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Thread: Can anyone help with this please?

  1. #1
    Rich UK
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    Default Can anyone help with this please?

    Hello all

    I've just been given very nice mandolin, and being primarily a guitar player/restorer, my knowledge of these instruments is practically nil. There are no makers marks anywhere on the instument.
    From my basic research, I believe this is called an 'A' style? The bout is 12" wide, the depth about 41/2". The top is from 3 pieces, and the back from 7 pieces. The binding is of 4 bands, in good condition apart from a slight pulling away at the tightest curve near the neck join. There are the starts of a crack in each of the centre to outer panels on the front over the bridge area. The back panels are fine. The finish has tiny crazing all over, including the head. All 17 frets are in good order and are nickel silver. It has no strings as yet. The tuners appear to be quite new replacements, as is the tailpiece. The front decoration is of a butterfly on a flower stem. The soundhole is unusual, (to me)

    If anyone has any idea where this may have been built, or by whom, I would be pleased to know.

    I have an urge to restore/refinish it in, possibly, a French Polish. From the crazing, it appears to have been finished with a cellulose varnish?

    Thank you for any interest,
    Best wishes to all
    Richard

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  2. #2
    Mando-Accumulator Jim Garber's Avatar
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    Default Re: Can anyone help with this please?

    Off the top of my head I would guess this is an eastern European mandolin, possibly made in Romania, possibly by Hora which has been in business since 1951. I would say it might have been made in the 1950s or 1960s and is usually called a Portuguese-style mandolin. The tailpiece and possibly the tuners look newer.
    Jim

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  3. #3
    Innocent Bystander JeffD's Avatar
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    Default Re: Can anyone help with this please?

    From the picture it appears the top is, or originally was, one piece.
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  4. #4
    Rich UK
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    Default Re: Can anyone help with this please?

    Hi Jim
    Thank you for your reply to my message . I appreciate you taking the time to reply. I have been scouring the net for info and learning a couple of things. One is that, as my instrument has a 16" scale, I should call it a mandola! Also, calling up images of the mandolin classes of instrument, the most alike I have discovered are indeed, the Hora productions, and that the style is Portuguese . This is now settled in my mind, and I am happy with that .

    I have listened to your posts on Soundcloud, and I like your songs a lot. As an old guitar player (77), who has been through the mill of genres from rock to jazz, I find that I am searching for more and more music to stimulate me differently. Now, being the proud new owner of an instrument which is so new to me, I want very much to incorporate it into my projects. I shall endeavour to keep you, should you wish, informed of my progress in it's restoration, and results of this.

    When I figure out how to purchase your music from SoundCloud, I shall be very pleased to add it to my collection, and draw inspiration from it.

    My very best wishes to you
    Richard

  5. #5
    Rich UK
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    Default Re: Can anyone help with this please?

    Hi Jeff
    Thank you for your comment . I take your point, but from looking at the top from the end, the rise is apparent, and the struts are solid beneath. I think it's meant to be slightly curved and that here are three pieces making up the top. But, I could be wrong

    It's good to hear from you, and I wish you continue a safe and happy life
    Richard

  6. #6
    Registered User John Kelly's Avatar
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    Default Re: Can anyone help with this please?

    Richard, I tend to agree with Jeff here re the soundboard. The three pieces seem not to be aligned symetrically in relation to the fingerboard, but it is hard to tell from a photo, and since the braces are not loose from what you say, even if it is a repaired top it should be stable.. I have seen a few mandolins with this design and the curved back and they can have a rather good sound.

    Good luck with it and maybe keep us informed of your progress.
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