Results 1 to 6 of 6

Thread: Raffaele Calace? Knock off? Questionable label.

  1. #1

    Question Raffaele Calace? Knock off? Questionable label.

    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	Grandpa's Mandolin.jpg 
Views:	103 
Size:	903.4 KB 
ID:	201657

    This was my grandfather's mandolin. I've had it for a long time as a decorative piece, but I was thinking about fixing it up and learning to play it. A Reddit user helped me identify it as a possible Raffaele Calace instrument. It looks exactly like the one pictured on this Bromptons site.

    But, the label doesn't seem to match anything I've found online. I've learned that there were Asian knock offs of these old instruments. The date on the far right stamp is 1924. Thoughts?

  2. The following members say thank you to Wendy D for this post:


  3. #2
    Registered User Bruce Clausen's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Location
    Vancouver Island
    Posts
    1,460

    Default Re: Raffaele Calace? Knock off? Questionable label.

    Hi, Wendy, and welcome to the cafe! I think it's great that you have your granddad's mandolin, and are thinking of learning to play it. (Speaking as another grandfather.) But yes, your label does look a bit dubious. A search for "best quality mandrin factory" turns up only mandarin (fruit) businesses. Not likely a real Calace, but could still be a decent instrument.

    First question for you might be, do you remember ever hearing it played? If your grandfather was a serious player, enjoyed it, and made it sound good, then it's worthwhile looking into getting it working again.

    If you let us know where in the world you live, there may be members here who could suggest a repair person near you that you could should the mandolin to, to get some idea of what it needs and what the process might cost. Good luck!

  4. The following members say thank you to Bruce Clausen for this post:


  5. #3
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Sep 2002
    Location
    Maryland
    Posts
    2,773

    Default Re: Raffaele Calace? Knock off? Questionable label.

    It looks like an Oriental, most likely Japanese, knockoff of a Calace instrument. The date corresponds to Calace's tour of Japan in 1924-5. The appearance supports the date.

    Buy a set of (extra light!) strings and give it a try. I don't know your location, but you might want to have it looked at before you string it up to full tension, if there's anyone in your area who is knowledgeable about these instruments. The neck joint is the usual point of failure, but not the only possible problem area.

  6. The following members say thank you to Bob A for this post:


  7. #4

    Default Re: Raffaele Calace? Knock off? Questionable label.

    100 % Japanese. They even spelt mandolin with R, this is how it pronounced in Japanese.

  8. The Following 2 Users Say Thank You to vic-victor For This Useful Post:


  9. #5

    Default Re: Raffaele Calace? Knock off? Questionable label.

    A particularly graceful design, and overall has the configuration of a better quality item. Really like the armrest/string cover. Combination of this with the pretty amusing label elements (the simulated expo award medals) is fun. Hope you get it running and enjoy it.

  10. #6
    Full Grown and Cussin' brunello97's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Location
    Ann Arbor/Austin
    Posts
    5,948

    Default Re: Raffaele Calace? Knock off? Questionable label.

    Quote Originally Posted by vic-victor View Post
    100 % Japanese. They even spelt mandolin with R, this is how it pronounced in Japanese.
    So many of the Japanese label bowls I have seen from recent ('60s-present) have been Calace inspired, so it must have started somewhere and, Wendy, your grandfather's mandolin might be at the start of that.

    I agree that it appears quite elegant and well made.

    Of course, I'm always pressing for more photos, so if you have a chance to do so, please document it as copiously as your time allows.

    I had a Calace inspired Suzuki mandolin for awhile and it was anything but elegant in its construction.
    It was built like a supertanker with a thicker coat of finish than a bar countertop.
    The neck was like a Louisville Slugger baseball bat.
    It sounded as if I had cotton in my ears.

    Yours, however......suggests something altogether different. The 1924 date would be quite early and bodes well for a higher quality, not inherently to be considered a "knockoff" but hopefully a "copy".

    I'm very excited to learn more about the instrument.

    Do you know how your grandfather came in possession of it?

    Thanks for posting!

    Mick
    Ever tried, ever failed? No matter. Try again, fail again. Fail better.--Samuel Beckett
    ______________________

    '05 Cuisinart Toaster
    '93 Chuck Taylor lowtops
    '12 Stetson Open Road
    '06 Bialetti expresso maker
    '14 Irish Linen Ramon Puig

  11. The following members say thank you to brunello97 for this post:


Tags for this Thread

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •