View Full Version : Old japanese (?) kingston

Jan-18-2008, 9:46am
Here are a couple pics of an old Kingston mandolin I bought on ebay for $7.00. It has the worst fret work I have ever seen in my life but yet doesn't present a problem so I shant fix it (if it ain't broke...). I read on the web somewhere that Kingston instruments were made in Japan from about 1958 to about 1967. The blonde color of this just screams 1958. Not shown by the photos is the black/white striped binding like the pickguard. It doesn't have the same um.... "aura?" of a 60s Japanese instrument, at least not anything like the Norma, Teisco, or Kawai guitars I've handled over the years. Don't get me wrong, it's cheesy, but a different kind of cheesy. It strikes me more eastern European or Russian than Japanese. I did remove the tuners and they don't have "Japan" stamped on them like you typically see from that era. The tuner screws are all slot head too, not phillips. Also there are strange little chrome plates supporting the neck joint and also down by the tailpiece. They are held in place with tiny brads and appear to be factory.

If anyone could confirm it's heritage I would be grateful.



David Newton
Jan-18-2008, 12:12pm
My sister-in-law has that exact manolin, green pickguard and all! I've seen Kingston mandolins over the whole range of time, and this is probably their best effort, no joke.

David Newton
Jan-18-2008, 12:16pm
You may have seen this pic before, but here is the last Kingston I'll have in my shop.

Jan-31-2008, 10:34pm

WOW. That is EXACTLY the first mandolin I started on!!! Mine fell apart, and I've never saw another one like it. If I ever see one, I'm going to buy it for a wall-hanger. My Dad gave me my Kingston for my 12th birthday in January 1977. I had been tinkering with it, and it's all he had to give me at the time. i've spent a lifetime with mandolin...had it not been for the old Kingston I'd have missed some good times. Thanks for the memories!!!