day&p=546606&viewfull=1#post546606).
Yes, so do I. A very neat photo. It's interesting that a few of them have ribbons hanging from the headstock, following the old German folk music custom.

brunello97
Mar-14-2014, 6:51pm
I think there are a few Demeglios in this group. I had posted some details on the Antique Photo thread (http://www.mandolincafe.com/forum/showthread.php?552-Antique-Photo-of-a-Mandolin-of-the-Day&p=546606&viewfull=1#post546606).

I like how the women all fixed their hair to resemble the DeMeglio headstock. Nice accessorizing.

Mick

peterk
Mar-18-2014, 11:00am
I've just stumbled upon another old English photo where the mandolin looks like it belongs to the De Meglio '"System"....it's hard for me to be more precise than that. There is something odd to be seen inside the soundhole where one would just expect to see dark shade.
What is really interesting is that the photograph's seller dates it to yr 1870. I wonder if someone has a De Meglio mandolin with such an early date ? Granted, the photograph might have been dated wrong.

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peterk
Mar-18-2014, 2:50pm
Here's another English photo from 1903: mandolin player Miss Anita Arabella with her De Meglio (system) mandolin.

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derbex
Mar-20-2014, 3:43am
"There is something odd to be seen inside the soundhole where one would just expect to see dark shade."

My Ceccherini looks a bit like that if held at a similar angle, it's the double table. Head looks like my deMeglo though :confused:

peterk
Mar-20-2014, 6:24am
"There is something odd to be seen inside the soundhole where one would just expect to see dark shade."

My Ceccherini looks a bit like that if held at a similar angle, it's the double table. Head looks like my deMeglo though :confused:

That is exactly the dilemma I had.......I also thought that whitish "thing" seen inside the soundhole could be the reinforcement truss (looking oversized for some reason ?) which was normally placed close to the soundhole, under the pickguard, as shown quite accurately on the 2nd picture above of Miss Arabella.

Jim Garber
Mar-28-2016, 2:34pm
I just figured I bump this thread. I set it up years ago as a companion to the Bowlbacks of Note (http://www.mandolincafe.com/forum/showthread.php?2591-Bowlbacks-of-Note/page276) thread. There are some interesting discussions here.

John Uhrig
Mar-29-2016, 6:33pm
My Eastman Bowlback. I've had it for just a little over 2 months now. Liking it more everyday. 144936144937144938