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Thread: Ciani mandolin really a Stradolin?

  1. #1
    Registered User Cary Fagan's Avatar
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    Default Ciani mandolin really a Stradolin?

    I noticed this ebay listing for an oval hole mandolin with a label saying it was made by Galiano Raphael Ciani. But it looks identical to a Stradolin I once owned.

    Here's the listing:

    https://www.ebay.ca/itm/1925-A-Galia...wAAOSwi8FfANb-

    And here are some pics of my Stradolin:

    https://www.mandolincafe.com/forum/t...olin-Oval-Hole

    Fake label? Any thoughts?
    Cary Fagan

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    Moderator MikeEdgerton's Avatar
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    Default Re: Ciani mandolin really a Stradolin?

    Ignore what the label says, that is a Strad-O-Lin genre oval hole mandolin, made right here in the US by whomever one wants to think made them. I'm sure if you look inside it will have the well known clamp marks on the blocks.
    "Bargain instruments are no bargains if you can't play them". These are the words of J. Garber.

  4. #3

    Default Re: Ciani mandolin really a Stradolin?

    The title on the listing also says it is a bowl back.

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    Registered User Sue Rieter's Avatar
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    Default Re: Ciani mandolin really a Stradolin?

    So how did that label end up in there then? And why does the title of the listing say Bowl Back mandolin? Questions, questions.

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    Moderator MikeEdgerton's Avatar
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    Default Re: Ciani mandolin really a Stradolin?

    Quote Originally Posted by Sue Rieter View Post
    So how did that label end up in there then? And why does the title of the listing say Bowl Back mandolin? Questions, questions.
    Easy, someone glued it in there. A large number of instruments have glued in labels over the years. The Strad-O-Lin genre mandolin were sold under dozens of brand names and probably almost as many were sold with no brand name.
    "Bargain instruments are no bargains if you can't play them". These are the words of J. Garber.

  7. #6
    Moderator MikeEdgerton's Avatar
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    Default Re: Ciani mandolin really a Stradolin?

    Quote Originally Posted by CarlM View Post
    The title on the listing also says it is a bowl back.
    I was taken aback by the 32 strings until I figured out they were selling loose strings with it.
    "Bargain instruments are no bargains if you can't play them". These are the words of J. Garber.

  8. #7
    Registered User Sue Rieter's Avatar
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    Default Re: Ciani mandolin really a Stradolin?

    Quote Originally Posted by MikeEdgerton View Post
    I was taken aback by the 32 strings until I figured out they were selling loose strings with it.

  9. #8
    Registered User Cary Fagan's Avatar
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    Default Re: Ciani mandolin really a Stradolin?

    It is all a little confusing. Perhaps the seller doesn't know what a bowlback is? My oval hole stradolin was a nice little instrument. Laminated top. Not loud. But that's a decent price for a fixer upper that I would have already bought when I was playing 'catch and release' a few years ago.
    Cary Fagan

  10. #9
    Registered User Cary Fagan's Avatar
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    Default Re: Ciani mandolin really a Stradolin?

    Couldn't stand it anymore. so I bought the thing.
    Cary Fagan

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  12. #10
    Moderator MikeEdgerton's Avatar
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    Default Re: Ciani mandolin really a Stradolin?

    Quote Originally Posted by Cary Fagan View Post
    Couldn't stand it anymore. so I bought the thing.
    I like your style.

    It might be solid, the one in the link I posted above was.
    "Bargain instruments are no bargains if you can't play them". These are the words of J. Garber.

  13. #11
    Registered User Cary Fagan's Avatar
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    Default Re: Ciani mandolin really a Stradolin?

    Actually, yeah, Mike, I looked at my older post where I'd said it was solid. I misremembered.
    Cary Fagan

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    Default Re: Ciani mandolin really a Stradolin?

    Quote Originally Posted by MikeEdgerton View Post
    Easy, someone glued it in there. A large number of instruments have glued in labels over the years. The Strad-O-Lin genre mandolin were sold under dozens of brand names and probably almost as many were sold with no brand name.
    A couple of years back, there was extended discussion about an old flat back octave mandolin that had a label pasted in it made from an old Gibson catalog page or trade magazine ad. Although the instrument was undoubtedly of Chicago or east coast origin and bore no resemblance to any Gibson product, some of our members just insisted that if it had a Gibson label, it must be a Gibson instrument. Sigh . . .

    "There's a sucker born every minute."

    People have been glueing false labels in violins for over 200 years. We don't see as much of it in the mandolin/guitar/banjo world, but it is done.

    A caution to anyone buying a high dollar collectable instrument such as a prewar F-5, Martin guitar,or especially an old Mastertone banjo: Learn to recognize the authenticity of the old instruments. If you have any doubts, have the instrument verified by an established vintage dealer before money changes hands. The potential buyer and the seller will have to work out who absorbs the costs. If a seller is not willing to have an instrument inspected, walk away . . .

  15. #13

    Default Re: Ciani mandolin really a Stradolin?

    We had a discussion on this mandolin a while back and Mike Edgerton posted some photos of one looking at its inside that you may wish to look at:

    https://www.mandolincafe.com/forum/t...olin-Oval-Hole

    I trust it works out as a good buy!

  16. #14
    Mando-Accumulator Jim Garber's Avatar
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    Default Re: Ciani mandolin really a Stradolin?

    The label says nothing about Ciani. There were some mandolins that had Galiano labels with Ciani's name on them. I would guess that Galiano (IIRC a brand of Oscar Schmidt) distributed these bought from the Strad-O-Lin supplier. Nothing unusual here. I think the label is genuine.
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    Default Re: Ciani mandolin really a Stradolin?

    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Garber View Post
    The label says nothing about Ciani. There were some mandolins that had Galiano labels with Ciani's name on them. I would guess that Galiano (IIRC a brand of Oscar Schmidt) distributed these bought from the Strad-O-Lin supplier. Nothing unusual here. I think the label is genuine.
    This may be where the mis-information came from. I didn't even think about the Italians. I don't remember seeing the "A." at the start of those labels but I guess they were there.
    "Bargain instruments are no bargains if you can't play them". These are the words of J. Garber.

  19. #16
    Registered User Cary Fagan's Avatar
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    Default Re: Ciani mandolin really a Stradolin?

    You're right, Jim. I assumed there was part of the label that I wasn't seeing.
    Cary Fagan

  20. #17
    Moderator MikeEdgerton's Avatar
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    Default Re: Ciani mandolin really a Stradolin?

    An interesting thing to note. I've seen Strad-O-Lin genre mandolins labeled with dozens of known brand names, this is the first I've seen with an Oscar Schmidt label. Please make sure you post pictures in the Strad-O-Lin user group when you get it.

    I will also note I am surprised it's just the paper label. Most if not all of the others had the stenciled name painted on the headstock.
    "Bargain instruments are no bargains if you can't play them". These are the words of J. Garber.

  21. #18
    Registered User Cary Fagan's Avatar
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    Default Re: Ciani mandolin really a Stradolin?

    Will do, Mike.
    Cary Fagan

  22. #19
    Registered User Eric Platt's Avatar
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    Default Re: Ciani mandolin really a Stradolin?

    Glad someone here got it. Was very close a number of times to buying it. Looks to my eyes like it's solid top and back at least. Will love to hear your report on it once you get it.

    It's very possible the Galiano label was for a different consortium than just Oscar Schmidt - http://stellaguitars.com/about/stell...yths-factoids/
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  23. #20
    Moderator MikeEdgerton's Avatar
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    Default Re: Ciani mandolin really a Stradolin?

    Galiano was a Schmidt brand name and if Schmidt didn't make the Strad-O-Lins (and I don't think they did) they didn't make this (that would fit the Stella page). I think they played the same game that most of the people selling instruments did, buy whatever you can and brand it one way or the other to fill your orders.
    "Bargain instruments are no bargains if you can't play them". These are the words of J. Garber.

  24. #21

    Default Re: Ciani mandolin really a Stradolin?

    Neil Harpe in his book on Oscar Schmidt instruments describes Galiano as one of the other distributors such as Bruno who sold OS made guitars. He shows an A. Galiano label with the name of Joseph Nettuno as builder and then writes: Nettuno, Cerrito, Ciani and perhaps others shared the Galiano brand name. Some labels identify the maker, others do not."

  25. #22
    Moderator MikeEdgerton's Avatar
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    Default Re: Ciani mandolin really a Stradolin?

    Eric linked to Neil's website in this post. There were at least two different Martin's building and labeling guitars in NYC as well but I'm pretty sure the label in that instrument matches the Schmidt labels and if it doesn't it should fall back to one of the other distributors. The name may have been shared, I doubt the label was.
    "Bargain instruments are no bargains if you can't play them". These are the words of J. Garber.

  26. #23

    Default Re: Ciani mandolin really a Stradolin?

    I think the seller did a search for Galiano and found a Ciani made Galiano and assumed this mandolin was made by Ciani when we all know it's a Strad-O-Lin.
    Here is a Galiano made by Stromberg-Voisinet from Jake Wildwood's museum listings:

    https://jakewildwood.blogspot.com/20...t-galiano.html

    Indeed, here is one with a combined Ciani and Galiano label and the seller just assumed the mandolin was also made by Ciani.

    https://www.invaluable.com/auction-l...6-c-5744d5e8b9
    Last edited by NickR; Sep-13-2020 at 8:55am.

  27. #24
    Moderator MikeEdgerton's Avatar
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    Default Re: Ciani mandolin really a Stradolin?

    Check the link in this post. The fact that this label is in instruments made by different makers probably points to a distribution operation and even though Schmidt built instruments I question if they built everything they sold. They were a money making venture and I think they went wherever they could do that.
    "Bargain instruments are no bargains if you can't play them". These are the words of J. Garber.

  28. #25

    Default Re: Ciani mandolin really a Stradolin?

    Yes, that's interesting. Here's an article about the Galiano that Nick Lucas played when Gibson came calling. Apparently, this Galiano he played was made by Raphael Ciani. A copy has been made which is also shown. I don't know if Nick Lucas kept the original- probably not.

    http://fraulini.com/2020/06/nick-lucas-galiano/

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