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Thread: Cracks between ribs on bowlback

  1. #1
    Registered User aliparla's Avatar
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    Default Cracks between ribs on bowlback

    Hi!

    A friend of a friend offers me a bowlback from the 1930s, but it has some cracks between the ribs and I don't know if they are superficial or deep. He says that it's solid, but I'm not sure if those cracks will grow and lead to a problem.

    I have attached two pictures, one from the outside and another one from the inside. The latter is a bit weird, but you can see the label to figure out the scale. There is a black line almost parallel to the ribs that I find suspicious.


    What do you think?

    Thanks!
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  2. #2

    Default Re: Cracks between ribs on bowlback

    That profile and construction look like the piece may be a relatively high-end Roman instrument. If so, very desirable. If you don't mind sharing, who's the maker?

    I may be missing it, but I don't see any cracks of the ribs themselves. By "between the ribs," are you referring to minor seam separations? If so, they're routine and usually easily fixed by a competent luthier (hide glue and clamping, often "clamped" with nothing more than a little masking tape spanning the separation). You can often tell if a seam separation is open (and not effectively repaired) by gently knocking around the bowl with your knuckles. An open seam will often respond with an audible "clack" that sounds different from solid regions of the bowl without seam separations.
    Last edited by Eugene; Aug-03-2020 at 3:23pm.

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  4. #3
    Mando-Accumulator Jim Garber's Avatar
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    Default Re: Cracks between ribs on bowlback

    I agree with Eugene. And fluted ribs puts it in the higher end. The insides of these were often lined with wood shavings so you may be seeing that with the second photo. You might look inside with a strong light to see if there are any visible cracks. Post more photos. It does look like a Roman mandolin, possibly Embergher.
    Jim

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  6. #4
    Registered User aliparla's Avatar
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    Default Re: Cracks between ribs on bowlback

    Thank you very much, that helps me a lot

    Unfortunately I can't say more at the moment, but hopefully in a few days I will be able to share a lot of photos...

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