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Thread: Lyon & Healy pickup, what do we have here?

  1. #1

    Default Lyon & Healy pickup, what do we have here?

    A local store had this beater Washburn mandolin for sale and I just couldn't resist. I could only find pictures of one other like it and the Washburn tag was at the bottom of the headstock.

    Looking for info on year, model and such.

    Thanks in advance

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  2. #2
    Mando accumulator allenhopkins's Avatar
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    Default Re: Lyon & Healy pickup, what do we have here?

    Looks like the model No. 5280 shown on p. 164 of Hubert Pleijsier's Washburn Prewar Instrument Styles. The pic's from a 1939 catalog, and the model shows up in his "1935-40" section. The book doesn't show the particular headstock "badge" you have, which leads me to speculate it may be a later-than-1940 instrument, and thus "out of range" of Pleijsier's book.

    Yours also doesn't have a "Washburn" inlay on the headstock, which according to the book was characteristic of the No. 5280; there was also a "crown shaped nickel plated tailpiece cover," but since yours is missing, we don't know what it had.

    I'd guess -- and it is a guess -- a No. 5280 or its 1940's successor. During WWII there were cutbacks caused by materials diverted to the war effort, and the headstock inlay might have been eliminated.

    As to the decal on the top, and whatever was attached to the other side that pulled some of the finish off -- looks like something applied by an owner, not the maker.
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  3. #3

    Default Re: Lyon & Healy pickup, what do we have here?

    I think the headstock has been painted and may have covered any inlays. I agree the stickers definitely aren't stock, there was residue on the pickguard and head stock as well.

    Thanks for the info so far, it's a little newer than I expected but still pretty cool.

  4. #4
    Moderator MikeEdgerton's Avatar
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    Default Re: Lyon & Healy pickup, what do we have here?

    I think that by the time that was made that Lyon & Healy had stopped building instruments and this was simply a mandolin built for the trade, probably by Regal that had the badge attached by L&H. That would be the reason for the unusual badge and the lack of inlay. It is also missing the tailpiece cover and that looks like a Waverly base.
    "Bargain instruments are no bargains if you can't play them". These are the words of J. Garber.

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