View Full Version : Can you help me identify my mandolin?

Dec-16-2007, 5:20pm
Greetings. I regularly post on the "Let's Talk Guild" forum, and a member there directed me to you guys.

I bought a used mandolin last week just to mess around with, and can't find out much about it, even though it is so beautiful. Here's a photo:


Inside, it's stamped "Hans Hauser." There is substantial finish checking on it, but apart from one of the inlays lifting a bit, it's in good shape.

Anyone know anything about this? I picked it up for $50.



Bill Snyder
Dec-16-2007, 7:21pm
I believe they are/were mass produced fairly inexpensive mandolins. I bid on a Hans Hauser mandolin similar to the one you show 2 or 3 months ago but the bids got up to close to $200 and I did not think it worth that much.
If it is playable then $50 sounds like a bargain.

Dec-16-2007, 7:22pm
Welcome to the Cafe, I'm sure you'll have knowledgeable replies soon.

Dec-17-2007, 3:02pm
Inside, it's stamped "Hans Hauser."

Anyone know anything about this?
What else is it you were wanting to know besides who built it?

Dec-17-2007, 3:20pm
I'm curious about the maker, but I can't find anything on the 'net about him, except an ad in Vintage Guitar for a very similar mando selling for $375. Thanks!

Martin Jonas
Dec-19-2007, 3:46pm
What else does it say on the label except "Hans Hauser"? In your photo, I can make out a few more words, and these will probably point towards a country and/or town of origin. Is this a bowlback or a flatback?

Most likely, the additional words are something like "Instrumentenbaumeister" and "Markneukirchen/Sachsen" or "Vogtland". If any of these appear on the label, then this is a German instrument, which is consistent with the styling and with the German maker's name. The Vogtland area of Saxony, centred around the towns of Markneukirchen and Mittenwald, used to have hundreds of small instrument workshops making mandolins, guitars and violins mostly for the lower end of the market. The large majority of the actual names are now lost in the mists of time.

Hauser seems to give quite a few hits on a Google search, suggesting his was a relatively large workshop. Several of the Google hits refer to mandolins made in the 1960s. If so, the shop had either been nationalised by the East German government, or it had moved to West Germany after the war, as many of the Vogtland outfits did, such as Hoyer or Hofner.

Yours is a typical example of the style. The relatively simple bold style of the floral inlays and the non-fretted fretboard extension suggest that it was a relatively cheap instrument. Most German mandolins have slotted headstocks and zero frets, like yours. $50 is a good price, if playable or easily made playable. I wouldn't pay much more, though.

Labour costs in Germany are now too high for such relatively modest instruments, but very similar ones are still being made in the Czech Republic and in Romania.