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Thread: Unknown Mandolin

  1. #1

    Default Unknown Mandolin

    I just obtained this mandolin that was my fathers before he passed away. there is no name on the mandolin regarding who built it. I cannot see anything in the "F" holes to identify it either. the inlay art work is very unique, outer space scenes, comets, planets, ect. Just wondering if anyone might guess at a builder?
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  3. #2
    Registered User Dave Hicks's Avatar
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    Default Re: Unknown Mandolin

    I have not the slightest idea who made it, but wow, that's great!

    D.H.

  4. #3

    Default Re: Unknown Mandolin

    Plays nice too!

  5. #4
    Registered User Sue Rieter's Avatar
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    Default Re: Unknown Mandolin

    That's amazingly cool!

  6. #5
    Registered User William Smith's Avatar
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    Default Re: Unknown Mandolin

    Looks very KOOL! Love all the pearl work!

  7. #6

    Default Re: Unknown Mandolin

    It is cool. I just wish I knew who the maker was.

  8. #7
    Mando-Accumulator Jim Garber's Avatar
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    Default Re: Unknown Mandolin

    I believe that this may be one of the Vietnam-Taiwan makers, possibly Antonio Tsai, who used to call himself inlaidartist on eBay. Take a look at this mandolin. Different inlay but the scroll, pickguard and headstock is similar in shape. And here is a video of instruments made by him including one with inlays of a similar space theme (scroll to about 24 seconds in):



    Here's a screen shot:
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    Jim

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  10. #8

    Default Re: Unknown Mandolin

    Jim, thank you so much. I am going to research this some more but the telling two shots in the video make me feel confident that Antonio Tsai is the builder. the screen shot is way to close to my mandolin to be conincedence. But the other telling thing is in the video at the 22 second mark there is a brass string holder on the mandolin that is exactly the one on mine, but I have changed it out as well as the tuning keys. Thank you again. Any idea what the worth of these mando's would be?

  11. #9
    Moderator MikeEdgerton's Avatar
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    Default Re: Unknown Mandolin

    Quote Originally Posted by rockallen View Post
    ... Any idea what the worth of these mando's would be?
    Not as much as one might hope. They are still selling them, some with more some with less bling. Checking the Sold listings on eBay shows a few that get close to $500.00 new. Yours might have sold new for a little more.

    https://www.ebay.com/sch/i.html?_fro...tsai&_osacat=0
    "Bargain instruments are no bargains if you can't play them". These are the words of J. Garber.

  12. #10

    Default Re: Unknown Mandolin

    It is very playable.. I intend to keep it and play it.

  13. #11
    Moderator MikeEdgerton's Avatar
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    Default Re: Unknown Mandolin

    The real value in this instrument is in who owned before you. Enjoy it.
    "Bargain instruments are no bargains if you can't play them". These are the words of J. Garber.

  14. #12
    Confused... or?
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    Default Re: Unknown Mandolin

    Unfortunately, the inherent quality of his instruments can be marginal at best; over the years, many here have documented their issues. About 10 years ago, I got to see a beautiful "F-style" guitar have to be retired mid-concert. Probably one of these two:
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    - Ed

    "Then one day we weren't as young as before
    Our mistakes weren't quite so easy to undo
    But by all those roads, my friend, we've travelled down
    I'm a better man for just the knowin' of you."
    - Ian Tyson

  15. #13
    Mando-Accumulator Jim Garber's Avatar
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    Default Re: Unknown Mandolin

    I believe many of these Taiwan/Vietnamese mandolins were not well made a number of years ago. I played a rather terrible mandola by Tsai a number of years ago, I hope these have gotten better over time but I would not think they are worth much in the market these days. Play it and enjoy it.
    Jim

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