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Thread: Any idea what these "Chinese folk mandolins" might be?

  1. #1

    Default Any idea what these "Chinese folk mandolins" might be?

    There is an estate sale listing in a nearby town for "decorative Chinese folk mandolins".
    To me, they appear to be a normal all-American mandolin and perhaps a mandola or octave mandolin. They appear to have far more detail than for something decorative, unless they are busted and the back is missing and someone has just mounted the tops on a wall. Thoughts?
    Assuming they are actual mandolins, does anyone have any idea what brand they might be? I've done an online search and can't find anything that resembles them. To me, they appear to be from the same manufacturer.
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  2. #2
    Moderator MikeEdgerton's Avatar
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    Default Re: Any idea what these "Chinese folk mandolins" might be?

    They appear to be the work that is sold primarily by two eBay sellers Antoniotsai and Bruceweiart. This has been our week for these. The one on the right appears to be a mandola.

    The tailpieces and inlay, as well as the bridge top are common to these instruments. Getting two of them in black might have been a custom order. Even though the sellers are Chinese the instruments are generally made in Vietnam.

    Here is an interesting discussion page about Antoinotsai instruments.

    These were also sold by a related seller Inlaidartist. They aren't stellar but a few people have reported they had one that was playable. More people over the years have had issues. If it's not too far go play them. They may be decorative items because they aren't playable. If they are cheap enough you might get a good deal on two wall hangers.
    "Bargain instruments are no bargains if you can't play them". These are the words of J. Garber.

  3. #3

    Default Re: Any idea what these "Chinese folk mandolins" might be?

    Quote Originally Posted by MikeEdgerton View Post
    They appear to be the work that is sold primarily by two eBay sellers Antoniotsai and Bruceweiart. This has been our week for these. The one on the right appears to be a mandola.

    The tailpieces and inlay, as well as the bridge top are common to these instruments. Getting two of them in black might have been a custom order. Even though the sellers are Chinese the instruments are generally made in Vietnam.

    Here is an interesting discussion page about Antoinotsai instruments.

    These were also sold by a related seller Inlaidartist. They aren't stellar but a few people have reported they had one that was playable. More people over the years have had issues. If it's not too far go play them. They may be decorative items because they aren't playable. If they are cheap enough you might get a good deal on two wall hangers.
    Mike - Many thanks. The sale is only about 15 minutes away so I'll definitely take a look and see if they can be tuned. Sounds like if it is $50 & playable it might be worth the risk but not for a lot more. I did find a nice tater bug mando a few weeks back for $50 that cleaned up nicely and has a good sound to it. I'll report back.

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