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Thread: Any guesses on this SGW bowlback?

  1. #1
    Martin Stillion mrmando's Avatar
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    Default Any guesses on this SGW bowlback?

    https://shopgoodwill.com/item/164673677

    I don't buy the "Italian" claim. This is as American as the day is long. It has a cloud tailpiece and someone's stuck an adjustable bridge on it. But it has many, many ribs and a tasteful amount of bling, so it was some American company's idea of an upper-end mandolin. Ideas?
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  3. #2
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    Default Re: Any guesses on this SGW bowlback?

    Martin used engraved cloud tailpieces and covered tuners on a lot of their upper-end bowl backs. But I wouldn't automatically call it a Martin.

  4. #3

    Default Re: Any guesses on this SGW bowlback?

    It has a Lyon & Healy look about it- especially the headstock.

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  6. #4

    Default Re: Any guesses on this SGW bowlback?

    Well now that we’ve alerted everyone…. definitely the high end of someone’s line, and appears very well preserved too. If I didn’t already have too many it would be a centerpiece, and maybe even playable. The fire-themed case liner is something of a collectible too - I’d preserve that.
    In that it’s on SGW, there’s even a chance there’s a readable label inside. They mostly don’t know to look.

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  8. #5

    Default Re: Any guesses on this SGW bowlback?

    It looks a lot like an 1896 Style 160 Washburn- headstock shape and 34 ribs and no fingerboard extension. I imagine it may be a mandolin based on that spec but for a dealer which may be why there is no label mentioned.

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  10. #6
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    Default Re: Any guesses on this SGW bowlback?

    Quote Originally Posted by NickR View Post
    It looks a lot like an 1896 Style 160 Washburn- headstock shape and 34 ribs and no fingerboard extension. I imagine it may be a mandolin based on that spec but for a dealer which may be why there is no label mentioned.
    That happened often in that era. My first mandolin was a Lyon & Healy bowlback made for Carl Fischer

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  12. #7
    Full Grown and Cussin' brunello97's Avatar
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    Default Re: Any guesses on this SGW bowlback?

    Quote Originally Posted by NickR View Post
    It looks a lot like an 1896 Style 160 Washburn- headstock shape and 34 ribs and no fingerboard extension. I imagine it may be a mandolin based on that spec but for a dealer which may be why there is no label mentioned.
    I second Nick's L+H provenance.

    The mandolin may not be from Italy, but I've been to some good Italian restaurants in Chicago.


    I'm typically willing to give the SGW folks a lot of slack when it comes to their ads. Their situation is far different than someone selling on ebay or the inflated purple prose of a famed Staten Island mandolin shop.

    The bowl looks a lot like the L+H j-a-t of making one stave look like two or three by inlaying a spacer strip within the stave itself.

    I suppose other folks pulled the same gimmick off, but when it's advertised in a catalog as "34 staves!" with the presumption that "more staves = higher quality" it is mas que muy sketchioso.


    All that said, it looks like a pretty nice mandolin, the gawky bridge notwithstanding.


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  14. #8

    Default Re: Any guesses on this SGW bowlback?

    But then there's the poor kid who had to give up his Wagon Train pajamas to reline the case“
    Not Dalmatians and a fire wagon?

    From number of bids so far, guess it will snipe up for……way much.

  15. #9

    Default Re: Any guesses on this SGW bowlback?

    I was wrong - no snipe war and went for about $190. That seems to be a reasonable (thrift store) price for even a fancy, well-preserved bowl back these days. An affordable species for both players and collectors.

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