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Thread: Raymond Mandolin Passed Down

  1. #1

    Default Raymond Mandolin Passed Down

    Hi everybody,

    I'm new here... I'd like to learn more about this old 8-string mandolin that was passed down to me. I Googled a bit but could find much on it. There's a label inside the body that says "Raymond." It's about 21" long.

    It's missing one string. Can't decide if I should get it restrung or just put it on the shelf.

    Any info on care/cleaning for this old instrument would be much appreciated! Thanks!
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  2. #2

    Default Re: Raymond Mandolin Passed Down

    Definitely remove the old strings and clean up the "crud" with a soft damp cloth (old tee shirt or similar). Restring it with light gauge strings but first inspect the neck joint to make sure its solid and not broken. BTW guitar shaped mandolins are called "mandolinettos". Since you inherited this one, seems you have nothing to lose by fixing it up and learning to play it. It's not a valuable piece but if it can be made playable, there may be a lot of musical value left in it. Hate to see it just sitting on a shelf. ymmv

    Len B.
    Clearwater, FL

  3. #3
    Mando-Accumulator Jim Garber's Avatar
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    Default Re: Raymond Mandolin Passed Down

    According to mugwumps.com Raymond was a brandname of the Wurlitzer Company. I would think it was most likley made by one of the larger Chicago companies, possibly Lyon & Healy. This looks like a budget flattop mandolinetto or guitar mandolin as they were labelled in the catalogs. It looks like it was played quite a lot with much of the playing consisting of strummingóby the corrugation wear on the top.
    Jim

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  4. #4

    Default Re: Raymond Mandolin Passed Down

    This mandolin has a round sound hole. The Washburn book shows an old ad from 1919 that features a mandolinetto- and that has an oval hole and that concave headstock shape- just like a Regal- the firm that probably made that instrument. However, that does not mean it was not made by Lyon & Healy at an earlier time. Hard to finger the maker of this one which is unadorned.

  5. #5
    Mando-Accumulator Jim Garber's Avatar
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    Default Re: Raymond Mandolin Passed Down

    NickR: could be Regal. I did find a Wurlitzer catalog page for a Raymond guitar but nothing for any guitar mandolin that looks like that one. I don't know how you can see the exact shape for the headstock from that photo. Both L&H (American Conservatory) and Regal (on right below) used that same concave-topped headstock. Both used oval soundholes.
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    Jim

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  6. #6
    Mando-Accumulator Jim Garber's Avatar
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    Default Re: Raymond Mandolin Passed Down

    The only mandolinetto I can find in my files with a circular hole is this fancy H. A. Walton-labelled one. I know this is not a firm and fast way to ID this one but do notice that it has a Washburn crown-shaped tailpiece and a larger body size than usual for a guitar-mandolin.
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    Last edited by Jim Garber; Jun-22-2019 at 4:05pm.
    Jim

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  7. #7

    Default Re: Raymond Mandolin Passed Down

    I agree it is hard to work out the headstock profile. I don't think it is concave but I wondered if it had been reworked from concave. That Raymond you show is from 1901 it seems, and that is closer to the date I think this instrument was made- but that is conjecture.As I wrote, it is missing the usual adornments one sees on these instruments but if it was made to a certain price point, it would not have them. There is always a possibility, that it is an European import but the tuners- or the buttons, which is all we can see are to my eye, American. Outside of Chicago, Oscar Schmidt might be a possibility- or even their works in Carlsbad, Bohemia.

    The Ditson retailed mandolin- five instruments down at this link has a round sound hole- it is far more ornate: http://www.minermusic.com/mandolinetto.htm

    Here is a round hole OS Sovereign: https://www.mandohangout.com/topic/49610

  8. #8
    Mando-Accumulator Jim Garber's Avatar
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    Default Re: Raymond Mandolin Passed Down

    Quote Originally Posted by NickR View Post
    Here is a round hole OS Sovereign: https://www.mandohangout.com/topic/49610
    That OS looks the closest to my eyes thought I wish there were more photos and some straight on. Here's what they have in case that much less popular mandolin site drops off the 'Net. I think that would be closest in looks and construction and OS certainly cranked out piles of instruments back then both wholesale and retail.
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    Jim

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  9. #9

    Default Re: Raymond Mandolin Passed Down

    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Garber View Post
    That OS looks the closest to my eyes thought I wish there were more photos and some straight on. Here's what they have in case that much less popular mandolin site drops off the 'Net. I think that would be closest in looks and construction and OS certainly cranked out piles of instruments back then both wholesale and retail.
    Thanks, Jim. That looks very close. We took the strings off and started to clean it up a bit. Here are some more pictures...

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  11. #10
    Moderator MikeEdgerton's Avatar
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    Default Re: Raymond Mandolin Passed Down

    The Mugwumps Encyclopedia lists Raymond as a Wurlitzer brand name. Wurlitzer was a distributor and farmed out all of their instrument production. We have a Raymond bowlback mandolin that was posted here 5 or 6 years ago.
    "Bargain instruments are no bargains if you can't play them". These are the words of J. Garber.

  12. #11
    Mando-Accumulator Jim Garber's Avatar
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    Default Re: Raymond Mandolin Passed Down

    Quote Originally Posted by MikeEdgerton View Post
    The Mugwumps Encyclopedia lists Raymond as a Wurlitzer brand name. Wurlitzer was a distributor and farmed out all of their instrument production. We have a Raymond bowlback mandolin that was posted here 5 or 6 years ago.
    I know you are a busy guy, but you are a bit late to the party. See my post #3 above.
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  14. #12
    Mando-Accumulator Jim Garber's Avatar
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    Default Re: Raymond Mandolin Passed Down

    KristopherJ: Thanks for the additional photos.

    Just a word of advice: Best photos are first full-length and straight-on front and back then include some nice detailed ones in addition. We get a much better sense of what this is this way. Others may have other advice.

    The photos I posted above were from eBay auctions and other online listings. For instance, I don't own that OS mandolinetto.
    Jim

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  15. #13

    Default Re: Raymond Mandolin Passed Down

    Here is another OS mandolinetto- its headstock shape is very like the Raymond. I think it is probably the same instrument that I posted featured on mandohangout:https://reverb.com/item/15562046-c-1...reign-mandolin

  16. #14

    Default Re: Raymond Mandolin Passed Down

    Quote Originally Posted by KristopherJ View Post
    Thanks, Jim. That looks very close. We took the strings off and started to clean it up a bit. Here are some more pictures...

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    Wow, now THAT is a serious musical instrument!

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