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Thread: Make of Mandolin

  1. #1

    Default Make of Mandolin

    Hi Everybody,
    I recently acquired this bowled back Mandolin. Per your opinion what make do you believe it to be? I am currently repairing it but unfortunately there are no maker's marks nor a label . Let me know ! Click image for larger version. 

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  2. #2

    Default Re: Make of Mandolin

    You are missing the metalware which would help date it and which nation, as well. If it is US made, it may well be an Oscar Schmidt.

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  4. #3

    Default Re: Make of Mandolin

    Hi Nick, I am currently restoring the metal wear. They are made of copper which may have been gold plated at one time.

  5. #4

    Default Re: Make of Mandolin

    Click image for larger version. 

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  6. #5

    Default Re: Make of Mandolin

    The tuners could well be German made- so this suggests an European maker- possibly Italy judging by the top but it could be central European made. Does the metal go through the celluloid button and is visible?

  7. #6

    Default Re: Make of Mandolin

    No it does not go through the button tuner.

  8. #7

    Default Re: Make of Mandolin

    That would suggest the tuners were not so old- 1930s- although they could be newer -this would help date the mandolin itself.

  9. #8

    Default Re: Make of Mandolin

    I see, I think you are right about the tuners but I don't think they are original to the mandolin as the mandolin seems to have been repaired before. By the looks of the repair it may have been done in the 30's. The tail piece though is not copper and I believe older and maybe original to the mandolin. A local Music store told me it looks to have been made in the 1800s but to seek out more advice.

  10. #9

    Default Re: Make of Mandolin

    Oh , I just re read your previous comment. Yes it goes through but it is not visible on the other side of the button.

  11. #10
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Sep 2002

    Default Re: Make of Mandolin

    The four-post endplate is generally indicative of an older instrument.

  12. #11

    Default Re: Make of Mandolin

    It is possible that it is American made but acquired German tuners from a European mandolin. German tuners were used on American instruments- Martin used Seidel tuners until the early 20th century. Other German made metalware was also used- Harmony used a German tailpiece into the 1960s on some of its F hole guitars. Many mandolins had recessed tuners covered by a single plate or two plates- that is true of both American or European mandolins. It appears- although the photo does not show the rear of the headstock that well, that the mandolin has always had exposed tuner units. Indeed, it may be late 19th century but it is hard to know for sure as the "evidence" is somewhat scanty to fix an exact period for its manufacture but it could be late 19th century- although it could be newer.

  13. #12

    Default Re: Make of Mandolin

    I think you are right about the tuners, though as mentioned the mandolin had repairs done quite some time ago so it may date back to around that time. It turns out that the tuners are made of brass, not copper as previously thought. Do you believe it would hurt the value of the instrument if I were to replace the tuners? Of course not the tailpiece as that is what helps date it . I was eyeing some grover tuners. Do you believe that a style a will fit?

  14. #13

    Default Re: Make of Mandolin

    If the tuners are not original, I don't think it will make any difference to the value. Sadly, these bowl back mandolins are not worth very much- even those closer to the top end. Making it playable- and that including holding tune would be the best outcome. I have a few sets of German tuners for guitars from the 1930s- they have brass plates. They were also made from steel- I have them on a German made mandolin from 1910-1920. I did buy a nice engraved brass Seidel tuner unit recently. The seller described it as Waverly or Kluson from the 1950s but it is late 19th century and German.

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