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Thread: C F Martin mandolin

  1. #1
    Registered User fflmike's Avatar
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    Default C F Martin mandolin

    I friend of mine brought me this mandolin this morning at church. It was her Grandfathers and it has been in her closet for 60+ years and she wanted me to have it because she loves listening to me play, believe it or not! I am going to clean it up, restring it and either play it some or hang it on the wall. Either way I will enjoy it

    I was wondering if anyone could share any information about it. Serial Number is 12678

  2. #2
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    Default Re: C F Martin mandolin

    This webpage says it was built in 1926. Just punch in the number: https://serial-number-decoder.co.uk/...n-mandolin.htm

  3. #3
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    Default Re: C F Martin mandolin

    According to the serial number, your instrument was made in early 1926.
    Martin made several mandolin models that year. A picture would be necessary to give you further info on the mandolin.

  4. #4
    Registered User fflmike's Avatar
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    Default Re: C F Martin mandolin

    Thanks. Just forgot top post the pictures, LOL
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  5. #5
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    Default Re: C F Martin mandolin

    That is a Martin style B. The back and sides are Brazilian rosewood. The retail price in 1926 was $45, considerably more than the plainer style A at $27.50.

    The style B mandolins were in regular production from 1914 to 1942. A few were also made in 1946, and then the model was discontinued. They made 1746 of them.

    41 more were made when the model was briefly reintroduced from 1983 to 1987. The '80's mandolins were built out of Indian rosewood.

    I like the engraved tailpieces on these early Martins. These mandolins hold up better when strung lightly. 10-14-24-34, 36, or 38 are good sets to use on them. D'Addario EJ 62 or EJ 73 will work.
    Last edited by rcc56; Mar-08-2020 at 2:24pm.

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  7. #6
    Registered User fflmike's Avatar
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    Default Re: C F Martin mandolin

    Thank you for that information.

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    Default Re: C F Martin mandolin

    Please don’t just hang it on the wall! That baby deserves to be played. And Brazilian rosewood to boot! The above string recommendations are good except I would stick to 34 for the G. The Martin M400 light set works well, as one would expect. I absolutely love my 74 Martin! It’s mahogany though, and I’d love to find a rosewood style B to complement it. You are lucky to have such a rare item.
    Don

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  9. #8
    Registered User fflmike's Avatar
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    Default Re: C F Martin mandolin

    I plan on cleaning it up, stringing it and playing it. I was just trying to find out what it was and if it was playable. I still play my Dad's old S S Stewart bowl back mandolin occasionally too. I will still mostly play my Ovation electric/acoustic or my Washburn F style, but gotta give em all love. Thanks for the help!

  10. #9
    Registered User Eric Platt's Avatar
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    Default Re: C F Martin mandolin

    And another bit of trivia - 162 of the Model B were built in 1926. (From the third edition of Martin Guitars A History by Mike Longworth). That one looks very nice. Beautiful rosewood and very nice engraved tailpiece cover.
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  12. #10
    Registered User fflmike's Avatar
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    Default Re: C F Martin mandolin

    Cool. I'll enjoy playing it. Thanks for the trivia!

  13. #11
    Registered User slimt's Avatar
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    Default Re: C F Martin mandolin

    Very Nice Martin..

  14. #12
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    Default Re: C F Martin mandolin

    Thats definitely not a wall hanger! Im not an expert in valuations, but I would say that its at least worth a grand. Very beautiful and probably the best sounding Martin model in my opinion. Play it and enjoy it. And you owe your friend a few nice dinners! Maybe more than a few!

  15. #13
    Registered User fflmike's Avatar
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    Default Re: C F Martin mandolin

    In the process of cleaning and maintenance. Removed the tuners and lubricated them. Got them turning smoothly. now to cleaning. Ordered 10-34 EJ62's and Martin 400's. Need two sets anyway. Thanks for all your help. Gonna enjoy!
    Last edited by fflmike; Mar-08-2020 at 7:18pm.

  16. #14
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    Default Re: C F Martin mandolin

    Looks pretty good clean, LOL

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  17. #15
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    Default Re: C F Martin mandolin

    Did you happen to get the case as well?
    "Bargain instruments are no bargains if you can't play them". These are the words of J. Garber.

  18. #16

    Default Re: C F Martin mandolin

    That's a beautiful instrument.. I have a 1929 style B that is my favorite thing. It has a beguiling clear chiming tone. I imagine yours will too.

  19. #17
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    Default Re: C F Martin mandolin

    Quote Originally Posted by MikeEdgerton View Post
    Did you happen to get the case as well?
    I did get a case with it, but it does not say Martin. It says "G and S Co. Utility". The case is not as nice as the mandolin, LOL.

  20. #18

    Default Re: C F Martin mandolin

    Quote Originally Posted by fflmike View Post
    I did get a case with it, but it does not say Martin. It says "G and S Co. Utility". The case is not as nice as the mandolin, LOL.
    That would be a Geib and Schaefer case that may well be original. photo please!

  21. #19
    Registered User fflmike's Avatar
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    Default Re: C F Martin mandolin

    Did some searching. This case could be the original case the mandolin came in.

  22. #20
    Registered User fflmike's Avatar
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    Default Re: C F Martin mandolin

    Here are pics of the case. Guess now it's time to clean up the case
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  23. #21

    Default Re: C F Martin mandolin

    The G & S Utility branded cases were available at the time the mandolin was made. What you tend to find, is that often a nice mandolin or guitar is paired with a low end case. This is purely because the original buyer wanted to get as good an instrument as was possible leaving only a small amount for a case. As you can see, the case is little more than a dust protector and the mandolin will rattle around inside it. Of course, it is great to have the original case in good order- cases tend to take a hammering over the years.

  24. #22
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    Default Re: C F Martin mandolin

    The case is s little worn on the edges. But it is in surprisingly good shape for it's age. It should clean up pretty good. The handle is fine and the latches are a little bit rusty, but work fine. Can't wait to play it though.

  25. #23
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    Default Re: C F Martin mandolin

    Sweet mandolin and what a great gift. I'm partial to cant topped flat backed mandolins and enjoy their voices. A rosewood back is very nice. Enjoy it for many years!

    Jamie
    There are two things to aim at in life: first, to get what you want; and, after that, to enjoy it. Only the wisest of mankind achieve the second. Logan Pearsall Smith, 1865 - 1946

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  26. #24
    Registered User fflmike's Avatar
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    Default Re: C F Martin mandolin

    A bit cleaned up. Not too bad for 90+ years old, LOL

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  27. #25
    Full Grown and Cussin' brunello97's Avatar
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    Default Re: C F Martin mandolin

    Quote Originally Posted by JEStanek View Post
    Sweet mandolin and what a great gift. I'm partial to cant topped flat backed mandolins and enjoy their voices. A rosewood back is very nice. Enjoy it for many years!

    Jamie
    +1 with Jamie. Spruce top / rosewood back is the holy grail of these cant topped mandos in my experience.

    Splendid gift, Mr. OP. I'm enjoying it vicariously with you......

    Mick
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