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Thread: Vintage Russian?

  1. #1

    Default Vintage Russian?

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ID:	186844Hello everyone I'm new here trying to identify what I think is a vintage Russian mandolin.
    Last edited by Kilroy; Jun-26-2020 at 1:50pm. Reason: added picture

  2. #2
    Moderator MikeEdgerton's Avatar
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    Default Re: Vintage Russian?

    Most likely. A few years ago I got a woman I worked with to translate a label. Generally it will tell you what the factory was a model number and when it was made. We have at least one Russian speaking member that hopefully will see this. Just so you're aware, Russian instruments fail to sell weekly on eBay.

    https://www.mandolincafe.com/forum/t...=1#post1644666
    "Bargain instruments are no bargains if you can't play them". These are the words of J. Garber.

  3. #3

    Default Re: Vintage Russian?

    It was made in Leningrad at what may have been the old Zimmerman factory which was nationalised after the 1917 Revolution. There is its number and there may be a date shown - 11-61.

  4. #4

    Default Re: Vintage Russian?

    Thanks for the responses guys. I'm not selling it. It is getting the cracks and bracing repaired. Just very curious of the history of it.

  5. #5
    Moderator MikeEdgerton's Avatar
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    Default Re: Vintage Russian?

    If it's Russian from the communist era they were built to government specifications and had a model number that corresponded with that specification. That in itself is pretty amazing to me. They didn't have models that weren't approved by someone at the top. It's not like the luthier couldn't say "Hey, let's try making this out of Romanian Fruit Wood!" It wasn't an option. I'm sure they could apply to change a specification but it had to be approved as far as I've been told.
    "Bargain instruments are no bargains if you can't play them". These are the words of J. Garber.

  6. #6

    Default Re: Vintage Russian?

    Interesting. Hopefully we can find out more about this.

  7. #7

    Default Re: Vintage Russian?

    It is a Lunacharsky factory mandolin from Leningrad. The top sticker's numbers is not a model number, but referral to the State Standards Code Book reference number which ends in 60, which is the year the standards were approved. That means it could not been made before 1960 and could well be made in either 60's or 70's when new standards were accepted and label changed accordingly. It also have the listed price of 10 roubles. It could not be sold at a different price, except privately. Mandolins were not too popular at that time and were not in shortage. Guitars were and often sold between individuals at twice the state approved price. Lunacharsky factory produced tens of thousands of instruments a year and they were of low to medium quality. There was a branch that worked with individual luthiers, in this case there was also luthier's personal label added. This example is not the case indicating mass produced item.

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  9. #8

    Default Re: Vintage Russian?

    Here is one that is more recent in manufacture and the label has less of a "Ministry of Mandolins" feel to it. As my father was a Soviet/Russian expert I used to meet people from the Soviet Union that visited him and you got to hear the wildest stories regarding how things were done there, from those who were prepared to lower their masks a little and be candid. When there was a group of them you got the distinct impression that one of their number was keeping a careful eye on what was being said by the others as they would clam up when he was around.
    https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/Soviet-Ru...p2047675.l2557

    My Dad took us to this- just perfect for kids. I had to recite some Pushkin poems to a big burly Russian on a stand that had tractors and combines on it but I am sure now his real job was not selling tractors! Yuri Gagarin was there and Dad used his BBC pass to get in and listen to him- we were left outside!
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=P6x0Vj9WFvY

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  11. #9

    Default Re: Vintage Russian?

    I grew up in the USSR and have vivid recollections of the 1970's and 80's. It wasn't all too bad, although, of course, many bad things were going on. But everyone knew that real life had very little to do with the things they told us on the radio and TV.

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  13. #10

    Default Re: Vintage Russian?

    Thanks for all the replies!

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