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Thread: Calace mandolin, 1926 - value?

  1. #1

    Default Calace mandolin, 1926 - value?

    Hey people, first post here. I just got this Calace mandolin built in 1926, according to the label. It's in good condition; some minor issues like fret wear and some very small cracks. I just cleaned it and put Thomastiks on, it has a very nice and balanced sound.

    What's an instrument like this worth? I'm assuming this was one of their lower-end instruments, is that correct? Also, the bridge isn't original, is it? And what are the two holes for?

    Last edited by Valbert; Jun-02-2019 at 8:34am.

  2. #2
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    Default Re: Calace mandolin, 1926 - value?

    Ah! Somebody else has noticed the holes. Welcome to the forum.

    Those are one of life’s mysteries like who owns the water in a river and who invented fog. You’re a better person than us if you can find out! Personally, I think they’re for poking something down.

    https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=uRkL-lP8qKw

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  4. #3
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    Default Re: Calace mandolin, 1926 - value?

    I believe the idea was that the holes would eliminate "Wolf Notes".

    But in saying that I am not sure if mandolins suffer from that as I only see bowed instruments with devices to eliminate wolf notes.

    if anyone else has a better idea then I would like to know myself.
    Regards,
    Henry

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    Moderator MikeEdgerton's Avatar
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    Default Re: Calace mandolin, 1926 - value?

    The holes have been discussed here over the years with no real solid decision as to why they are there. They are also popular on older German mandolins.
    "Bargain instruments are no bargains if you can't play them". These are the words of J. Garber.

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  8. #5

    Default Re: Calace mandolin, 1926 - value?

    It would be useful to see the back of the bowl- to see how many staves have been used.
    Last edited by NickR; Jun-03-2019 at 3:16pm.

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  10. #6

    Default Re: Calace mandolin, 1926 - value?

    Here's a few more pictures, including the (original?) hardcase. I counted 19 ribs.





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    Moderator MikeEdgerton's Avatar
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    Default Re: Calace mandolin, 1926 - value?

    If that mandolin was made in 1926, and I'm not sure it was, then that case is not original. I was hoping one of our resident bowlheads here would chime in.
    "Bargain instruments are no bargains if you can't play them". These are the words of J. Garber.

  13. #8

    Default Re: Calace mandolin, 1926 - value?

    I agree the case looks newer. As for the age of the instrument itself, I'm pretty sure it says 1926 on the label...


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    Moderator MikeEdgerton's Avatar
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    Default Re: Calace mandolin, 1926 - value?

    Unfortunately in this world that may or may not be the year it was built. Hopefully one of the bowl guys will jump in. There are three or four people here that know these things. The label looks right for the Calace Label site.
    "Bargain instruments are no bargains if you can't play them". These are the words of J. Garber.

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    Default Re: Calace mandolin, 1926 - value?

    A very similar 1929 just showed up in the classifieds. NFI on my part. The one in this post looks very clean for its age.
    Pava S/N 21
    Calace Bowlback

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  19. #11

    Default Re: Calace mandolin, 1926 - value?

    The case is probably German and from the 1960s. That stitching in the top is typical of German or Czech cases.

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  21. #12

    Default Re: Calace mandolin, 1926 - value?

    Quote Originally Posted by ToyonPete View Post
    A very similar 1929 just showed up in the classifieds. NFI on my part. The one in this post looks very clean for its age.
    Thanks for pointing me there. That one looks exactly like my model (except for the bridge)! It appears to be in even better condition than mine. Though it's also missing the little bone (?) triangle connecting the neck with the headstock. I've noticed that on other Calaces.

  22. #13

    Default Re: Calace mandolin, 1926 - value?

    There are several currently on eBay, with quite a wild range of prices, but I'm not qualified to know one from the other. Hopefully one of our bowlback experts will see this.....

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    Moderator MikeEdgerton's Avatar
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    Default Re: Calace mandolin, 1926 - value?

    It appears they are avoiding this thread for some reason. I'll see if I can raise one in a PM.
    "Bargain instruments are no bargains if you can't play them". These are the words of J. Garber.

  24. #15
    Registered User DavidKOS's Avatar
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    Default Re: Calace mandolin, 1926 - value?

    I wish I was an expert....it could be a Calace....or another Italian maker. It does look a lot like the Italian instruments that were copied in Japan in the early 20th century.

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  26. #16

    Default Re: Calace mandolin, 1926 - value?

    Haha thanks! Just to clear things up: I'm definitely not planning to sell it. I'm playing it all the time and I can hear it coming back to life.
    I'm just keen to find out if the price I paid for it was appropriate

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  28. #17
    Registered User DavidKOS's Avatar
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    Default Re: Calace mandolin, 1926 - value?

    Quote Originally Posted by Valbert View Post
    Haha thanks! Just to clear things up: I'm definitely not planning to sell it. I'm playing it all the time and I can hear it coming back to life.
    I'm just keen to find out if the price I paid for it was appropriate
    So what did you pay for it?

  29. #18

    Default Re: Calace mandolin, 1926 - value?

    Oh yeah sorry, forgot to mention: 340 €

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  31. #19
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    Default Re: Calace mandolin, 1926 - value?

    That would be $382.77 in USD for anyone that wants to know.
    "Bargain instruments are no bargains if you can't play them". These are the words of J. Garber.

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    Default Re: Calace mandolin, 1926 - value?

    I have paid more for less. But you don't have a way to gauge my judgement. LOL
    Indulge responsibly!

    The entire staff
    funny....

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  35. #21
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    Default Re: Calace mandolin, 1926 - value?

    Quote Originally Posted by JeffD View Post
    I have paid more for less. But you don't have a way to gauge my judgement. LOL
    It sounds good? plays easily? not too bad a deal if so.

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    Innocent Bystander JeffD's Avatar
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    Default Re: Calace mandolin, 1926 - value?

    Quote Originally Posted by DavidKOS View Post
    It sounds good? plays easily? not too bad a deal if so.
    my opinion as well.
    Indulge responsibly!

    The entire staff
    funny....

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  39. #23
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    Default Re: Calace mandolin, 1926 - value?

    I’m no expert, just a Calace owner, and it seems like a good price! Mine is a bit older, had been restored, and I paid a bit more. I understand the doubts about authenticity but Valbert’s seems authentic to me.

    Are fake Calace labels a thing? Gibson fakes abound of course.
    Pava S/N 21
    Calace Bowlback

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  41. #24
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    Default Re: Calace mandolin, 1926 - value?

    Quote Originally Posted by ToyonPete View Post
    I’m no expert, just a Calace owner, and it seems like a good price! Mine is a bit older, had been restored, and I paid a bit more. I understand the doubts about authenticity but Valbert’s seems authentic to me.

    Are fake Calace labels a thing? Gibson fakes abound of course.
    Anything with any value that can be faked will be faked someplace. I'm pretty familiar with Fake Gibson's. These not so much.
    "Bargain instruments are no bargains if you can't play them". These are the words of J. Garber.

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  43. #25

    Default Re: Calace mandolin, 1926 - value?

    I have an identical model listed in the classifieds and on ebay. It will gave you an idea of the market price at the moment. I've sold a few Calaces in the past.
    Click image for larger version. 

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