Results 1 to 18 of 18

Thread: Attic Find

  1. #1

    Default Attic Find

    Can't seem to find any info on this.
    Belongs to my neighbor's family

    Agostinho Silva Mandolin -Fall River, Massachusetts

    Any insight would be appreciated

    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	IMG_5214.JPG 
Views:	197 
Size:	911.1 KB 
ID:	182718

    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	IMG_5215.JPG 
Views:	106 
Size:	786.8 KB 
ID:	182717

  2. #2
    Registered User Bob Visentin's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Location
    Decatur, GA
    Posts
    238

    Default Re: Attic Find

    12 strings! What is the scale length (from nut to bridge)?

  3. The following members say thank you to Bob Visentin for this post:


  4. #3
    Registered User Bob Clark's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Location
    Beautiful Salem County, NJ
    Posts
    1,634

    Default Re: Attic Find

    Look at the wear marks on the neck. Doesn't it look like it may have been strung in 5 courses, not six? I wish the nut or tailpiece was present so we could see how it was strung.
    Purr more, hiss less.

  5. #4
    Moderator MikeEdgerton's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    40.1646 N, 74.2083 W
    Posts
    23,243

    Default Re: Attic Find

    I'd like to see the spacing on the nut as well. It's not a mandolin. I suspect Mr. Silva might have been a retailer selling instruments to a Spanish or Portuguese community. It would be interesting to look back through some city directories at that address. It's old but it looks like the tuners may have been changed at some point. When I blow up the image it looks like it has had some holes filled and new holes drilled. That may be some sort of reflection. It may have been a mix of double and triple courses. One of our world instrument specialists will jump in here, hopefully someone that actually knows what it is. The name on the label doesn't show up in the Mugwumps Encyclopedia of American makers.

    There is still a building at that address, age unknown. It looks like a house in the only picture I can find. Fall River was a mill town with several manufacturing companies there. They would have a had a large influx of workers over the years.
    "Bargain instruments are no bargains if you can't play them". These are the words of J. Garber.

  6. #5
    Mando accumulator allenhopkins's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Location
    Rochester NY 14610
    Posts
    16,021

    Default Re: Attic Find

    Fall River suggests Portuguese rather than Spanish. Perhaps something like this Reverb listing?
    Allen Hopkins
    Gibsn: '54 F5 3pt F2 A-N Custm K1 m'cello
    Natl Triolian Dobro mando
    Victoria b-back Merrill alumnm b-back
    H-O mandolinetto
    Stradolin Vega banjolin
    Sobell'dola Washburn b-back'dola
    Eastmn: 615'dola 805 m'cello
    Flatiron 3K OM

  7. The following members say thank you to allenhopkins for this post:


  8. #6
    Moderator MikeEdgerton's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    40.1646 N, 74.2083 W
    Posts
    23,243

    Default Re: Attic Find

    The name appears to be Portuguese, there are still people with that last name living in the area and a 60 year old man with the same name living close by in Massachusetts. I'm guessing the instrument is Portugese as well. That should narrow it down a bit.

    Alllen beat me to it.
    "Bargain instruments are no bargains if you can't play them". These are the words of J. Garber.

  9. #7
    Moderator MikeEdgerton's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    40.1646 N, 74.2083 W
    Posts
    23,243

    Default Re: Attic Find

    I think the Reverb link is a Portuguese guitarra with Preston tuners. I think this might be the same with normal tuners. The nut slots would certainly help us along.
    "Bargain instruments are no bargains if you can't play them". These are the words of J. Garber.

  10. The following members say thank you to MikeEdgerton for this post:


  11. #8

    Default Re: Attic Find

    I believe he has the nut and bridge
    Will send pictures and measurements

  12. #9
    Registered User Joe Dodson's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Location
    Houston, TX
    Posts
    617

    Default Re: Attic Find

    Man. That poor thing suffered up in that attic.

  13. #10
    Registered User DougC's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Location
    Minneapolis, MN
    Posts
    1,370
    Blog Entries
    2

    Default Re: Attic Find

    The neck wear shows 5 worn spots. So it had been played that way (leaving two tuner gears empty) for some time.
    Decipit exemplar vitiis imitabile

  14. #11
    Moderator MikeEdgerton's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    40.1646 N, 74.2083 W
    Posts
    23,243

    Default Re: Attic Find

    That's a possibility or maybe there was no money in playing the highest course of strings.
    "Bargain instruments are no bargains if you can't play them". These are the words of J. Garber.

  15. #12
    Registered User Cobalt's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2015
    Location
    United Kingdom
    Posts
    137

    Default Re: Attic Find

    Don't the strings protect the fingerboard, leaving the spaces between the strings to become worn? That would indicate all six pairs of strings used, giving five gaps which get worn.

  16. The following members say thank you to Cobalt for this post:


  17. #13
    Mandolin tragic Graham McDonald's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2004
    Location
    Canberra, Australia
    Posts
    1,420

    Default Re: Attic Find

    Without a scale or some measurements it is hard to be sure, but I suspect a guitarra built with standard tuners cause he couldn't get any Preston style tuners in the US.

    Cheers

  18. #14
    Moderator MikeEdgerton's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    40.1646 N, 74.2083 W
    Posts
    23,243

    Default Re: Attic Find

    Quote Originally Posted by Graham McDonald View Post
    Without a scale or some measurements it is hard to be sure, but I suspect a guitarra built with standard tuners cause he couldn't get any Preston style tuners in the US.

    Cheers
    That's what I think as well. It would make sense.
    "Bargain instruments are no bargains if you can't play them". These are the words of J. Garber.

  19. #15

    Default Re: Attic Find

    I happened to be dropping an old mandolin off to be restored this afternoon at Spartan Instruments in Lowell, Massachusetts. While there, our discussion turned to mandolins being made in Massachusetts in the early 1900s. I brought up this thread, and Chris (of Spartan Instruments) was interested, so I sent him a link and this is what he had to say:

    So, this is a Guitara Portuguesa. The tuning machines are not traditional, but it makes sense that the maker working in the USA at the time, probably did not have the traditional machines made in Portugal, but also may have been trying to innovate the instrument, and have it made with standard mandolin tuners.
    The work seems to be of good quality, but I am limited by only one photograph. I did not know how to send a message directly to the person inquiring, but feel free to give him my contact information. I would be happy to discuss it with him.
    If you would like his contact information, let me know.

  20. #16
    Moderator MikeEdgerton's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    40.1646 N, 74.2083 W
    Posts
    23,243

    Default Re: Attic Find

    Well, it looks like that same information was derived earlier as well.
    "Bargain instruments are no bargains if you can't play them". These are the words of J. Garber.

  21. #17
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    S.W. Wisconsin
    Posts
    5,265

    Default Re: Attic Find

    Quote Originally Posted by Joe Dodson View Post
    Man. That poor thing suffered up in that attic.
    Looks to me like the string tension broke the top and the neck and block pushed forward. It was most likely sent to the attic because of this, unless it was strung up and sent to the attic and broke there. That is always a possibility, but since it has no strings on I still think that was the reason for banishment to the attic.
    THE WORLD IS A BETTER PLACE JUST FOR YOUR SMILE!

  22. #18
    Mando-Accumulator Jim Garber's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2003
    Location
    Westchester, NY
    Posts
    26,765

    Default Re: Attic Find

    You guys beat me to it. Yes, Portuguese guitarra. The only thing I can add is that Fall River had a large population of Portuguese immigrants. I have seen may Portuguese-American luthier labels from that area.
    Jim

    My Stream on Soundcloud
    Facebook
    19th Century Tunes
    Playing lately:
    2018 Campanella A-5 -- 2007 Brentrup A4C -- 1915 Frank Merwin Ashley violin -- Huss & Dalton DS -- 1923 Gibson A2 black snakehead -- '83 Flatiron A5-2 -- 1939 Gibson L-00 -- 1936 Epiphone Deluxe -- 1928 Gibson L-5 -- ca. 1890s Fairbanks Senator Banjo -- ca. 1923 Vega Style M tenor banjo -- ca. 1920 Weymann Style 25 Mandolin-Banjo -- National RM-1

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •