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Thread: ID help for this mystery machine please

  1. #1

    Default ID help for this mystery machine please

    Ive had this mandolin for about 25 years. Bought it at an estate auction where most of the old fellows stuff was quite vintage even at that time. Never really played it more then a few hours. This is the condition I bought it in.
    Im estimating this to be 1940s?
    Unfortunately there is no markings anywhere, so Im hoping someone might recognize it. Any info would be awesome! Thx.
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    Last edited by Krazkayaker; Jul-27-2020 at 11:17pm. Reason: spelling errors

  2. #2

    Default Re: ID hlpe for this mystery machine please

    I would also be curious as to tis value as well. Just too bad the headstock logo is missing. Perhaps the shape of that glue reside may tweak an idea?

  3. #3
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    Default Re: ID help for this mystery machine please

    Probably 1940s or 1950s and made somewhere in Europe.

    Next!

  4. #4
    Moderator MikeEdgerton's Avatar
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    Default Re: ID help for this mystery machine please

    Ray(T) is right about the origin, it's not the US. It's loosely modeled after a mandolin made by both Harmony and Regal in the US for decades and the real ones rarely get $100.00 on eBay. I'd put it in the 50's. Play it and enjoy it.
    "Bargain instruments are no bargains if you can't play them". These are the words of J. Garber.

  5. #5

    Default Re: ID help for this mystery machine please

    Here is a 1930s version of the type- helpfully marked as being made in Czechoslovakia. You can tell by the tuners and metal bridge, that it is 1930s and it was probably made to be sold by a British dealer in the Empire- the tropics- which normally means a plywood construction! Excelsior, is better known as Britain's first motorcycle maker- producing some hot racing motorcycles in the 1930s but I don't suppose their lawyers were concerned by any brand confusion!

    https://www.ebay.com/itm/Antique-and...IAAOSwMkRe3qB~

  6. #6
    Moderator MikeEdgerton's Avatar
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    Default Re: ID help for this mystery machine please

    Just to erase any confusion, do you think those mandolins came out of the same factory in the same time frame? I mean other than being almost totally different they are kind of the same body shape.
    "Bargain instruments are no bargains if you can't play them". These are the words of J. Garber.

  7. #7

    Default Re: ID help for this mystery machine please

    I think the tuners on the subject mandolin are original and they appear to be 1950s or even 1960s- the buttons are in two pieces and the units themselves appear to be better quality than many you see. The Czechoslovakian mandolin has what are probably German made tuners with the circular celluloid buttons with the metal from the shaft protruding which is early 1930s or earlier. They could be from the same factory but I think there is more than 20 years between them in age. The tropical label blurb is typical of the pre-war era wen the European empires were still intact. You can see this mentioned in the 1930s Hofner catalogues- back when Hofner was based in Schonbach, Czechoslovakia and the copy was printed in English for that big market that was the British Empire as Britain itself was not a large maker of mandolins or guitars- very small- banjos being big business in the UK.

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  9. #8

    Default Re: ID help for this mystery machine please

    Thanks folks. You seem to know your stuff. I always seem to have better mojo when I know the history of an instrument I play. Appreciate the speedy response.

  10. #9
    Mando-Accumulator Jim Garber's Avatar
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    Default Re: ID help for this mystery machine please

    I agree with the folks who commented already. It does bear resemblance to some lower-end Levin (Swedish) mandolins from the 1940s-50s, but they didn't make this one.
    Jim

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  11. #10

    Default Re: ID help for this mystery machine please

    Ok. How about this one to add to the confusion? https://youtu.be/bn8ayP6aKrc

  12. #11

    Default Re: ID help for this mystery machine please

    Had a better look. Similar style but not the quality of a mid Missouri

  13. #12
    Mando-Accumulator Jim Garber's Avatar
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    Default Re: ID help for this mystery machine please

    Quote Originally Posted by Krazkayaker View Post
    Ok. How about this one to add to the confusion? https://youtu.be/bn8ayP6aKrc
    No confusion. That is our MC member Martin Jonas playing a recent American made mandolin by a company currently called Big Muddy.
    Jim

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  14. #13

    Default Re: ID help for this mystery machine please

    Here is another German or Czech mandolin- tuners suggest early 1930s, that is very similar in the body shape that sold on eBay in the UK the other day.

    https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/Vintage-S...p2047675.l2557

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