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Thread: Bowlbacks of Note

  1. #7051
    Full Grown and Cussin' brunello97's Avatar
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    Default Re: Bowlbacks of Note

    Viz Martin's question, I wonder if there is any internal bracing, and if so would they also be made of porcelain?

    We're working on some cast porcelain pieces in the shop right now from CNC produced molds. The idea of making a mandolin this way never crossed my mind.

    Mick

    BTW for those of us less familiar here's from the Wikipedia article on the city of Meissen:

    Meissen is famous for the manufacture of porcelain, based on extensive local deposits of china clay (kaolin) and potter's clay (potter's earth). Meissen porcelain was the first high-quality porcelain to be produced outside of the Orient.

    The first European porcelain was manufactured in Meissen in 1710, when by decree of King Augustus II the Strong the Royal-Polish and Electoral-Saxon Porcelain Factory (Königlich-Polnische und Kurfürstlich-Sächsische Porzellan-Manufaktur)[3] was opened in the Albrechtsburg. In 1861, it was moved to the Triebisch river valley of Meissen, where the porcelain factory can still be found today. Along with porcelain, other ceramics are also manufactured.
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  2. #7052
    Unfamous String Buster Beanzy's Avatar
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    Default Re: Bowlbacks of Note

    I think people’s impression of its delicacy comes from the fact that, because of the inherent strength, makers took it to incredibly fine thicknesses. That’s where the prestige lay, showing the extreme. However the bevel on that prototype seems to suggest that there was a decent bit of depth to the top on that one even before any bracing, if there was bracing copied over from a wooden design then it could have been a pretty robust structure. I’d love to see inside, but couldn’t find any pics on the auction site.
    https://www.invaluable.com/catalog/8...ies=PXSPMZLSE5
    Eoin



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  3. #7053
    Registered User Martin Jonas's Avatar
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    Default Re: Bowlbacks of Note

    I agree that porcelain has a lot of strength if it's thick: the insulators on high voltage power lines are made from it. However, if you want it to vibrate and be acoustically active, it has to be thin. Note the characteristic ping when you hit a spoon or fingernail on a thin cup, which you won't get on a thick mug. I still think that the elastic properties (or lack thereof) will be all wrong for an acoustically active instrument.

    Martin

  4. #7054
    Unfamous String Buster Beanzy's Avatar
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    Default Re: Bowlbacks of Note

    I think there’s probably a good reason why it’s a propotype, but it might be no less strong or resonant than a large tureen or vase.
    If you’ve ever knocked the ladle against one when empty you’ll know how long they can ring for & how loud they can be. I think like the eggshell the secret of its strength in resisting string tension would lie in the curve of the back. As the top doesn’t seem to be canted too much I suspect the tension there is mostly straight through.
    Eoin



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  5. #7055
    Registered User bstanish's Avatar
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    Default Re: Bowlbacks of Note

    I'm not sure if this counts as a bowlback of note, but I thought that I would throw it in here anyways. I recently picked up a W.A. Cole bowlback in Vancover, BC. It's in pretty decent shape, some cracking that seems like it could be repaired. I put a set of Calace by Dogal (Dolce RW92B) on it and they seem to be working out well. It plays nice, has good action (~2mm @12th fret), and a nice sparkly sound.

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    I'm not sure why the photos are sideways, so my apologies for that.
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    W.A. Cole Bowlback
    Sawchyn Beaver Tail Mandolin
    No Name West German Mandolin Banjo
    Epiphone Mandobird VIII

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  7. #7056
    Full Grown and Cussin' brunello97's Avatar
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    Default Re: Bowlbacks of Note

    Very nice looking mandolin. I use those Dogal strings on my bowlbacks as well and also like them a lot.

    If I'm not mistaken, WA Cole was one of the Boston makers that later coalesced into the Vega company. And many of us here are Vega mandolin fans as well.

    Yours is, indeed, a bowlback of note.

    Mick
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  9. #7057
    Registered User Tavy's Avatar
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    Default Re: Bowlbacks of Note

    Minty Vinaccia on eBay

    Crazy asking price, but it sure is pretty...

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  11. #7058
    Mando-Accumulator Jim Garber's Avatar
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    Default Re: Bowlbacks of Note

    That seller, leuterius, has quite a pile of bowlbacks and he is persistent on listing them over and over for pretty much the same price, tho occasionally he lowers it a bit once in a while. That is a beauty tho.

    He has a violin by Carlo Columbo Bruno from Torino (I have a Roman-style mandolin by that maker) that he has listed for $13,000.
    Jim

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  13. #7059
    Registered User tkdboyd's Avatar
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    Default Re: Bowlbacks of Note

    The action looks impossibly low. It certainly is a stunning piece.

  14. #7060

    Default Re: Bowlbacks of Note

    Lovely instrument, but not necessarily by Vinaccia. The fabric linings (or perhaps textured paper?) do not look like original Vinaccia's plus the label has been re-glued by the look of it, possibly during the restoration, but who knows?

  15. #7061
    Mando-Accumulator Jim Garber's Avatar
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    Default Re: Bowlbacks of Note

    You could be right, Victor. OTOH, with later Vinaccia like this one, I have seen all sorts of oddities. For instance, I have even seen some Roman style Vinaccias.
    Jim

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  16. #7062

    Default Re: Bowlbacks of Note

    Yes, I remember that one. Also not 100% sure of it's originality though. This one could well be by Vinaccia, but a re-glued label will always cast the shadow of doubt, unfortunately.

    Here is another oddity from Russia, unlabelled. Has Vinaccian style tail buttons. But it will be a very bold speculation to suggest it is a Vinaccia, even though they made the ones with the oddly shaped soundholes at some stage. Likely to be either German or from Catania, I think.

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  17. #7063
    Registered User Tavy's Avatar
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    Default Re: Bowlbacks of Note

    Overpriced but certainly very pretty one on eBay UK

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  19. #7064

  20. #7065

    Default Re: Bowlbacks of Note

    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Garber View Post
    You could be right, Victor. OTOH, with later Vinaccia like this one, I have seen all sorts of oddities. For instance, I have even seen some Roman style Vinaccias.
    What would you say about this one? https://www.ebay.com/itm/Mandolin-P-....c100011.m1850

  21. #7066
    Unfamous String Buster Beanzy's Avatar
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    Default Re: Bowlbacks of Note

    I just realised I had missed putting this late 1800’s copy of an early 1800’s Vinaccia mandoloncello in this thread for posterity.
    Apparently it went for €3000 at auction recently. The information I got was unclear as to whether this was by Vinaccia too or not.

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    Eoin



    "Forget that anyone is listening to you and always listen to yourself" - Fryderyk Chopin

  22. #7067

    Default Re: Bowlbacks of Note

    The one by G. Monte, Napoli. When too much is too much...

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  23. #7068
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    Default Re: Bowlbacks of Note

    What is seen cannot be un-seen. Alas.

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