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Thread: Unusual vintage mando

  1. #1

    Default Unusual vintage mando

    I'd like help in identifying a mandolin that just came in for repair. It has a penciled SN on the inside (though part of it is obscured by a fabric center seam patch), but no other identifying marks that I can find. The distinctive features are the rounded two-point body, the MOP round decoration on the headstock, the unusual machine head configuration with back plate, and the armrest tailpiece.
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  2. #2
    Moderator MikeEdgerton's Avatar
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    Default Re: Unusual vintage mando

    Harmony mando viola. Albert Shutt design.

    http://themusicemporium.com/mandolin...lin-40ca-30s41

    A whole lot of threads about them can be found here.

    That's not a serial number. Harmony didn't serialize. It might have been a Sears Catalog number. The tuners are not that unusual for mandolins of that age. That kidney tailpiece was used by most of the Chicago builders.
    "Bargain instruments are no bargains if you can't play them". These are the words of J. Garber.

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  4. #3
    Registered User Charles E.'s Avatar
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    Default Re: Unusual vintage mando

    Here is a discussion from a few years ago.......

    https://www.mandolincafe.com/forum/s...hutt-mandolins
    Charley

    A bunch of stuff with four strings

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  6. #4
    Registered User Charles E.'s Avatar
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    Default Re: Unusual vintage mando

    Here is a video of Michael Daves playing one.......


    Charley

    A bunch of stuff with four strings

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  8. #5
    Mando-Accumulator Jim Garber's Avatar
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    Default Re: Unusual vintage mando

    I am never sure what the difference is (if any) between the Shutt mandolins and the similarly shaped Harmony ones. Here is one that looks just like the OP's but is ID'd by Banana as Shutt.
    Jim

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  9. #6
    Moderator MikeEdgerton's Avatar
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    Default Re: Unusual vintage mando

    Then there's this.
    "Bargain instruments are no bargains if you can't play them". These are the words of J. Garber.

  10. #7
    Moderator MikeEdgerton's Avatar
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    Default Re: Unusual vintage mando

    "Bargain instruments are no bargains if you can't play them". These are the words of J. Garber.

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  12. #8

    Default Re: Unusual vintage mando

    Thank you all! From what you've shared, I believe this is a Shutt-inspired Harmony, perhaps from the '30s. It will be interesting to see what it sounds like, since many of the reports suggest that it ought to sound pretty good! One item of possible interest: Several of the posts suggested that there was no bracing on the top, leading to a deflection of as much as 1/16" and creating challenges while tuning. This on has a brace right down the center glue joint. I haven't tried to measure it, but it appears to be about 1/2" square and stretches from tailblock to headblock, resting in shimmed pockets on both ends.

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