View Full Version : Vintage D'Angelico pics

Mar-18-2009, 4:40pm
Hey everyone, this is my first time posting on the site. I heard of this place from a friend and it seems pretty cool.

I recently received a vintage D'Angelico mandolin, and was wondering if anyone here had any information they would be willing to share, or just knew anything about this mandolin in general. I'm really interested in finding out more about it, so any info or comments would be much appreciated!


I also have the original Lifton case it came with. Thanks!

Michael Cameron
Mar-18-2009, 4:50pm
I bet not many folks on this here forum have played a D'Angelico mandolin or guitar. Pecuniarily speaking it is worth much wampum.

Probably not a Bluegrass machine.


Mar-18-2009, 4:53pm
yeah, it has a lot of sound and tone :)

Mar-18-2009, 10:09pm
WOW nice axe!

Mar-18-2009, 10:24pm
According to the ledgers (as published in the Schmidt "Acquired of the Angels" book), your mandolin is dated 5/10/41.

It is the plainest style of mandolin D'Angelico made.

Obviously, it is missing the pickguard, as you can tell by the telltale hole to the right of the fingerboard.

There is currently another plain D'Angelico mandolin for sale here for $10,000:


That mandolin has been for sale for quite some time at that price, which seems a bit high for a plain style.

There are two other, fancier, D'Angelicos for sale here:


and here


I have played 4 or 5 D'Angelico mandolins, and I have been very impressed with most of them, and absolutely blown away by one or two of them.

When they do come up for sale, they seem to stay there for some time. This is partly because they appeal to a niche market, and partly because people (in my opinion) tend to overprice them by looking at the prices of D'Angelico guitars, which are much more desirable.

I'd love to see a picture of the case...


I see from this old thread, that two of the above mandolins I mentioned have been for sale for at least a year:


Chuck Naill
Mar-19-2009, 8:57am
I don't know or care what its worth, but it looks better than the one for sale @ $10K. Congrats on the new mandolin. I bet it sound great also.

If you decide to get a replacement pick guard or finger rest, I think Cumberland Acoustics has them available. Steve posts on this site. http://www.cumberlandacoustics.com/


Mar-19-2009, 9:22am
I love it when these instruments pop up.

Did you inherit this? I'm assuming that JB was some sort of personalization added by D'Angelico when it was built for the person he was building it for. Unless you plan on hanging onto it for family/personal reasons it might be a good idea to contact the folks at one of the following:

Mandolin Bros- Staten Island, NY (http://www.mandoweb.com)
Gruhn's Guitars - Nashville, TN (http://www.gruhn.com)
Elderly Instruments - Lansing, MI (http://www.elderly.com)
Gryphon Stringed Instruments - Palo Alto, CA (http://www.gryphonstrings.com)

Get an idea of what you have and what you should be insuring it for if you plan on keeping it.

Mar-19-2009, 9:31am
Thanks for posting those nice pics! ... and a nice reply, Nat.

I've played a couple D'A mandolins and they are a bit mystifying to an average old-time picker like me. He seems to have focused on a 'sweet' tone, that I suspect was meant to appeal to Italian popular and classical players. Although Lloyd Loar had 'perfected' the F5 design some years earlier, and D'Angelico must have been familiar with that design, he certainly seemed to be looking for a different sound entirely. Perhaps much less concerned with volume, and projection?

Any clue who J.B. was? (the monogram in the tasteful headstock keystone inlay)