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Thread: Lyon & Healy Mandola Model A

  1. #1
    Timothy Tim Logan's Avatar
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    Default Lyon & Healy Mandola Model A

    Those of you who have been watching vintage instruments for years: can you tell me how rare L&H Model A mandolas are please? How often have you seen one for sale (either symmetrical or asymetrical) and are there any in excellent condition still in existence? Thank you for any input in advance,

    “There are two means of refuge from the miseries of life: music and cats.” ― Albert Schweitzer

    1925 Lyon & Healy Model A, #1674
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    Martin Stillion mrmando's Avatar
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    Default Re: Lyon & Healy Mandola Model A

    There are no asymmetrical ones.

    I am pretty sure there are only two batches of them and the total number made is less than 100. I believe mine is the first one of the second batch.

    There's been one for sale in the Classifieds for a while; it's highly unusual for more than one to be for sale in the States at once, and often there aren't any.

    Condition varies; mine is pretty thrashed but sounds great.
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    Lyon & Healy • Wood • Thormahlen • Andersen • Bacorn • Yanuziello • Fender • National • Gibson • Franke • Fuchs • Aceto • Three Hungry Pit Bulls

  3. #3
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    Default Re: Lyon & Healy Mandola Model A

    In short, they are truly rare and we do not see them often.
    I hear of perhaps one or two of them every two or three years.
    I will add that I do not visit ebay.
    Of the handful that have come to my attention over the years, one or two were in excellent condition.

  4. #4
    Timothy Tim Logan's Avatar
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    Default Re: Lyon & Healy Mandola Model A

    Thanks fellas - that fills in the knowledge gap very quickly. I'll bet they are incredible instruments and I'll be keeping a lookout for one from now on!!!! With such rarity the prices must be through the roof. Thanks again.

    “There are two means of refuge from the miseries of life: music and cats.” ― Albert Schweitzer

    1925 Lyon & Healy Model A, #1674
    2015 Phoenix Neoclassical Europa III #623
    2018 Carlo Mazzaccara Lucia
    2020 Burgin Shanghai Octave Mandolin - in progress!

  5. #5
    Martin Stillion mrmando's Avatar
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    Default Re: Lyon & Healy Mandola Model A

    Quote Originally Posted by rcc56 View Post
    I will add that I do not visit ebay.
    I've gotten a handful of L&H mandolins from eBay.

    I do not recall ever seeing an L&H mandola on eBay, and I've been surfing eBay for mandolins pretty regularly for 20 years.
    Emando.com: More than you wanted to know about electric mandolins.

    Notorious: My Celtic CD--listen & buy!

    Lyon & Healy • Wood • Thormahlen • Andersen • Bacorn • Yanuziello • Fender • National • Gibson • Franke • Fuchs • Aceto • Three Hungry Pit Bulls

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    Martin Stillion mrmando's Avatar
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    Default Re: Lyon & Healy Mandola Model A

    The one in the Classifieds is reasonably priced if you ask me.

    Here's one being played in a bluegrass context.
    https://www.mandolincafe.com/forum/t...egrass-at-CMSA!
    Emando.com: More than you wanted to know about electric mandolins.

    Notorious: My Celtic CD--listen & buy!

    Lyon & Healy • Wood • Thormahlen • Andersen • Bacorn • Yanuziello • Fender • National • Gibson • Franke • Fuchs • Aceto • Three Hungry Pit Bulls

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  9. #7
    Mando-Accumulator Jim Garber's Avatar
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    Default Re: Lyon & Healy Mandola Model A

    The one I wish would fall into my lap would be one of these dark-finished ones.

    Click image for larger version. 

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    Even rarer and truly amazing instruments are the L&H mandocelli. I remember one of the older Italian guys in the NY Mandolin Orchestra playing Bach solo cello piece on one at a rehearsal break in the 1980s. Probably one of the best mandocelli ever made.
    Jim

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  11. #8
    Timothy Tim Logan's Avatar
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    Default Re: Lyon & Healy Mandola Model A

    Absolutely awesome Jim. What a treat to hear an L&H mandocello!!!!!!! Where did you find the picture of the dark-finished mandola? Although the one in the cafe classifieds is beyond my means, can the buckle rash etc be repaired do you know? Thank you.

    “There are two means of refuge from the miseries of life: music and cats.” ― Albert Schweitzer

    1925 Lyon & Healy Model A, #1674
    2015 Phoenix Neoclassical Europa III #623
    2018 Carlo Mazzaccara Lucia
    2020 Burgin Shanghai Octave Mandolin - in progress!

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    Default Re: Lyon & Healy Mandola Model A

    Lowell Levinger had one of the brown L&H mandolas on his site for quite awhile back in the early 2000s if I recall correctly. I lusted after it heavily, but the neck had been modified a tad to make it a little narrower and I always found that repair unfortunate, not to mention a little visually unappealing. I've always wondered where that one landed! They're few and far between to be sure.

    Chris
    Lockhart, Texas

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  14. #10
    Mando-Accumulator Jim Garber's Avatar
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    Default Re: Lyon & Healy Mandola Model A

    At some point in its history, the NY Mandolin Orchestra advised its members to play L&H instruments. So, when I joined in the 1980s there were quite a few mandolins plus at least one mandola. I think the conductor at the time wanted some uniformity of tone though by the time I joined there was a mix of all sorts of mandolins.
    Jim

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    Default Re: Lyon & Healy Mandola Model A

    Courtesy of the wayback machine, here's a photo of the one from vintageinstruments.com ca. 2004 ... back in the day. :-)

    This is one that, in retrospect, I wish I would have snapped up.

    Click image for larger version. 

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    Chris

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    Martin Stillion mrmando's Avatar
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    Default Re: Lyon & Healy Mandola Model A

    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Garber View Post
    At some point in its history, the NY Mandolin Orchestra advised its members to play L&H instruments.
    Was there a Sol Goichberg connection? Goichberg's MandoArt quartet used carved L&H instruments exclusively.

    It was Goichberg's belief that L&Hs project tone in a specific way — different from Gibsons, and more akin to bowlbacks — such that when they're played in a group, you get a certain presence and a particular overtone series that isn't achieved with other types of mandolins.

    At one point we had as many as 5 L&Hs being played in the Seattle orchestra, 3 of which I had sold to other members. But that's as close as we got to testing Goichberg's theories.

    Dawg used to own one of those chocolate mandolas. The first time I went to Wintergrass (1994, I think), a Portland music store (Artichoke Music, if memory serves) had one among the instruments it was selling (I think they had a mandocello too). I don't know if the one Dawg owned, the one that Artichoke had at Wintergrass, and the one that Lowell was selling a few years later were all the same instrument — but it's possible!
    Emando.com: More than you wanted to know about electric mandolins.

    Notorious: My Celtic CD--listen & buy!

    Lyon & Healy • Wood • Thormahlen • Andersen • Bacorn • Yanuziello • Fender • National • Gibson • Franke • Fuchs • Aceto • Three Hungry Pit Bulls

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