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Thread: Highly decorated German bowl back mandolin 1900

  1. #1

    Default Highly decorated German bowl back mandolin 1900

    The seller asks if his detail is not correct or can be further enhanced to be contacted. He sells quite a few nice instruments. I do not know if he is a member here- he may be.

    https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/The-Most-....c100005.m1851

  2. #2
    Mando-Accumulator Jim Garber's Avatar
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    Default Re: Highly decorated German bowl back mandolin 1900

    A little too rococo for me. Lots of pearl in mastic is usually the way for artisans to do quick multiple piece inlays. I have seen that metal bridge on other older instruments but not 100% sure of the German attribution. Possibly from a Catanian maker. I have also seen a Stridente with similar ornamentation (below) and similarly shaped scratchplate.

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    Jim

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  3. #3

    Default Re: Highly decorated German bowl back mandolin 1900

    Jim, I agree- "way over the top" as we say here. I wonder if such an instrument is an "exhibition" model- possibly made by someone when he reaches a certain level of proficiency. The seller is very knowledgeable but as he requested information, it is clear he is unsure of its provenance. However, as it came from Germany, it was most likely made there.

    I bought this- sold by an Italian dealer in Milan- A. Monzino & Garlandi but it was probably made by Meinel & Herold in Saxony and retailed in the UK. I bought it because it has the most fabulous wooden case- made in England! I did like the mandolin as well!


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  4. #4
    Mando-Accumulator Jim Garber's Avatar
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    Default Re: Highly decorated German bowl back mandolin 1900

    Presentation or exhibition bowlbacks would have fluted backs, engraved inlays and made of high quality materials, in the old days ivory and tortoise shell. This one IMHO does not exhibit high level of workmanship.
    Jim

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  5. #5

    Default Re: Highly decorated German bowl back mandolin 1900

    Jim, I am sure you are right in your assertion. It is getting bids but on your estimation, I would reckon it will not go very high as fundamentally, it is not something very special.

  6. #6

    Default Re: Highly decorated German bowl back mandolin 1900

    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Garber View Post
    Presentation or exhibition bowlbacks would have fluted backs, engraved inlays and made of high quality materials, in the old days ivory and tortoise shell. This one IMHO does not exhibit high level of workmanship.
    looks beautiful but i bow to your expertise in bowl backs. i know next to nothing about bowl backs. but it would have fluted ribs if it was a top presentation model.

  7. #7
    Full Grown and Cussin' brunello97's Avatar
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    Default Re: Highly decorated German bowl back mandolin 1900

    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Garber View Post
    A little too rococo for me. Lots of pearl in mastic is usually the way for artisans to do quick multiple piece inlays. I have seen that metal bridge on other older instruments but not 100% sure of the German attribution. Possibly from a Catanian maker. I have also seen a Stridente with similar ornamentation (below) and similarly shaped scratchplate.

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    Looks pretty clean and fussy for Catania, but who knows? They saw everyone and raised them all more than a few lira.

    The ur-Weymann tuners are pretty interesting to see here. Molto pulito!

    I prefer the Sicilian exuberance over Roman silly dragons and bottle opener / Orson Welles headstocks any day. But to each their own.

    Mick
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  8. #8
    Mando-Accumulator Jim Garber's Avatar
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    Default Re: Highly decorated German bowl back mandolin 1900

    Quote Originally Posted by brunello97 View Post
    I prefer the Sicilian exuberance over Roman silly dragons and bottle opener / Orson Welles headstocks any day. But to each their own.
    I am not a fan of the silly dragons either though the bottle opener doesn't bother me.

    Yes, Sicilian exuberance...

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    Jim

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  10. #9

    Default Re: Highly decorated German bowl back mandolin 1900

    Funky Catania! This guy might be carved from the same block as Jerry Reed!

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4ICu0GgPya0

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sRgNcym4Bps

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  12. #10
    Mando-Accumulator Jim Garber's Avatar
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    Default Re: Highly decorated German bowl back mandolin 1900

    One of my favorite guitar sites: Fetish Guitar and their Carmelo Catania section.
    Jim

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  13. #11

    Default Re: Highly decorated German bowl back mandolin 1900

    An interesting looking mandolin for sure. Incidentally, that type of a metal bridge has been a constant source of puzzle for me, and I even have one in my mandolin parts box.....not that it would ever occur to me to use it. I can't figure out what kind of mandolins, if any, were originally supplied with those bridges.

  14. #12

    Default Re: Highly decorated German bowl back mandolin 1900

    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Garber View Post
    I am not a fan of the silly dragons either though the bottle opener doesn't bother me.

    Yes, Sicilian exuberance...

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    what a collection!!! do you own these? how do they sound?

  15. #13

    Default Re: Highly decorated German bowl back mandolin 1900

    Quote Originally Posted by Peter K View Post
    An interesting looking mandolin for sure. Incidentally, that type of a metal bridge has been a constant source of puzzle for me, and I even have one in my mandolin parts box.....not that it would ever occur to me to use it. I can't figure out what kind of mandolins, if any, were originally supplied with those bridges.
    Those metal bridges were made in Germany. I've seen them being for sale in the 1913 Russian dealer's catalogue in the section of sleeve guards, picks and other bric-a-brac. I guess they were sold worldwide back then. I also have one I got with an old bowlback wreck. I don't think any luthiers were using them originally. They tend to damage the wood if left for too long with the strings fully tuned. But being able to adjust the action was, I guess appealing for many.

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  17. #14

    Default Re: Highly decorated German bowl back mandolin 1900

    Quote Originally Posted by vic-victor View Post
    Those metal bridges were made in Germany. I've seen them being for sale in the 1913 Russian dealer's catalogue in the section of sleeve guards, picks and other bric-a-brac. I guess they were sold worldwide back then. I also have one I got with an old bowlback wreck. I don't think any luthiers were using them originally. They tend to damage the wood if left for too long with the strings fully tuned. But being able to adjust the action was, I guess appealing for many.
    Cпасибо Виктор. Indeed, the feet of those metal bridges would dig into the top softwood quickly and in the most ruinous manner.

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