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Thread: What Does Vinaccia and Phillips have in Common ?

  1. #1
    Registered User Peter K's Avatar
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    Default What Does Vinaccia and Phillips have in Common ?

    The answer: nothing.

    This Pasquale Vinaccia & Sons bowl back mandolin is for sale on eBay with $1,735 BIN price (accepting offers too).
    https://www.ebay.com/itm/Mandolino-P...8AAOSw2bRd7qJa
    The Italian seller says the mandolin was "restored by a skilled luthier". You may wish to take a look at the mandolin pictures and decide for yourself what the real "skill" of that luthier might have been.

    To my eyes, the most striking restoration perversity is the use of Phillips screws to secure the tuning machines onto the headstock. Then, there are some excessively thick modern frets which do not belong on an old Neapolitan mandolin. They also seem to have used a poorly fitting guitar string pin for the makeshift headstock finial, as the original and proper bone (ivory) finial probably got lost or broken. Then, there are some very crudely executed crack repairs that can be seen on the pictures, and so on.

    I'd say this is a fairly typical example of a sad situation in general: many a fine vintage bowl back mandolin got ruined not only by reckless owners/players, but also by dilettante "restorers".

    (Alas, as a side note, causes of a loss of well preserved antique mandolins go beyond careless use and repair. There are also mandolin damages inflicted by savage handling by various carriers. Then there are modern day rapacious seizures of antique instruments by overzealous United States Fish and Wildlife Service, under CITES etc. regulations. )
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    Last edited by Peter K; Feb-07-2020 at 5:36am.

  2. #2
    Full Grown and Cussin' brunello97's Avatar
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    Default Re: What Does Vinaccia and Phillips have in Common ?

    One Good Turn: The Natural History of the Screwdriver and the Screw.

    Won't answer your questions about the Vinaccia, but it is a good read. (The author is a Canadian, too.)

    Mick

    BTW Abile in Italian can also be sometimes understood as "clever". While the use of the guitar peg as a finial may be clever, it doesn't seem very skillful.
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    Registered User Peter K's Avatar
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    Default Re: What Does Vinaccia and Phillips have in Common ?

    Quote Originally Posted by brunello97 View Post
    One Good Turn: The Natural History of the Screwdriver and the Screw.

    Won't answer your questions about the Vinaccia, but it is a good read. (The author is a Canadian, too.)

    Mick

    BTW Abile in Italian can also be sometimes understood as "clever". While the use of the guitar peg as a finial may be clever, it doesn't seem very skillful.
    That sounds like a good read indeed….I've placed it on my "to get" book list, with the priority assigned to it even higher than the seminal compendium "The Trauma of Adult Circumcision".

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    Default Re: What Does Vinaccia and Phillips have in Common ?

    Un"restored", I might (as a bowlback lover) have been interested in it, but now it would be crazy to have to undo the "repairs" and get it back to its (near) original state.

  5. #5
    Registered User Peter K's Avatar
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    Default Re: What Does Vinaccia and Phillips have in Common ?

    Quote Originally Posted by LadysSolo View Post
    Un"restored", I might (as a bowlback lover) have been interested in it, but now it would be crazy to have to undo the "repairs" and get it back to its (near) original state.
    Absolutely, especially for the kind of money the seller obviously thinks he/she should get for it. After all, I think that is the plainest looking 19th century Vinaccia mandolin one can find out there. Although there is only a somewhat loose correlation between mandolin craftsmanship grade and tone, that mandolin may not sound anything special either, even if it was playable in its present condition, which is very doubtful.
    Last edited by Peter K; Feb-07-2020 at 2:29pm.

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