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Thread: Finally did it! 1895 C.A.Kisslinger BowlBack Mandolin restored

  1. #1

    Smile Finally did it! 1895 C.A.Kisslinger BowlBack Mandolin restored

    If you search back...way back (2013)... you may find a thread with me begging for help to identify an old bowlback mandolin. Well, with your help and some research I finally got to identify and date the thing, because the production year was not readable on the Label.

    I have very few tools, and very few time... and I was really afraid to kill the damn mandolin because all the back stripes were separated and the head was broken right under the nut. There was no bridge, big crack on the top, which was also sinking, and the trims were incomplete. The amount of work seemed like a mountain and literally, the years were passing and I was getting older. This had to be done before having kids.

    I finally decided that making it the wrong way was better to let the thing broken on the shelf, because a luthier would have cost more than the value of the mandolin.

    So here it is! Mandolin No.2049 (probably) made by Cavaliere C.A. Kisslinger in Naples around 1894-1895 (probably).

    https://www.mandolincafe.com/forum/a...p?albumid=2156
    https://www.mandolincafe.com/forum/a...p?albumid=2157

    I invite you to see both restoration and restaured albums. Please get angry and tel me everything I did wrong. The fact is... The new head seems rock solid, there are very few buzzes and it SOUNDS GREAT. It certainly sounds better the **-++## 1000$ made in china mandolins I tried at the store.

    For the little story, this mandolin is my wife's father's and it had been in his family for very long. It actually toured the world with it's previous owner, a military member of the Belgian Expeditionary Corps of Armoured Cars in Russia. It was a Belgian military formation during WW1 which was sent to Russia to fight the German Army on the Eastern Front.. They got trap and had to tour the world before getting back home, even had to transit by Syberia, China and the United State.

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  2. The Following 5 Users Say Thank You to louispp For This Useful Post:


  3. #2
    Full Grown and Cussin' brunello97's Avatar
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    Default Re: Finally did it! 1895 C.A.Kisslinger BowlBack Mandolin restore

    Great story, Louis. And great to see the mandolin up and playable again. A real Lazarus story.
    I hope you enjoy playing it for many years.

    Mick
    Ever tried, ever failed? No matter. Try again, fail again. Fail better.--Samuel Beckett
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  4. #3

    Default Re: Finally did it! 1895 C.A.Kisslinger BowlBack Mandolin restore

    Here is a YouTube video which covers the Belgian Expeditionary Corps. Go to 5:50 in this video https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Aeh7pE8hYco

  5. #4

    Default Re: Finally did it! 1895 C.A.Kisslinger BowlBack Mandolin restore

    What an accomplishment to restore a piece of history, and preserve a family heirloom. Be proud.
    Silverangel A
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    1913 Gibson A-1

  6. #5

    Default Re: Finally did it! 1895 C.A.Kisslinger BowlBack Mandolin restore

    Great Job!

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