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Thread: Another backroom find

  1. #1

    Default Another backroom find

    You would think it would be easier to find more about something with so much information printed on it, but alas...I couldn't find anything that matches this WT&B "Edwin" mandolin with the number 2526 stamped twice inside. Beautiful wood on this thing though.Click image for larger version. 

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  2. #2
    Moderator MikeEdgerton's Avatar
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    Default Re: Another backroom find

    Mugwumps shows "Edwin - Tonk brandname"

    I can't read what it says inside.

    You can rent one as a prop here.

    Check out this thread for more Edwin and William Tonk information

    Hopefully Jim and Mick have more information.
    "Bargain instruments are no bargains if you can't play them". These are the words of J. Garber.

  3. #3

    Default Re: Another backroom find

    Inside it just reads "W.T.&B. The Edwin New York Chicago". Thanks for the link that helps a lot. Was trying to find one that had the same butterfly pick guard. It's been in the store since Sept. 1975. Always trying to find some extra time to refurbish it.

  4. #4
    Moderator MikeEdgerton's Avatar
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    Default Re: Another backroom find

    Butterfly pickguards were all the rage at different times in the bowlback world. Take a look through these pictures. You are going to find that your mandolin was built by one of the builders that built for the trade, either distributors or retailers and they built them with whatever was specified. By the way, don't spend a whole lot of money refurbishing that and expecting a return. Very few bowlbacks have any real heavy value and they have known name brands.
    "Bargain instruments are no bargains if you can't play them". These are the words of J. Garber.

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  6. #5

    Default Re: Another backroom find

    Wow that's a lot of butterflies. The boss here just liked the wood and inlay on the instrument and thought it would be a fun project. Just like the harp guitar we also have in pieces

  7. #6

    Default Re: Another backroom find

    Not mandolin related, but I'd like to see a picture of the harp guitar.......

  8. #7
    Mando accumulator allenhopkins's Avatar
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    Default Re: Another backroom find

    Quote Originally Posted by CentralMusic View Post
    ..The boss here just liked the wood and inlay on the instrument and thought it would be a fun project...
    That's what bosses generally say, when they don't have to do the work themselves -- but can assign the "fun project" to some poor schlep who has to figure out how to do it.

    I can't bring myself to consider cleaning out my closets, or organizing my hoarder's pile of music-related books, or patching the ceiling in my vestibule where the bathtub drain leakage showed up, as "fun projects." As a matter of fact, I consider "fun project" pretty much an oxymoron.
    Allen Hopkins
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  10. #8

    Default Re: Another backroom find

    Here ya go Click image for larger version. 

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  11. #9

    Default Re: Another backroom find

    That's awesome! In the 70's every music store had stuff like that hanging on the walls! Mostly because it would take too much work to fix it and when you did there was no market for it. Then along came eBay, and the words "project guitar" were born and stuff like that found a home with someone who could appreciate it. One year I think I did nothing except list projects from the backroom on eBay. 9 times out of 10 the stuff went for more than I could have ever imagined it would have. Example: pair of 50's Epiphone "carousel" knobs $300 bucks! Yep, two plastic knobs.....but wait, there's more.........

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  13. #10
    Registered User slimt's Avatar
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    Default Re: Another backroom find

    There was a restaurant in Spokane Washington that had no less than 300 Vintage Gibson acoustics screwed to the ceiling. Through the roof of that place was a 59 Caddilac. It did close and was turned into a Chinese take out. Not sure what happened to all those guitars. Most were from the pre teens into the 50s.

  14. #11
    Mando-Accumulator Jim Garber's Avatar
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    Default Re: Another backroom find

    Here is the page it appears in my 1901 William Tonk & Brother catalog. It is called the Deep Italian Model No. 2293. You can see the specs. $57.50—that was a lot of money back then.

    Click image for larger version. 

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  16. #12
    Mando-Accumulator Jim Garber's Avatar
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    Default Re: Another backroom find

    Here is the page it appears in my 1901 William Tonk & Brother catalog. Edwin was evidently the top of their mandolin line. The OP's model is called the Deep Italian Model No. 2293. You can see the specs. $57.50—that was a lot of money back then. According to the inflation calculator it would be today's equivalent of $1,734.43.

    There were two higher-priced and fancier models 2294 priced at $87.00 and 2295, the top of the line, priced at $112.50 with fluted (in the catalog called "corrugated") ribs.

    ---->Whoops! It looks like I duplicated my post while editing.

    Click image for larger version. 

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    Here's one from my files that appears in the catalog one step lower than the OP's.

    Click image for larger version. 

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  17. #13
    Mando-Accumulator Jim Garber's Avatar
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    Default Re: Another backroom find

    Scrounging around older music stores during the 1980s I figured most of what people looked for were found and gone so I asked if they had any old strings and often came up with a pile. The best bet were uke strings since, believe it or not, no one wanted to play uke back then, except me and a couple of friends. You can see some on this vintage thread on vintage string packages.
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  18. #14

    Default Re: Another backroom find

    How neat! Thanks for sharing the pages, my mind can rest at ease. Guess not many around anymore. I though for sure a matching image would show up in a web search.

  19. #15
    Mando-Accumulator Jim Garber's Avatar
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    Default Re: Another backroom find

    At least you now know what the fretboard inlays should look like. I love the tailpiece covers—they sort of look like later Lyon & Healy carved flatbacks but I have never seen an Edwin bowlback of that era with one of those.

    Click image for larger version. 

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    Default Re: Another backroom find

    Quote Originally Posted by CentralMusic View Post
    Here ya go Click image for larger version. 

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    I'd like to spend an afternoon poking around in your store! Looks like a fun place to visit!

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  22. #17
    Mando accumulator allenhopkins's Avatar
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    Default Re: Another backroom find

    Quote Originally Posted by CentralMusic View Post
    Click image for larger version. 

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    Hope none of the employees get mugged...
    Allen Hopkins
    Gibsn: '54 F5 3pt F2 A-N Custm K1 m'cello
    Natl Triolian Dobro mando
    Victoria b-back Merrill alumnm b-back
    H-O mandolinetto
    Stradolin Vega banjolin
    Sobell'dola Washburn b-back'dola
    Eastmn: 615'dola 805 m'cello
    Flatiron 3K OM

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