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Thread: Favilla Mandolin

  1. #1

    Default Favilla Mandolin

    Hello! We have an older vintage Favilla mandolin (see photos). I contacted Tom Favilla and he said it was manufactured early 1920ís or earlier. Needs two new strings but otherwise seems in very good shape. Mr. Favilla said this model is rare as not many were made and due to its age. Manufactured at the Grand Street, New York location. Does anyone know approximately how much these are going for? Anyone interested? Thanks!
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  2. #2
    Moderator MikeEdgerton's Avatar
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    Default Re: Favilla Mandolin

    Quote Originally Posted by RAFO View Post
    Hello! We have an older vintage Favilla mandolin (see photos). I contacted Tom Favilla and he said it was manufactured early 1920’s or earlier. Needs two new strings but otherwise seems in very good shape. Mr. Favilla said this model is rare as not many were made and due to its age. Manufactured at the Grand Street, New York location. Does anyone know approximately how much these are going for? Anyone interested? Thanks!
    I'm happy to see Big Tom is still kicking, I haven't communicated with him in a few years. There are very few bowlback mandolins that carry a whole lot of value and unfortunately the Favilla's are not one of them. It has a value of a few hundred dollars or less. Even though the family was building fine instruments for many years they don't necessarily command large number in the vintage market. By the way, it was probably earlier than the 20's. The more expensive model bowlbacks generally had a higher number of staves. This one would probably be a student grade model.

    It looks to be in pretty good shape visually. Is this a family heirloom?

    If you'd like to scan through some past discussions about Favilla mandolins here is every thread on the Cafe with the word Favilla in it.
    "Bargain instruments are no bargains if you can't play them". These are the words of J. Garber.

  3. #3
    Full Grown and Cussin' brunello97's Avatar
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    Default Re: Favilla Mandolin

    Miggy is right on. That is a pretty basic Favilla. They made some much nicer models.

    The neck looks muy sketchioso on this one which would sorely compromise its value whomever the maker.

    I've owned a number of Favillas and the better ones have been some of my favorite US made mandolins, combining the lightness and resonance of the more 'Italian' Vega-style construction with the Carl Sandburg / Lyon + Healy "mandolins of broad shoulders".

    Big sound, good midrange, bright high end. That's not a common combination in any bowlback.

    As Mike said, the US bowlback market is small and within that the big names (Martin, Vega) seem to be the mandolins folks try to capitalize on. Otherwise the pricing is disappointingly (or opportunistically....) low. Favillas are true sleepers imho.

    All that said, this particular Favilla isn't likely to bring in very much do-re-mi. If you get to "a few hundred dollars...." it is cha-cha-feliz time.

    Mick
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  4. #4
    Mando accumulator allenhopkins's Avatar
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    Default Re: Favilla Mandolin

    Favilla -- one of the seriously underrated US makers. Their ukuleles are still much in demand, and whenever I ran across a Favilla guitar, I was always impressed with its quality and sound.

    I agree that Favilla instruments are sleepers. Like LoPrinzi and Gurian, smaller manufacturers who should be better appreciated.
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