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Thread: "Ceccherini" Bowl Back Mandolin on eBay

  1. #1

    Default "Ceccherini" Bowl Back Mandolin on eBay

    Here is perhaps a chance to acquire a Ceccherini mandolin inexpensively.

    https://www.ebay.com/itm/1895-Umbert...wAAOSwEy1dml0a

    Alas, the quality of the listing pictures leaves something to be desired. I can see one tuner button is missing, and so is the bridge. Thank god, the original strings seem to be all gone, but I can't tell about the tailpiece. Either way, the seller says a "highly regarded luthier" gave him a very reasonable estimate (for the mandolin repair, I presume.)

    Now we come to a curious part. The eBay listing says "1895 Ceccherini". I didn't think Ceccherini labels had any year marked on them, just something that looked like a serial number. Could it be that the seller took the serial number to represent the fabrication year ?

    Be that as it may, I ain't bidding, so have no worries. I already own all Ceccherinis I have ever wanted and then some.

  2. #2
    Registered User Martin Jonas's Avatar
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    Default Re: "Ceccherini" Bowl Back Mandolin on eBay

    Hard to tell the condition from that listing -- the photos are pretty fuzzy. I don't think it says 1895 on the label; as Peter has said I'm not aware of any Ceccherini being dated. Indeed, I suspect it's post 1900, because of the fretboard extension which only the later ones have. I don't see any obvious bow to the neck, and assuming that's the case it should be possible to make this one playable with relatively modest means if you can do the work yourself, subject to the condition of the frets (you don't want to refret a bowlback!) and subject to getting a decent replacement bridge.

    All in all, given the risk in respect of condition that's a pretty good Buy-It-Now price. If you can make it playable, it will be a lovely instrument to play. Like Peter, I already have enough Ceccherinis, so I won't be in the frame.

    Martin

  3. #3

    Default Re: "Ceccherini" Bowl Back Mandolin on eBay

    Quote Originally Posted by Martin Jonas View Post
    Hard to tell the condition from that listing -- the photos are pretty fuzzy. I don't think it says 1895 on the label; as Peter has said I'm not aware of any Ceccherini being dated. Indeed, I suspect it's post 1900, because of the fretboard extension which only the later ones have. I don't see any obvious bow to the neck, and assuming that's the case it should be possible to make this one playable with relatively modest means if you can do the work yourself, subject to the condition of the frets (you don't want to refret a bowlback!) and subject to getting a decent replacement bridge.

    All in all, given the risk in respect of condition that's a pretty good Buy-It-Now price. If you can make it playable, it will be a lovely instrument to play. Like Peter, I already have enough Ceccherinis, so I won't be in the frame.

    Martin
    Martin, glad to hear you've never seen a dated Ceccherini mandolin either. Now, I am hoping that we'll find a mandolin with a dated importer's label, and that would be better than nothing. Thus we always seem to be confronted with a multifaceted "Ceccherini mystery":
    (1) Was Umberto C. a real person or merely a designer label for some other luthierie business, say De Meglios ?
    (2) In what historical period were the C instruments crafted ?
    (3) Where in Naples was the C. workshop located, if there was a dedicated C. shop ever ?
    (4) Did any C. mandolins sell locally/domestically, or they were strictly an export brand ?
    Last edited by Peter K; Oct-06-2019 at 7:48pm.

  4. #4
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    Default Re: "Ceccherini" Bowl Back Mandolin on eBay

    I wonder what kind of offer they would take?

  5. #5
    Mando-Accumulator Jim Garber's Avatar
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    Default Re: "Ceccherini" Bowl Back Mandolin on eBay

    Quote Originally Posted by LadysSolo View Post
    I wonder what kind of offer they would take?
    Try them.
    Jim

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  6. #6

    Default Re: "Ceccherini" Bowl Back Mandolin on eBay

    Come to think of it, the tentative "serial number" that can be seen on Voigt's labels in Ceccherini mandolins may not be the workshop's own unit identifier. I feel that Voight might have introduced some sort of unit numbering scheme into his Ceccherini contract in order to help with accounting and mandolin unit traceability.

    One generic Ceccherini label, i.e., unrelated to Voigt, I have in front of me departs from a well established instrument labeling practice of luthiers in Italy and elsewhere: no year, no address, no familial or craft connections (e.g. "son of", "apprentice of", "mandolin building school of" ). Only "Umberto Ceccherini, Napoli", and a signature.
    That info paucity I find nothing short of remarkable and hard to explain.

  7. #7

    Default Re: "Ceccherini" Bowl Back Mandolin on eBay

    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Garber View Post
    Try them.
    Right on, Jim. Given that we are talking about a Ceccherini mandolin which appears in one piece, priced at $100 BIN, I'd expect it to have been taken instantly. Just one illustration of a very low demand for BB mandolins these days. However, that eBay Ceccherini is shown as sold now.

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