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Thread: Il Globo mandolin

  1. #1

    Default Il Globo mandolin

    I would like any information about my mandolin. It is an Il Globo flat back mandolin photo attached. I bought it off an old lady in Oxford in1968 for about 2 or 3 pounds. It had been in her attic and was damaged but it was playable. I have since had it repaired and it plays with good tone and good volume especially on the D and A strings. Someone told me it was made 100 years ago probably in Italy but possibly in New York by Italians who emigrated there.

    The label is partly torn. It says Il Glo....and underneath Fabbricato....

    Also it has a half inch hole in each side opposite the bridge. Someone suggested it may have had a pick up inserted.

    From what I have read on the internet Il Globo mandolins are usually bowl back. I have found no reference to a flat back.

    If anyone can tell me anything about it I would be very interested to hear from them.
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  2. #2
    Registered User Cobalt's Avatar
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    Default Re: Il Globo mandolin

    Do you have any photos showing the back please? The name to me conjured up Italian-made bowl-back definitely. A recently-sold bowl-back example:
    https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/Beautiful...-/303714664165

  3. #3
    Mando-Accumulator Jim Garber's Avatar
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    Default Re: Il Globo mandolin

    I have some jpegs in my files of one similar flatback that resembles yours. The seller said (back in 2008) that it was made in Italy. I have quite a few bowlbacks also in my files but those resemble the eBay one that Cobalt posted. I have a feeling that Il Globo might have been another Italian-made mandolin that was imported in large numbers by UK retailers. One of the ones in my files was imported by John Alvey Turner music store.
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    Jim

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  4. #4

    Default Re: Il Globo mandolin

    Thank you Jim Garber for sending me photos of the mandolin that looks exactly like mine. It even has the holes in the sides. Mine also has two small holes just below the bridge but your picture shows a small bar which is missing from mine. What exactly is this small bar? It looks like a mute. Any ideas?

    I am not sure if you own the mandolin or just have photos of it. It may well have been imported by John Alvey Turner but would they have imported it as a new instrument or as an old second hand one?

  5. #5

    Default Re: Il Globo mandolin

    Very few mandolins were made in the UK, so they were imported from Germany and Italy in the main but also from France and the USA in much smaller numbers, and also other countries- such as what is today, the Czech Republic. Some of these imports have labels that mention the British dealer while many just have the maker's label and no mention of who imported the instrument. I have an Arthur Windsor of Birmingham mandolin- with a Windsor label inside from just before WW1 and it was made in Saxony, Germany. Windsor made banjos but sold other stringed instruments under the Windsor name which were in the main, imports. One of their advertisements states the mandolin is British made but that may mean assembled or part made in Britain, as central Europe had the wood and the skills to make instruments on a large scale at competitive prices- bearing in mind that the pound sterling rode high in those days. My luthier has told me that one British arched carved top (and back) guitar brand of some note had the carved aspects made in Germany!

  6. #6
    Mando-Accumulator Jim Garber's Avatar
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    Default Re: Il Globo mandolin

    Quote Originally Posted by Renforth45 View Post
    Thank you Jim Garber for sending me photos of the mandolin that looks exactly like mine. It even has the holes in the sides. Mine also has two small holes just below the bridge but your picture shows a small bar which is missing from mine. What exactly is this small bar? It looks like a mute. Any ideas?

    I am not sure if you own the mandolin or just have photos of it. It may well have been imported by John Alvey Turner but would they have imported it as a new instrument or as an old second hand one?
    I don't own that flatback or any of the other bowlbacks. I collect jpegs for reference.

    That bar behind the bridge is to stop harmonic vibrations from the section of the strings between the tailpiece and the bridge. Most likely the bowlback with the Turner reference was imported to be sold new at the JAT store, I would guess. Another brand of Italian bowlback mandolins from the same period are DeMeglio's and most have the importer label—rare that you find them in Italy.
    Jim

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  7. #7
    Mando accumulator allenhopkins's Avatar
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    Default Re: Il Globo mandolin

    More than a half-dozen Il Globo mandolins currently listed on the internet, almost all bowl-backs and almost all in the UK (although one from British Columbia where the seller's asking $1.1K for it...!). The labels are all "Mandolino/Il Globo/Fabbricato in Italia" with no further info. Not overly helpful.

    I'd concur with NickR that they were made in Italy for export to England, and as with many "trade" level instruments we've seen, the UK importer didn't care to ID themselves. The flat-back seems to be an unusual model.
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  8. #8
    Registered User bennyb's Avatar
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    Default Re: Il Globo mandolin

    Mandolinluthier(Dave Hynds) just notes them as large Italian exporter, as is surmised above.

  9. #9

    Default Re: Il Globo mandolin

    Thank you all for telling me about Il Globo mandolins. Mine could well have been imported by John Alvey Turner. I was told by a mandolin collector that it was made early in the 20th century and as JAT started in London in 1885 it could well be that age.

    I am always impressed by the detailed knowledge some of you have and also by the list of quality mandolins that some of you own. My list is less impressive being a list of one. However I have played it for over 50 years and during that time tried out others in shops and belonging to friends. I very seldom find one that I would swap mine for.

    Peter Scarr
    Il Globo flat back

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  11. #10
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    Default Re: Il Globo mandolin

    To me sticking with one mandolin for 50 years is more impressive than accumulating 50 mandolins in one year.
    I've played for just over a year now and have already got a bunch of mandos (well not 50, thank God )

    So you are truly an ascetic. Kudos!
    Eastman MD-315, Eastman MDO-305, Kentucky KM-150, Calace 1917, German concert bowlback, Johnson resonator mando

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