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Thread: what did I just buy? I think its a Mandola

  1. #1

    Default what did I just buy? I think its a Mandola

    Just paid $84USD for this at an auction in Sydney! (hence my first post)

    I hope it works....
    any clues as to what it is,
    my guess from the dimensions in these pics, using the little stickers (usually about 21mm, the scale is exactly 20x that which makes 42mm = 16.5".... is it a Mandola?! I hope!

    Any clues to the era? It looks oldish 1910-1940?

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  2. #2
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    Default Re: what did I just buy? I think its a Mandola

    Looks more like a mandolin to me but we could do with a “full frontal” photo’ and an accurate indication of scale length. If it’s strung as a mandola, I would also expect a wound second course.

    Welcome to the forum. You’ll soon be as mad as the rest of us!

  3. #3

    Default Re: what did I just buy? I think its a Mandola

    Quote Originally Posted by Ray(T) View Post
    Looks more like a mandolin to me but we could do with a “full frontal” photo’ and an accurate indication of scale length. If it’s strung as a mandola, I would also expect a wound second course.

    Welcome to the forum. You’ll soon be as mad as the rest of us!
    Thanks!
    I meant to include this pic from the auction too. Either, it'll arrive next week.
    I asked them to measure it's length, but shutdown for weekend!
    Either way, I'll enjoy when it arrives.

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  4. #4
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    Default Re: what did I just buy? I think its a Mandola

    Looks even more like a mandolin but the scale length will be the clincher.

  5. #5

    Default Re: what did I just buy? I think its a Mandola

    yeah, I'm convinced... but I'll let you know for sure!

  6. #6

    Default Re: what did I just buy? I think its a Mandola

    I have a very similar shaped instrument made in Saxony, Germany- probably before WW1 and sold by Arthur Windsor in the UK. Here is an identical mandolin to mine- including the case. It is hard to see the pickguard as much of it is the same colour as the top.
    https://www.the-saleroom.com/en-gb/a...c-a51e011774bd

    Here is mine. I did not think I had a photo!

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    Steel tuner plates which is unusual for Germany at this time- brass seemed to be the norm for decades.

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  8. #7
    coprolite mandroid's Avatar
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    Default Re: what did I just buy? I think its a Mandola

    16.5" is about how long my Mandola patterned after Gibson's H type is for its scale..
    12,22w,32w,44w ought to be OK in CGDA,, (middle C is on the G string)
    writing about music
    is like dancing,
    about architecture

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  10. #8

    Default Re: what did I just buy? I think its a Mandola

    Wow, what a pretty instrument! That's some very nice rosewood.
    How does it sound and play?

    Yeah, the only ones I saw online with vaguely similar style seemed to be German.
    The headstock style has some common ancestry with Martin too, perhaps.

  11. #9

    Default Re: what did I just buy? I think its a Mandola

    It plays well with a great tone and volume. I find tuning just a bit irksome. I don't know if that is due to the nut or the tuners being worn but it takes time to get it right but I suppose it is over 100 years old. The bridge is not original unlike the one in the auction I posted. It is in great condition and certainly looks the part! I would suggest your mandolin is the same era- either just before WW1 or in the 1920s.

    Here is an old sBay listing of a German mandolin: https://www.ebay.ie/itm/Nice-1920s-F...-/192822388352

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  13. #10

    Default Re: what did I just buy? I think its a Mandola

    Either made in Germany or in Catania. Many Catanese makers made flatbacks similar to this one, too. They were advertised as "Portuguese mandolins".

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