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Thread: G. Indelicato Contarino 's old mandolin

  1. #1

    Default G. Indelicato Contarino 's old mandolin

    Hallo everyone. My name is Takis, I am from Greece and I play Greek bouzouki.
    A friend of mine has an old mandolin of G. Indelicato Contarino with no. 202 which is in very good condition for its age. (I will try to upload some photos later).
    Does anyone knows exactly what year was made and the value of the mandolin?
    It's not for sale.
    Thank you and sorry if my English are not good.

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  3. #2
    Full Grown and Cussin' brunello97's Avatar
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    Default Re: G. Indelicato Contarino 's old mandolin

    Quote Originally Posted by t.kantzilieris View Post
    ......
    A friend of mine has an old mandolin of G. Indelicato Contarino with no. 202 which is in very good condition for its age....
    Hello Takis!
    In my files I have a few examples of Contarino's mandolins including no. 220! Just a few later than yours. I am posting a couple labels which have different addresses for his shop.
    I also have a couple examples listed as "Fratelli Indelicato Contarino" but unfortunately no labels for the brothers' work.
    Maybe Jim or Victor or someone else here does?

    The image with the coolioso elliptical scratchplate is purportedly from i fratelli.

    It is hard for me to guess the age of Catanese mandolins. Some builders kept on working right up to the war and even after. I would guees #220 was from the 30s or possibly later.

    Here is a link to an auction of a GIC mandolin with a estimators letter claiming (in 1976) that the mandolin was "80 years old".
    To me that seems dubious given the flourished Art-Nouveau styling of the mandolin highly influenced by Calace... from at least a decade later.

    The value? Even harder. Playability has everything to do with it. I'll let others help with that question.

    Sometimes the label offers clues (sans serif type font, other instruments for sale, etc.) even if there isn't a date. The fact that one mandolin label also mentions "Hawaiian guitars, banjos...." etc. suggests at least the 1920s as when the popularity of those instruments was high.

    The mandolin on the right in the image with a pair of well worn Indelicatos is from the Via Botte dell'Aqua address label.

    Here is a link to some of his guitars from the Fetish Guitar site.


    Lots of information and examples of his / their work on line.

    I look forward to seeing your friend's mandolin and hearing more about it.

    Mick
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    Last edited by brunello97; Mar-23-2020 at 8:11am.
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  5. #3

    Default Re: G. Indelicato Contarino 's old mandolin

    Mick thank you for your answer. Here are some photos
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  7. #4

    Default Re: G. Indelicato Contarino 's old mandolin

    It would be great to see the whole of the mandolin- front and back. Also a look at the back of the headstock to see the tuner style. From what I can see it is probably at least 110 years old. It could be slightly newer or older but more detail needs to be presented to start to make any more judgments on its age.

    Edit:

    Here is one from 1915, apparently. See if you can match yours up to it.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Pf2rz2hx2DQ
    Last edited by NickR; Mar-23-2020 at 11:47am.

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  9. #5
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    Default Re: G. Indelicato Contarino 's old mandolin

    Wondering how the YouTuber knows it is from 1915 if GIC didn't date his labels?

    Mick

    Here's another conversation from a few years back about Contarino's mandolins and guitars. Looks like I posted some other labels, including from i fratelli. Doh.
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    Default Re: G. Indelicato Contarino 's old mandolin

    Yes, there are problems associated with working from home.....

    One more bit on Indelicato Contarino. This interesting discussion on an Italian guitar forum (for the Italian readers amongst us) including a woman claiming to be Giuseppe IC's granddaughter, Patrizia. Her father and uncle were apparently i fratelli. The discussion goes on more about guitars and luthier-y in Catania but it is worth the read. Catania was heavily bombed during the war afterwards her Zio IC and Carmelo Catania were some of the few remaining builders. Patrizia has a funny story of the two of them trading boots for a pair of custom wood skis.

    Mick
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  13. #7

    Default Re: G. Indelicato Contarino 's old mandolin

    I certainly wondered how the date of 1915 was sourced. It may be because it had been in the family and this was known- as opposed to imagined. Here is another that has been given an 1890 date. Certainly, the case looks about 1900-ish but such cases were made for a while. I have one with my early 1890s Ferrari.

    https://www.worthpoint.com/worthoped...ino-1112102786

  14. #8

    Default Re: G. Indelicato Contarino 's old mandolin

    Thank you NickR!!!. I see a lot of similarities with the instrument you posted. Same shape, same string bridge but different Woods. Also different fire stamp. Here are some more photos.
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    Brunello thank you too!!!Click image for larger version. 

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  16. #9

    Default Re: G. Indelicato Contarino 's old mandolin

    That last one I posted above is numbered 201- yours is 202 and I don't know if that is a style number or the instrument's own number. I would be surprised if that mandolin was made in 1890. The one in the video may be 1915 or newer. The tuners on your mandolin- which are German made are typical of the 1920s or early 1930s although they could be earlier. My best guess would be 1920s but I am not entirely certain. Perhaps, Brunello 97 can be more specific with a date.

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  18. #10
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    Default Re: G. Indelicato Contarino 's old mandolin

    Quote Originally Posted by NickR View Post
    That last one I posted above is numbered 201- yours is 202 and I don't know if that is a style number or the instrument's own number. I would be surprised if that mandolin was made in 1890. The one in the video may be 1915 or newer. The tuners on your mandolin- which are German made are typical of the 1920s or early 1930s although they could be earlier. My best guess would be 1920s but I am not entirely certain. Perhaps, Brunello 97 can be more specific with a date.
    Nick, I really can't even venture a date. So many differences between them all!
    What is interesting is that the one on the YouTube video has a zero-fret and Takis's and the others I posted do not.
    202 looks quite different than 201 in many details. I don't think these are model numbers given how much variety there is between all the GICs that we have posted or seen on line. Who knows what their building process was at that time? Victor and Plami have both spoken about parts being distributed out to be fabricated and then delivered for assembly.
    My best guess would be in the 1915-1930 range. That's playing it safe, eh?
    FWIW I think the Calace-influenced designs came later than the more Vinaccia-n styled ones.

    Fun stuff but I'm shooting blanks now. Someone will weigh in with more info soon....

    Mick
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  20. #11

    Default Re: G. Indelicato Contarino 's old mandolin

    Mick, I think 1915 to 1930 makes a lot of sense. The German tuners had button posts that were not pierced by the metalware in the 1930s. However, stocks could remain of earlier tuners which cloud matters, somewhat.

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