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sailor
Jan-17-2005, 2:28pm
OK mandoholics, anyone want to have a go at identifying this one? Purchased on E-bay. No makers marks or labels. Back has 50 small ribs plus the larger pieces. Mother of pearl is real. Back is rosewood and neck is mahogany. There is a Vega style 3 posted on April 16, 04 that appears to have an identical tailpiece. Inside is lined with a black fabric.
It's new to me but I'm hooked....Yeah I'm the guy putting a strap on a bowlback....but guess what? Now I don't have to set it down to have a drink or whatever!!!!Faint of heart, do not worry, no modifications will be made. Leather thongs will fit thru a slot in the tailpiece and around the headstock and do no damage...Yeah! http://home.earthlink.net/~mac86/sitebuildercontent/sitebuilderpictures/mando-whole3.jpg

sailor
Jan-17-2005, 2:30pm
Picture #2http://home.earthlink.net/~mac86/sitebuildercontent/sitebuilderpictures/mando-back.jpg

sailor
Jan-17-2005, 2:38pm
Pic#3http://home.earthlink.net/~mac86/sitebuildercontent/sitebuilderpictures/mando-tail2.jpg

sailor
Jan-17-2005, 2:41pm
Pic #4 To see all the pics go to http://home.earthlink.net/~mac86/antiquemandolin/
http://home.earthlink.net/~mac86/sitebuildercontent/sitebuilderpictures/mando-sound.jpg
Theres also a link there for direct e-mail. Thanks for any help.

mtnrose
Jan-17-2005, 2:53pm
Congrats, nice mandolin. Dont know if this helps, but I have one with the same shaped pickguard and also the same dragon inlay. Different tailpeice cover and peghead with out inlay , fewer ribs and a vine inlay on the fretboard. I bought it on Ebay from Danl Terry. He thought mine was a Weyman but possibly made by Bauer.

Martin Jonas
Jan-18-2005, 6:57pm
I've been reluctant to comment, as I know American bowlbacks only from photos. However, there has been a flurry of high-end Washburn bowlbacks on Ebay in the last week, and they all had that very characteristic cross inlay on the headstock, same as yours. That would suggest a Washburn to me. However, I know that there are several Washburn experts on the Cafe who should be able to say whether it is one and if it is, what the model number would have been.

Martin

Eugene
Jan-18-2005, 9:06pm
Almost without doubt, this came from the Lyon & Healy shop, ca. 1915. #My money is on a high-end American Conservatory rather than Washburn. #Tailpieces with slip-on covers were uncommon to Lyon & Healy until 1915 (I don't think they appeared on the Washburn and American Conservatory brands at all until that date). #What color is the lining of the bowl?

sailor
Jan-19-2005, 12:38pm
The interior lining is black, or at least appears to be.
It's a shame they didn't put some sort of makers mark on these. The craftsmanship that went into making this is impressive. If I had made it I would have signed it somewhere! I sign all the custom furniture I make.
Andy

Eugene
Jan-19-2005, 1:09pm
I would bet this either once carried an American Conservatory label that was subsequently lost, or was ordered from L&H to be marketed as a retailer's house brand. Tailpieces with slip-on covers began to appear on lesser Washburns and American Conservatory brand mandolins by L&H in 1915. This is also the year that the bowls began to be lined with a black fabric rather than tan parchment.

sailor
Jan-19-2005, 5:59pm
Thanks for the info Eugene. Any idea how long they made this style?
Andy

Eugene
Jan-19-2005, 8:14pm
This is way late in L&H's mandolin production. #I don't have any catologues on hand, but frequennt-poster jgarber may. #keef may also be able to provide some info. #I would guess, based upon L&H's Washburn line, that this model would have been in production either until 1921 or 1925 (or, if a limited production for a house brand, it was made between 1915 and 1921 or '25).

Eugene
Jan-19-2005, 9:54pm
PS: I'm really keen to see yours, mtnrose. #God love Dan'l, but he is a little prone to speculation regarding the attribution of anonymous instruments to builders. #Do you think you could grace us with a photo or few here (http://www.mandolincafe.net/cgi-bin/ikonboard.cgi?act=ST;f=15;t=14185)?

Jim Garber
Jan-19-2005, 11:04pm
I think that Eugene is very close. Here is an edited catalog page from 1889-90 L&H catalog showing American Conservatory style 69.

The headstock definitely says L&H/AmCon. Similar inlays. Yours just looks fancier.

Jim

RolandTumble
Jan-22-2005, 11:35am
FWIW, my Vega flatback has an almost-identical tailpiece (only slightly different engraving)....

Eugene
Jan-22-2005, 4:44pm
Those tailpieces with slip-on covers were massively widespread, ordered from external hardware providers (much like Schaller, Grover, Waverly, etc. today) and engraving patterns spanned many makers.

sailor
Feb-02-2005, 6:28am
Just finished making and installing new bone saddle for my OLD mandolin. For the first time in probably a really long time it has eight strings again! Have made the new pieces of pearl inlay for around the soundhole and just need to glue them and the binding at the terminus of the fretboard on and it will hopefully be good for another eighty years or so.
Also made a custom wall hanging device. Had to since these bowlbacks are difficult from the standpoint of getting cases, wallhangers etc. Just don't fit the standard mold any more...oh darn. Like to have my instruments out and available when at home so the wall seems to be the place for this beauty, ( oh yeah...personally, I think it's art )
Traced an outline of the mandolin and transferred to the wood for the hanger. Added a bracket much like the old boot pullers if anyone remembers those with a scrolled support under it. Will post a pic of the mandolin after the final repairs are complete and the hanger. Happy Pickin! http://www.mandolincafe.net/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/mandosmiley.gif

keef
Feb-02-2005, 7:53am
Most of the ornate AC mandos have a serial # stamped inside the bowl on the neck block - is there one on your mandolin?

This one is difficult. There is only one AC with the 20-fret extension fb that I have seen, but that one has a different headstock, tailpiece and inlays. All other AC's have the standard 17-fret board. I have never seen an AC with this tailpiece - it's either the 'shell' or the 'ashtray'. Ditto for the inlay on the pickguard, which is unlike other AC's that I have seen -FWIW.

It either seems to be a L&H 'partolin' slapped together after 1915 from various NOS parts (there are quite a few of these), or a Regal made mando. Regal used the same tailpiece and extension board. Many of the period Regals -even the ornate ones - do not have any markings inside, and look very similar to mandolins made by L&H at the time.

Jim - are you sure that the picture is from a 1889 catalog - even the Washburns did not have bound fingerboards then. It seems more late 1890ish.

Jim Garber
Feb-02-2005, 9:58am
Jim - are you sure that the picture is from a 1889 catalog - even the Washburns did not have bound fingerboards then. It seems more late 1890ish.
Hubert:
That scan is from a photocopy that Neil Russel sent me marked 1889-90.

Jim

keef
Feb-03-2005, 4:24am
Hey Jim - I recall speaking to Neil about that because of another picture that was posted here some time ago out of the same catalog...he said it was actually from 1899 and that the 1889/90 indication was an error.

Jim Garber
Feb-03-2005, 6:20am
Hi Hubert:
Yes, that was probably me again. I will correct the catalog date.

Jim

sailor
Feb-06-2005, 11:03am
Hi Keef, Can't find a serial number on the block. The block is painted black and the rest of the interior on the bowl has black fabric on it. There is nothing indicating that it formerly had a label inside.
Do you know if the regals had a black liner inside?

keef
Feb-16-2005, 10:22am
Good question - I have seen pre-1904 Regal (Wulschner) bowlbacks, but did the new (1908) Regal Co. ever make these? I have only seen flatback mandolins from the post 1908 period, but I am by no means a Regal expert. Maybe others will chime in.

I counted 52 ribs on your mandolin - that is a LOT. There is one American Conservatory bowlback in my 1919 catalog with 52 ribs...no picture, but according to the description there should be an 'ashtray' tailpiece on it (unlike yours), and wood marquetry around the soundhole...But it has the right headstock (in the catalogs designated as 'scroll').:(

Eugene
Feb-16-2005, 10:30am
I am a great fan of the Wulschner-era Regal bowlbacks, at least in concept because I don't own one. I know I've seen one or two post-Wulschner bowlbacks, but I recall them being extremely pedestrian. However, I am much more a critic of the Chicago Regal than an expert.

I would still guess Andy's mandolin to be a commission from the L&H shop, either a custom order or on some limited production for somebody's house brand. 52 ribs is a mighty heap!

keef
Feb-17-2005, 6:29am
That seems likely...Eugene, is your criticism of Regal just in relation to their mandolins? They made some very nice Washburn guitars -and banjos- in the 1930s...

Eugene
Feb-17-2005, 10:11am
I'm not a great fan of much that is attributable to the post-depression Regal shop. I suppose they have Dobro to their credit, but I've never been interested in the pursuit of resonators. By the time Harmony bought the name, I don't think they were doing anything worth owning. Earlier, what they produced in their nebulous years of association with L&H seems pretty decent to me. ...And, as I'd mentioned, I am fascinated by the original Wulschner-made brand. ...But again, I'm not a great scholar of the Regal brand and am open to correction.

keef
Feb-18-2005, 5:40am
Here ya go Eugene - a Wulschner bowlback turned up on Ebay:
http://cgi.ebay.com/ws....ck=true (http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item=7301946266&fromMakeTrack=true)

Jim Garber
Feb-18-2005, 10:42am
Here ya go Eugene - a Wulschner bowlback turned up on Ebay:
http://cgi.ebay.com/ws....ck=true (http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item=7301946266&fromMakeTrack=true)
Go, Eugene...

of course Dr. Tom will have to work magic on this one. Too bad about the overspray but assuming that the top is healthy and the neck joint is correct and the price stays reasonable, could be something.

I think the alternate wood to the rosewood is birdseye maple stained, not burled walnut or burled rosewood.

Jim

Eugene
Feb-18-2005, 11:10am
Errr...I think this one needs a little more effort than I'd want to put into it.