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Thread: Help with identifying old bowlback mandolin

  1. #26
    Mando-Accumulator Jim Garber's Avatar
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    Default Re: Help with identifying old bowlback mandolin

    Quote Originally Posted by brunello97 View Post
    Allen...these ribs look like mahogany and rosewood to my eye, and not the maple alternative that is often seen on '90s L+H bowls.
    Jim seems to imply this is pretty common, but I haven't seen it so often myself, at least compared to the maple / rosewood combination.
    Just for the record, your honor, I didn't say that mahogany/maple was common only that "zebra" woods—meaning using two alternating woods—were.
    Jim

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  2. #27
    Full Grown and Cussin' brunello97's Avatar
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    Default Re: Help with identifying old bowlback mandolin

    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Garber View Post
    Just for the record, your honor, I didn't say that mahogany/maple was common only that "zebra" woodsómeaning using two alternating woodsówere.
    Check. They did have their day in the proverbial Mandolin Serengeti.

    I much prefer your 'zebra' locution to the appalling 'tater bug'.

    I recall sometime back that there was a reference to a US bowl using walnut as one of the contrasting rib materials.

    I've become particularly smitten by juglans nigra since my time in the great woody north.

    Mick
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  3. #28
    Mando accumulator allenhopkins's Avatar
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    Default Re: Help with identifying old bowlback mandolin

    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Garber View Post
    Just for the record, your honor, I didn't say that mahogany/maple was common only that "zebra" woods—meaning using two alternating woods—were.
    Yeah, my 1890's Washburn bowl-back mandola is alternating maple and rosewood. Don't think I've seen post-1920 bowl-backs with alternating woods, but of course my "research" is limited to whatever I happen to stumble across. Have seen mid-European "boat-backs" of later vintage with alternating wood staves.
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  4. #29
    Registered User mandoblues's Avatar
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    Default Re: Help with identifying old bowlback mandolin

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    Hi All I was gifted this beauty and am looking to possibly identify the year and maker, there is no label in the inside or S/N. Any help will be truly appreciated!
    1990 Sigma Dreadnought
    1970 Aria Dreadnought Japan made
    2012 Braund F-5 #5 made by Terry Braund - Corona,CA
    2013 Kala Tenor Ukulele

  5. #30
    Full Grown and Cussin' brunello97's Avatar
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    Default Re: Help with identifying old bowlback mandolin

    I'm going to go out on a limb...but not very far.

    I'll project that this is certainly US made, but likely from one of the East Coast builders and likely shows the handcraft of Italian or Italian-Americans in the shop....the soundhole detail and "Sienese" two-tone top edge banding suggest to me someone familiar with those very Italian characteristics of mandolins from this era. The exaggerated "open book" headstock shows an unadulterated Vinaccia influence as well.

    Maybe from the Oscar Schmidt / Mid-Atlantic Rim orbit of makers.

    We've seen that abalone encrusted fretboard often enough from Chicago folks, but this doesn't have a Chicago vibe to me.
    For whatever going with a vibe is worth.

    Best I've got right now...

    Mick
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  6. #31
    Registered User mandoblues's Avatar
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    Default Re: Help with identifying old bowlback mandolin

    Thank you Mick, very much appreciated!!!
    1990 Sigma Dreadnought
    1970 Aria Dreadnought Japan made
    2012 Braund F-5 #5 made by Terry Braund - Corona,CA
    2013 Kala Tenor Ukulele

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