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Thread: Fratelli Calace Napoli-Catania line of instruments

  1. #1

    Default Fratelli Calace Napoli-Catania line of instruments

    I have posted the photos of my Fratelli Calace (Napoli-Catania) mandolin before, but I thought I'd create a dedicated topic, as I came across yet another instrument of the Napoli-Catania breed. Both instruments are found in Russia and both in my possesion now. They seem to be the only two instruments known so far of that obscure Fratelli Calace variety. I would like to encourage any other possible owners of Napoli-Catania Calaces to post the info on their instruments here in this topic.

    The first is the one I found several years ago in rather bad condition and it has been put back to life (which was not easy) by Dave Hynds in 2015. It has a sweet and strong voice and is now a well played instrument. It appears that the instrument is fairly early, it originally had an old cyanide-type varnish on it's back, according to Dave.

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    The second one has been spotted just recently and I didn't have a chance to inspect it in person yet. But it is a later model, probably more like late 1890's, (the latest i Fratelli instrument I could find in the net was dated 1898, it didn't have the extra holes in the top, the holes first appeared on Rafaelle's Brevetatto 900, which was patented in 1900), so the educated guess would be to date it just around the turn of the century, providing the Catania line didn't go into 20C still using i Fratelli brand, which is also a possibility. By the way, the label has 1911 written on it in hand, but rather crudely, probably via the hole in the top and I think it is a later addition.
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    And last, but not least. Some years back I found the pics of two Calace looking, unlabelled instruments in the Russian classifieds, both bearing the badges of N.A Kolchin, musical instruments dealer from St. Petersburg. The headstock end of those is similar to the No. 2 Napoli-Catania instrument and I have a strong feeling they could be of the same Napoli-Catania breed.

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    Last edited by vic-victor; Apr-30-2017 at 7:51am.

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  3. #2

    Default Re: Fratelli Calace Napoli-Catania line of instruments

    More pics:
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  5. #3

    Default Re: Fratelli Calace Napoli-Catania line of instruments

    Another Calace spotted in Russia, bearing some similarities to my second instrument, like V-neck and split pickguard. Probably also from the same family of Napoli-Catania instruments.

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  7. #4

    Default Re: Fratelli Calace Napoli-Catania line of instruments

    The instrument has just came back from France where it was restored by Dave Hynds and gee, what a beautiful instrument it is:

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    And it plays like a dream...
    Last edited by vic-victor; Sep-06-2019 at 7:47pm.

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