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Thread: Can someone please identify/share info on this Mandolin?

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    Post Can someone please identify/share info on this Mandolin?

    Hello friends,

    My first post here so nice to meet everyone.

    I am looking at purchasing a used mandolin in the UK from the following ad: https://www.gumtree.com/p/for-sale/m...utm_source=sms

    The seller lost the brand sticker on the inside, but stated he purchased in Braga, Portugal ~18 years ago.

    Anyone know anything about this instrument? Is it worth it? I play guitar and so can inspect the instrument for any damages… but was hoping to learn more about its origin before making the trip down to view.

    Thanks,
    Danny

  2. #2
    Moderator MikeEdgerton's Avatar
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    Default Re: Can someone please identify/share info on this Mandolin?

    For posterity, the instrument in the ad:
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Click image for larger version. 

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    "It's comparable to playing a cheese slicer."
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    Default Re: Can someone please identify/share info on this Mandolin?

    No idea of the maker but, providing it’s not a dog or it’s falling apart, what else could you get - with a case - for £200? Don’t expect to be able to play bluegrass on it though!

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    Default Re: Can someone please identify/share info on this Mandolin?

    Quote Originally Posted by Ray(T) View Post
    No idea of the maker but, providing it’s not a dog or it’s falling apart, what else could you get - with a case - for £200? Don’t expect to be able to play bluegrass on it though!
    This was kind of my thought—I can check for integrity of the instrument to make sure it doesn’t have any issues too. Guess I was just wondering if anyone could share anything on the region it was made it (Braga, Portugal) or anything else.

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    Default Re: Can someone please identify/share info on this Mandolin?

    You never know, someone might chip in. It’s a very common shape. Apart from the bridge, ornamentation and slotted headstock (best of luck with that!) it’s identical to the Fylde hanging on the wall next to me.

    It also appears to have a radiussed fretboard which suggests that somebody made it to be played and it’s not just a tourist piece.

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    Default Re: Can someone please identify/share info on this Mandolin?

    Quote Originally Posted by Ray(T) View Post
    ... radiussed fretboard ... it’s not just a tourist piece.
    Whoa, good eyes! Also an at-least-fair quality case or maybe better, a good step up from chipboard (cardboard). That should reflect well on the quality of instrument itself.
    Last edited by EdHanrahan; Nov-13-2022 at 2:48pm. Reason: spell
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    Default Re: Can someone please identify/share info on this Mandolin?

    Noticed these two on the same site that appear to be reasonably priced:

    https://www.gumtree.com/p/mandolins/...lin/1445685033
    https://www.gumtree.com/p/mandolins/...lin/1445781694

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    Default Re: Can someone please identify/share info on this Mandolin?

    Both of those are known makes/models and relatively common so you should be able to compare prices.

    I bought a US built Breedlove (I don’t think the one advertised is) in the same auction as I bought the Fylde I mentioned earlier. To be honest, although nicely built, the best way to describe the sound is “quiet and polite”.

    “The Loar” mandolins are an often suggested beginners instruments but I’ve neither played one nor even seen one. A friend of mine plays one of their guitars in preference to his Martin D28 but that’s another story - I ‘ve only just persuaded him to play his Dobro rather than his Pac-Rim Regal!

    Give my regards to Dornoch if you head that way (don’t go to Dornock, it’s almost a day further south) and I can recommend one of my favourits pizzerias in Cromarty if you do.

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    Default Re: Can someone please identify/share info on this Mandolin?

    Quote Originally Posted by Ray(T) View Post
    Both of those are known makes/models and relatively common so you should be able to compare prices.

    I bought a US built Breedlove (I don’t think the one advertised is) in the same auction as I bought the Fylde I mentioned earlier. To be honest, although nicely built, the best way to describe the sound is “quiet and polite”.

    “The Loar” mandolins are an often suggested beginners instruments but I’ve neither played one nor even seen one. A friend of mine plays one of their guitars in preference to his Martin D28 but that’s another story - I ‘ve only just persuaded him to play his Dobro rather than his Pac-Rim Regal!

    Give my regards to Dornoch if you head that way (don’t go to Dornock, it’s almost a day further south) and I can recommend one of my favourits pizzerias in Cromarty if you do.

    The Breedlove appears to have Kim Breedlove signature on the label so possibly Bend built, also has the serial number so should be traceable, seems cheap at that price.

  11. #10

    Default Re: Can someone please identify/share info on this Mandolin?

    Thanks for the tips all.

    Those two do look pretty decent but aren’t quite as convenient to get to as the one in London for me—which was why I was interested in it. I also managed to talk a bit off the price… which made it more attractive still.
    I think the consensus is that it seems good enough to make an hour journey down to check out—worst that can happen is I don’t like it and get back on the tube and go home.
    Thanks for the advice, as my first experience on this forum you all seem like a great bunch!

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    Default Re: Can someone please identify/share info on this Mandolin?

    If London is only an hour away, Dornoch could be a 1000 mile round trip for you!

    Working out the date and exact place of manufacturebof mine was difficult - I think they’re still based in Bend but not made there - but I even managed to work out who built mine with the help of a forum member - https://www.mandolincafe.com/forum/t...ck-Gold”

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    Default Re: Can someone please identify/share info on this Mandolin?

    Do you often find good quality mandos with no label in? It's common with old fiddles, sometimes because the original label on a passable violin says 'Stradivari' and of course it isn't.

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    Default Re: Can someone please identify/share info on this Mandolin?

    Quote Originally Posted by maxr View Post
    Do you often find good quality mandos with no label in? It's common with old fiddles, sometimes because the original label on a passable violin says 'Stradivari' and of course it isn't.
    This comes up all the time: Stradivari is only the shape defined by the guy, not a pathetic attempt to pass off a cheap fiddle as a masterpiece. Same with Stainer; just the shape. The actual maker may or may not add their own name, or sometimes even sign and date, write in a serial number, or not.
    And yes, labels do detach, and also may never have been present, especially because many makers supplied other retailers, even with the better products. Both of my American Conservancy ones (a brand of L&H, but separately labeled), have tiny labels, for some reason faded almost completely over time.

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    Default Re: Can someone please identify/share info on this Mandolin?

    A now deceased fiddler I used to play with had a violin with an ancient “Stradivarius” label. It apparently hailed from circa. 1740.

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    Mando-Accumulator Jim Garber's Avatar
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    Default Re: Can someone please identify/share info on this Mandolin?

    FWIW as far as the OP-mentioned mandolin. APC is a maker in Braga, Portugal : https://apc-instruments.com/index.ph...ry&path=193_63

    Quote Originally Posted by Ray(T) View Post
    A now deceased fiddler I used to play with had a violin with an ancient “Stradivarius” label. It apparently hailed from circa. 1740.
    Circa 1740? Stradivari died in 1737. I think the latest existing violins were from about 1734 or so. I think there is a long history of Stradivari labels in other violins.
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    Default Re: Can someone please identify/share info on this Mandolin?

    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Garber View Post
    FWIW as far as the OP-mentioned mandolin. APC is a maker in Braga, Portugal : https://apc-instruments.com/index.ph...ry&path=193_63



    Circa 1740? Stradivari died in 1737. I think the latest existing violins were from about 1734 or so. I think there is a long history of Stradivari labels in other violins.
    I’m not suggesting that it was anything to do with Strad. just that putting erroneous labels in something isn’t a modern phenomenon. My late friend was at college when he bought it and his then tutor took it to some expert in London to have it assessed. It was thought to be a copy of something or other (not even a Strad.) and built circa that date.

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    Notary Sojac Paul Kotapish's Avatar
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    Default Re: Can someone please identify/share info on this Mandolin?

    Looks very much like a Brazilian bandolim in the style choro players tend to favor. If it plays well and sounds OK, seems like a bargain.
    Just one guy's opinion
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    Mando-Accumulator Jim Garber's Avatar
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    Default Re: Can someone please identify/share info on this Mandolin?

    Quote Originally Posted by Ray(T) View Post
    I’m not suggesting that it was anything to do with Strad. just that putting erroneous labels in something isn’t a modern phenomenon. My late friend was at college when he bought it and his then tutor took it to some expert in London to have it assessed. It was thought to be a copy of something or other (not even a Strad.) and built circa that date.
    I know what you meant and was not saying you thought that it was genuine. I think it is funny that it was dated after his death and yes falsely labeling violins goes back for centuries.
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