View Full Version : Newcomer Assistance on Mandolin ID

Nov-06-2009, 11:16pm
Hi Everyone,
I need some assistance on the identification of an older mandolin. It appears to be of good construction, and is in pretty good condition, also. It was acquired by a friend of mine, about 10 years ago. I have perused the "eye candy" gallery, & it appears to be like a Larkin, or Breedlove body-shape, but doesn't have the same peghead. I'm estimating the date-of-manufacture as the late 50's- early 60's era. Obviously, if the label was still in the little critter, I wouldn't be asking this question!!
So, any ideas?

Bill Snyder
Nov-07-2009, 12:13am
Similar shape to an old Kay or its predecessor Stromberg Voisinet.
I think there are enough differences in the body shape and the peghead to call its being a Kay into question though.

Nov-07-2009, 12:41am
I don't think the tuners are original, I think it's older than you think and was probably built by Regal. Are there screw holes under those missing screws on the tuner plates?

Nov-07-2009, 10:26am
Thanks, Guys!
RE: replaced tuners & screw holes- dunno, but I'll ask the owner. Got some opinions from my buddies at the Ovation Fan Club site. They speculate it is a Kay Kraft/Stromberg-type, also. I will do some more research, but this has been real helpful!

Nov-07-2009, 6:27pm
Definitely, a Regal peghead. Same tailpiece, too. Haven't found evidence of a Regal Venetian-body model, yet, in my internet surfing. Good call, Mike!

Nov-07-2009, 6:31pm
I believe this is also one of your observations, Mike:
"Regal was a Chicago based manufacturer that built entry and mid-level mandolins that were sold under many different brand names including their own. Some didn't have any brand names on them at all. They went through a period where they (and a few other Chicago builders) used decals to dress up their instruments. I would take this to be mid to late 20's early 30's but it could be earlier. There is very little information about the production of Regal. They didn't put serial numbers or any other recognizable markings in the majority of their instruments."

Jake Wildwood
Nov-07-2009, 7:47pm
While it has the Regal "scoop" headstock, I think these were actually built by Harmony. I remember faintly reading about just this type of mandolin somewhere, with photo comparisons. I'll see if I can dig it up.

Nov-08-2009, 11:21am
Thanks, Jake! I'd appreciate anything you can resurrect (your business, right?). Getting it narrowed down to a probable, Regal design, is probably about as-good-as-it-gets. I just haven't found a Venetian-oval hole model, yet, with that peghead shape.
BTW, REAL nice business you got there, Jake. I may have to learn some mandolin. Tried a few years ago, but my hands are a bit large, and the instrument was pretty cheap, so the investment, on several levels, was pretty low. Oughta commit to playing with some folks, too- that really boots-up the motivation!