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Thread: Regal Mandolin - What year?

  1. #1

    Default Regal Mandolin - What year?

    I bought this off a guy from craigslist pretty cheaply. I've been wanting a vintage mandolin for awhile. I know very little of mandolins. (Im a guitar player by default)
    After reading over this forum last night, I did read that Regal's are not serialized and do not have a dating system. I am super curious as to when this particular one was made. Thought maybe someone could give me a good estimate on which decade this was made in or maybe even narrow it down close to the actual year. It's pretty rough, but I have a friend who is a luthier that is going to restore it for me. I cleaned up the neck/fretboard which I thought was very cool, since it was entirely pearl inlay'd. Click image for larger version. 

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  2. #2

    Default Re: Regal Mandolin - What year?

    The Regal book by Bob Carlin gives 1914 to 1935 as the date range. With the pearlette on the board I would reckon about 1930 for yours. These often came with a very loud and jazzy- the term used back then for something colourful, pickguard.

  3. #3

    Default Re: Regal Mandolin - What year?

    Here is one with the guard and the same pearlette but on the headstock:

    http://www.frets.com/FretsPages/Muse...lpearloid.html

  4. #4
    Moderator MikeEdgerton's Avatar
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    Default Re: Regal Mandolin - What year?

    Plus or minus 1930. NickR is right on. Can you post a picture of the tuners? There have been a whole lot of conversations about these Regal Reverse Scroll mandolins over the years. That's not pearl on the fretboard.
    "Bargain instruments are no bargains if you can't play them". These are the words of J. Garber.

  5. #5

    Default Re: Regal Mandolin - What year?

    Thank you very much for the info. I was super curious about the time period this Mandolin was made. I absolutely love vintage instruments. So thank you so much Nick for the info.

    Mike - whats on the neck if it's not pearl inlay? I haven't seen a fretboard entirely inlayed before, but then again, I'm very new to all this. Here's a pic of the tuners for you.

    Click image for larger version. 

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  6. #6
    Moderator MikeEdgerton's Avatar
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    Default Re: Regal Mandolin - What year?

    The name it's commonly called by is mother-of-toilet seat (I'm serious). It's a plastic. It's glued to the top of the fretboard.

    I was looking at the tuners to make sure it didn't slip in a little later. Your square in the spot that we've identified.
    "Bargain instruments are no bargains if you can't play them". These are the words of J. Garber.

  7. #7

    Default Re: Regal Mandolin - What year?

    I have one instrument with a pearlette board and headstock- probably made in 1933 or 1934 and this sort of adornment was all the rage for a while. The Gibson L-Century of Progress is near the top for this sort of embellishment. https://reverb.com/uk/p/gibson-l-cen...-sunburst-1936

  8. #8

    Default Re: Regal Mandolin - What year?

    So I presume "back in the day" my mandolin's fretboard was white. Anyway to get the frets back to that white original look?

  9. #9
    Registered User nmiller's Avatar
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    Default Re: Regal Mandolin - What year?

    No, it was originally grey, as it looks now. The MOTS plastic came in a wide variety of colors with the same pearlescent appearance. Sometimes it fades slightly over the decades, but yours was never white.
    www.OldFrets.com: the obscure side of vintage instruments.

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  11. #10

    Default Re: Regal Mandolin - What year?

    My guitar has that swirly marbled effect grey on the board and headstock. With a plastic headstock overlay, this can be carved with some amazing designs. One of my favourites is the Biltmore Commando- which is not endorsing a German military/political unit although it might be supporting the USAAF. These guitars were made during WW2 by Harmony and are the Cremona IV model which has a carved top- that is stamped inside the body. They usually have an amazing rosewood pickguard and tailpiece- another wartime feature. The wooden tailpiece can break- hence the metal one and the pickguard has gone walkabout. It is possible, this guitar was made before the summer of 1942 when Harmony went to wood items- as the metal shortage bit. https://reverb.com/item/5817262-kay-...-1947-sunburst

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