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Thread: Favilla / stradolin ??? & marcia aquila

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    FIDDLES with STRADOLINS your_diamond's Avatar
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    Default Favilla / stradolin ??? & marcia aquila

    Here is a Vintage Favilla Mandolin with case http://r.ebay.com/3LXBQN that looks a lot like a Stradolin. It's got the slightly fancier F-holes that were only used for a few years (does anyone know approximately what years these F-holes existed?).

    Also, an older FAVILLA MARCA AQUILA MANDOLIN http://r.ebay.com/qir8aN.
    Listed as 1920's (but I thought these were older).
    Solid spruce top with solid mahogany back and sides (Also, thought these were rosewood).

    Don't know what "PLAYS 7" means (7 out of 10???).

    Gentlemen, what do you think?
    Dylan -- I know my song well before I start singing. Me -- sometimes

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    Default Re: Favilla / stradolin ??? & marcia aquila

    I've seen several Favillas that were distinctly Stradolins (or produced by same maker), and in fact have an Orpheum-badged Stradolin that's a twin of this one -- finish, pickguard, tailpiece cover and all.

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    FIDDLES with STRADOLINS your_diamond's Avatar
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    Default Re: Favilla / stradolin ??? & marcia aquila

    Quote Originally Posted by Jimmie View Post
    I've seen several Favillas that were distinctly Stradolins (or produced by same maker), and in fact have an Orpheum-badged Stradolin that's a twin of this one -- finish, pickguard, tailpiece cover and all.
    Jimmie, Is there a visible date on your Orpheum?
    Dylan -- I know my song well before I start singing. Me -- sometimes

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    Default Re: Favilla / stradolin ??? & marcia aquila

    No date on that one, which leads me to believe it's a bit later, 40s perhaps.

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    Mando-Accumulator Jim Garber's Avatar
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    Default Re: Favilla / stradolin ??? & marcia aquila

    Quote Originally Posted by your_diamond View Post
    Don't know what "PLAYS 7" means (7 out of 10???).
    It says "PLAYS 7 SOUNDS GOOD" but I think the & sign did not translate correctly in the listing title. Should be "plays & sounds good."
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    Default Re: Favilla / stradolin ??? & marcia aquila

    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Garber View Post
    It says "PLAYS 7 SOUNDS GOOD" but I think the & sign did not translate correctly in the listing title. Should be "plays & sounds good."
    Right, the ampersand is on the same key as the 7 when you hit the shift key.......

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    FIDDLES with STRADOLINS your_diamond's Avatar
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    Default Re: Favilla / stradolin ??? & marcia aquila

    A-ha, the ampersand, my mind was on other things.

    While we're here...
    Did you know that character was once the 27th letter of the alphabet.

    The shape of the character (&) predates the word ampersand by more than 1,500 years. In the first century, Roman scribes wrote in cursive, so when they wrote the Latin word et which means “and” they linked the e and t. Over time the combined letters came to signify the word “and” in English as well. Certain versions of the ampersand, like that in the font Caslon, clearly reveal the origin of the shape.

    The word “ampersand” came many years later when “&” was actually part of the English alphabet. In the early 1800s, school children reciting their ABCs concluded the alphabet with the &. It would have been confusing to say “X, Y, Z, and.” Rather, the students said, “and per se and.” “Per se” means “by itself,” so the students were essentially saying, “X, Y, Z, and by itself and.” Over time, “and per se and” was slurred together into the word we use today: ampersand. When a word comes about from a mistaken pronunciation, it’s called a mondegreen.

    The ampersand is also used in an unusual configuration where it appears as “&c” and means etc. The ampersand does double work as the e and t.

    ...but I digress. What I would really like to know is what year those slightly fancier F-holes dated to, on Stradolins. I believe they were only used for two or three years. So it would be helpful in dating this Flavilla.
    Dylan -- I know my song well before I start singing. Me -- sometimes

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    Default Re: Favilla / stradolin ??? & marcia aquila

    Everything you ever wanted to know about the ampersand but were afraid to ask.

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    Moderator MikeEdgerton's Avatar
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    Default Re: Favilla / stradolin ??? & marcia aquila

    There are a few Favilla labeled Strad-O-Lin genre mandolins in the Strad-O-Lin social group. I found one many years ago. When I spoke to Tom Favilla about this via e-mail years ago he said that was a model they have been making since the 20's. Tom entered the family business in the mid 50's. He was the last of the Favilla family running that business. He also insisted they had never built any mandolins for other companies. I think he's actually wrong on that. I still believe Favilla built some if not most of the Strad-O-Lin's. On Mugwumps Michael Holmes mentioned a man he met that remembered being in the Strad-O-Lin factory in NYC in the 30's. Favilla was big enough that they could have been manufacturing these. Again, it's just my theory.
    "Bargain instruments are no bargains if you can't play them". These are the words of J. Garber.

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    Default Re: Favilla / stradolin ??? & marcia aquila

    Quote Originally Posted by MikeEdgerton View Post
    On Mugwumps Michael Holmes mentioned a man he met that remembered being in the Strad-O-Lin factory in NYC in the 30's. Favilla was big enough that they could have been manufacturing these. Again, it's just my theory
    I don't want to be contrarian about Favilla being the builders of Stradolins, but Favilla Guitars, Inc.'s workshop moved to Brooklyn in 1929 thru 1965 (though they did move back to Manhattan for a few years). Here's a little New York Anthropology for you... If you live in any of the outer boroughs of New York (Brooklyn, Queens, The Bronx or Staten Island) when you said New York City, you meant Manhattan. I believe when Stanley Jay mentioned Stradolins in a this article
    ( http://www.mandolincafe.com/news/pub...s_001443.shtml ) he was talking about a company or companies in Manhattan. Stan wrote, "About this brand Michael Holmes of Mugwumps says: "Stradolin (also spelled Strad-O-Lin) is NOT a Gibson product, although who did make them remains a mystery. Probably several different companies were contracted over time. My best estimates (experts never guess) is Oscar Schmidt, who at that time had 7 factories turning out cheap instruments for others to label and sell. Other possibles were Harmony and Kay (KayKraft at that time). I once had a student who swore he visited the Strad-O-Lin factory in New York City in the '40s". ...with all that said (and I haven't even mentioned Homenick) and with the variation in Stradolins I have seen, It might be safe to say several companies made Stradolins, with the exception, "we will never know for sure" (Favilla being one of those companies). ...& damn it, I hate not knowing.

    Another thing... to quote Thomas H. Favilla, some early model (1890-1910 approx) instruments bore the label Marca Aquila & were built in America (not 1920's).
    Last edited by your_diamond; Nov-29-2017 at 3:21pm.
    Dylan -- I know my song well before I start singing. Me -- sometimes

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    Default Re: Favilla / stradolin ??? & marcia aquila

    I actually have lived in the NYC area for almost 40 years. I worked in all 5 boroughs. I still think Favilla made them. Homenick didn't have the capacity to make this many instruments. There are two examples with pretty crude inlay that I've seen. I don't buy the Homenick thing.
    "Bargain instruments are no bargains if you can't play them". These are the words of J. Garber.

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    Default Re: Favilla / stradolin ??? & marcia aquila

    Quote Originally Posted by your_diamond View Post
    ...When a word comes about from a mistaken pronunciation, itís called a mondegreen...
    To keep the digression going: Mondegreen comes from a specific Scottish folk song, The Bonnie Earl o' Moray, which has the first lines

    Ye Highlands and ye Lowlands, oh where have you been?
    They have slain the Earl o' Moray, and laid him on the green


    However, singers who mis-heard the second line sang

    They have slain the Earl o' Moray, and Lady Mondegreen

    Hence the term mondegreen, a figure cropping up in many a contemporary song

    'Scuse me while I kiss this guy for 'Scuse me while I kiss the sky -- Jimi Hendrix, Purple Haze

    There's a bathroom on the right
    for There's a bad moon on the rise -- John Fogerty, Bad Moon Rising

    and so forth...
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    Default Re: Favilla / stradolin ??? & marcia aquila

    Quote Originally Posted by MikeEdgerton View Post
    I still think Favilla made them. Homenick didn't have the capacity to make this many instruments. There are two examples with pretty crude inlay that I've seen. I don't buy the Homenick thing.
    I agree with you on the Homenick thing, those inlays are awful amateurish. I would like to see a Favilla with the top or back off.
    Dylan -- I know my song well before I start singing. Me -- sometimes

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    Default Re: Favilla / stradolin ??? & marcia aquila

    There are a few of the Favilla mandolins on the Strad-O-lin social group. Look at the pickguards and where the pads are as well as the tailpiece cover then look at my Strad. You can see them through the plastic. They are placed in identical spots. Look at the Favilla's from the back, specifically the heel button (well, kind of a button). The same. Whoever made those Favilla's made at least some of the Strad-O-Lin's. We'll never know for sure.
    "Bargain instruments are no bargains if you can't play them". These are the words of J. Garber.

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    Registered User Eric Platt's Avatar
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    Default Re: Favilla / stradolin ??? & marcia aquila

    Quote Originally Posted by allenhopkins View Post
    To keep the digression going: Mondegreen comes from a specific Scottish folk song, The Bonnie Earl o' Moray, which has the first lines

    Ye Highlands and ye Lowlands, oh where have you been?
    They have slain the Earl o' Moray, and laid him on the green


    However, singers who mis-heard the second line sang

    They have slain the Earl o' Moray, and Lady Mondegreen

    Hence the term mondegreen, a figure cropping up in many a contemporary song

    'Scuse me while I kiss this guy for 'Scuse me while I kiss the sky -- Jimi Hendrix, Purple Haze

    There's a bathroom on the right
    for There's a bad moon on the rise -- John Fogerty, Bad Moon Rising

    and so forth...
    To further the diversion - there is a video out there (on YouTube) of Hendrix singing "'Scuse me while I kiss this guy" and he is pointing to one of his bandmates.

    Now, back to our regular programming of who made what and where.
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    Default Re: Favilla / stradolin ??? & marcia aquila

    Quote Originally Posted by Eric Platt View Post
    To further the diversion - there is a video out there (on YouTube) of Hendrix singing "'Scuse me while I kiss this guy" and he is pointing to one of his bandmates...
    Bill Kirchen does the same thing in this song
    "Bargain instruments are no bargains if you can't play them". These are the words of J. Garber.

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    FIDDLES with STRADOLINS your_diamond's Avatar
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    Default Re: Favilla / stradolin ??? & marcia aquila

    Quote Originally Posted by MikeEdgerton View Post
    There are a few of the Favilla mandolins on the Strad-O-lin social group. Look at the pickguards and where the pads are as well as the tailpiece cover then look at my Strad. You can see them through the plastic. They are placed in identical spots. Look at the Favilla's from the back, specifically the heel button (well, kind of a button). The same. Whoever made those Favilla's made at least some of the Strad-O-Lin's.
    Well, I see what you're talking about. That is pretty spot on!

    I wonder how many Stradolin's are out there. Is it possible there are 10,000 of them?
    Dylan -- I know my song well before I start singing. Me -- sometimes

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    Default Re: Favilla / stradolin ??? & marcia aquila

    I haven't got a clue as to production numbers. They seem plentiful for a mandolin that wasn't considered a high end instrument (although some clearly are). I'm sure that more of them ended up being tossed out than old Gibson's were (and even some of those were. One Loar was retrieved from that fate). I'm sure Regal, Kay, and Harmony made more instruments but there is hardly a time that you can't find at least one Strad-O-Lin genre mandolin on eBay.
    "Bargain instruments are no bargains if you can't play them". These are the words of J. Garber.

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