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Thread: Mandolin J.A. Palm, Boston + Leather case Maulbetsch & Whittemore

  1. #1

    Default Mandolin J.A. Palm, Boston + Leather case Maulbetsch & Whittemore

    I inherited this bowlback mandolin and case som decades ago. Unfortunately, I did not receive any information as to how it ended up in my family´s possession. We live in Sweden and we do not have any relatives in USA, nor have we ever visited the country. So, any information about the instrument and case is most welcome. The only information I have found on the internet is that J.A. Palm was a Swede active in Boston. And that the case is manufactured by Maulbetsch & Whittemore in New Jersey. After googling the company´s stamps, the appearance of this particular bull´s head makes me think that the case belongs the earliest manufactured, i.e. maybe in the late 19th Century? More importantly, I would like to know the value of the items. I can not play the instrument myself, so in that regard I do not know its condition, but its physical condition is excellent. The leather case miss some parts on the straps, but apart from that it looks fairly good. Are the items worth more together or should I sell them separately?
    I am happy to post more pics if necessary.
    Click image for larger version. 

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  2. #2
    Mando-Accumulator Jim Garber's Avatar
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    Default Re: Mandolin J.A. Palm, Boston + Leather case Maulbetsch & Whitte

    The mandolin loos like it is in excellent condition. I assume that you found information on the case on Steve Kirtley's vintage case site?

    I would keep the case together with the mandolin. Here in the US these old bowlbacks, with few very ornate collector mandolins, are not worth much. Yours is a lower grade model and while very nicely made, still would not bring much money. As far as I know, in Europe these days, vintage bowlback mandolins might be somewhat more desirable, but I believe the higher grade Italian makers would bring decent money. I don't know the market for vintage American bowlbacks.

    J. A. Palm is a pretty rare maker. He is listed on mugwumps.com as active from 1897-1904.

    There is a thread from 9 years ago about Palm: 1890 J. A. Palm

    (Just another reason why I always try to post photos. The link the OP provided in that old thread no longer works).
    Jim

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  3. #3
    Mando-Accumulator Jim Garber's Avatar
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    Default Re: Mandolin J.A. Palm, Boston + Leather case Maulbetsch & Whitte

    I just found this example of a Palm mandolin on Reverb. That one looks a lot fancier with some high-quality pearl engraving. Still it only sold for (at most) $349.

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    Last edited by Jim Garber; May-11-2018 at 2:02pm.
    Jim

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  4. #4
    Martin Stillion mrmando's Avatar
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    Default Re: Mandolin J.A. Palm, Boston + Leather case Maulbetsch & Whitte

    J.A. Palm wasn't as well known as his kid brother Olaf.
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  5. #5
    Mando-Accumulator Jim Garber's Avatar
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    Default Re: Mandolin J.A. Palm, Boston + Leather case Maulbetsch & Whitte

    Quote Originally Posted by mrmando View Post
    J.A. Palm wasn't as well known as his kid brother Olaf.
    And his sister Cocoa Nut and brother Heartof?
    Jim

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  6. #6

    Default Re: Mandolin J.A. Palm, Boston + Leather case Maulbetsch & Whitte

    Anything on the value of the case, anyone? Is such a case sought after, and if so what price could I possibly request?

  7. #7
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    Default Re: Mandolin J.A. Palm, Boston + Leather case Maulbetsch & Whitte

    There is some discussion of his lutherie career in this old sales video for one of his guitars
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sBndVig58JE&t=14s
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  8. #8
    Mando-Accumulator Jim Garber's Avatar
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    Default Re: Mandolin J.A. Palm, Boston + Leather case Maulbetsch & Whitte

    Interesting of the Vega and Icilio Consalvi connections. Also, that Palm built for Vega and Howe-Orme.

    For convenience, to play here:

    Jim

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    Registered User bluegrasser78's Avatar
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    Default Re: Mandolin J.A. Palm, Boston + Leather case Maulbetsch & Whitte

    Wow that one mando and guitar sure have some killer sweet inlay work! I'd keep the case with the mandolin-way too many times original cases get parted with their instrument and that is a bummer for those who like things as original as can be!!

  10. #10

    Default Re: Mandolin J.A. Palm, Boston + Leather case Maulbetsch & Whitte

    Thanks for all the input! I am a total novice in this, I cannot even play the instrument myself... The mandolin has been in my family's possession for at least 80 years. And since none in the family have everything used it, the physical condition is flawless, there is not a scratch anywhere. How would that effect the value on the mandolin? The leather case is in a used state, though. Any remarks on the value of the leather case?

  11. #11
    Mando-Accumulator Jim Garber's Avatar
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    Default Re: Mandolin J.A. Palm, Boston + Leather case Maulbetsch & Whitte

    It looks like it is in very nice condition and would be a good player. if so. The case is not a practical one but has protected the instrument. I have a few of those that came with nice mandolins but I would never really use them as cases. I doubt they are worth much by themselves. I would keep it with the mandolin.
    Jim

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    Playing lately:
    1923 Gibson A2 black snakehead -- Brentrup A4C -- 1915 Frank Merwin Ashley violin -- Huss & Dalton DS -- 1937 Gibson L-Century -- 1939 Gibson L-00 -- ca. 1890s Fairbanks Senator Banjo -- ca. 1923 Vega Style M tenor banjo -- Gibson TB-Junior -- National RM-1

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