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Thread: De Wick - Iucci mandolins

  1. #1
    coprolite mandroid's Avatar
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    I have seen some information on these instruments, Its more a banjo-mando with a resonator back, but the head is wood (spruce?) with cross braces #rather than tensioned membrane of skin or synthetic, still loud, is what #have gathered.
    Anyone actually played one of these rare examples of crossbred mandolin-ness?
    They were featured in Mandolin World News a few? years ago, I managed to find a 3rd hand copy of the patent drawing.
    Loud was one characteristic description,reported.



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    coprolite mandroid's Avatar
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    further addendum item: I see them featured in mandolin world news; issue #3 volume 7 autumn 1983 Pg 20, for those who have bought back issues @ MusiX.
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    Mando-Accumulator Jim Garber's Avatar
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    mandroid:
    Nothing so satisfying like posting to yourself. I subscribed to this thread to see what came up from others. Not too much interest for obscure makers.

    mugwumps.com have both makers:
    Dewick, William H. # Brooklyn, NY # 1895-1925
    Iucci, Michael # New York, NY # c1910-1930

    I don't know if this is the same Iucci tho might be a relative. Marc Silber has an interest in Italian New York instrument makers. Perhaps he has more info.

    I have seen a few instruments by Iucci notably banjos.

    Paul Hostetter has built a tenor guitar based on Iucci design.

    That is all I have, for the moment.

    Jim



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    coprolite mandroid's Avatar
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    Thanks for the Info.
    Replying to ones own post has the advantage of keeping it from drifting off to page 3 unseen.




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    Hi "Mandroid",

    We are looking for any Iucci info we can gather ourselves. We believe that we have a rare Iucci banjo/guitar. Keith Carey helped us indentifiy it. There was at least one other that got converted to a mando that he knows about. We have pictures but need to reduce them to post. I myself am interested in any Iucci mandolins out there, or a good replica. I am looking for someome to build an Octave some day down the road. This guy has built one. http://www.lutherie.net/no_bows.html I will be e-mailing him next. .
    valle

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    Mando-Accumulator Jim Garber's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by (valle @ July 23 2006, 01:44)
    This guy has built one. http://www.lutherie.net/no_bows.html I will be e-mailing him next.
    valle:
    That is Paul Hostetter -- mentioned above.

    Jim
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    Mando-Accumulator Jim Garber's Avatar
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    This is what we are talking about, right?

    Jim
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    Café habitué Paul Hostetter's Avatar
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    I still haven't heard direct from anyone, but here's about all I know. Iucci made a lot of different instruments, mostly gorgeous tenor banjos and some violins, but a number of other things including domras, mandolins, wood-headed tenor banjos, and so on. The first one I ever saw belonged to my pal Allan Dodge of the Cheap Suit Serenaders, it looks just like Jim's photo above, and sounds fantastic. Terry Zwigoff, who's also in the Suits, has a DeWick that's similar and quite good, but not an Iucci. I made a couple of four and five-course copies, plus the (for lack of a better term) octave mandolin here:



    It was a custom item for someone who admired the mandolins I'd made and wanted a similar thing. I didn't think it was a good idea (scale too short for GDAE) but I indulged him anyway. Someday I'll try to get it back and put a longer neck on it! In the meantime, it gets played from time to time. It could work well as-is with standard tenor banjo tuning of CGDA, but the owner doesn't want that tuning. The neck has graphite in it. I built this thing in about 1980 or so.

    The thing about the Iucci is that it has about the volume and penetration of a banjo, but it's really sweet and rich because it's made of wood. The best of both worlds. Far louder than any carved mandolin.

    Here's an Iucci double-topped mandolin:



    Here's one of my early Iucci copies:

    .
    ph

    º º º º º º º º º º º º º º º
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    Café habitué Paul Hostetter's Avatar
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    PS: I am in contact with Michael Iucci's son and grandson.
    .
    ph

    º º º º º º º º º º º º º º º
    Paul Hostetter, luthier
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    Hello Paul Hostetter,

    Those are some beautiful instruments. What is the scale length on the octave. I play an ol' Flat Iron with a 23&3/4" scale length, solid Weber tail piece and arm rest, it produces wonderful warm tone, with hints of sitar like tang on the E string, but little volume. Ideal for me right now. I am just a begining player who likes to not stand out now at Irish sessions. I have one of Keith's Comodiums and it is helping me develope a lite touch with the pick and fret hand. His instruments play like butter on a warm skillet, but every one hears your mistakes if you are not careful. They are loud, yet surprisingly warm for a mostly metal resonator instrument.

    My fiancee and I found what appears to be an Iucci wooden resonator banjo guitar. The volume and mellow tone are what you might expect. This has sparked the desire for an Iucci style mandolin and octave in me. I guess I will e-mail you directly to inquire about building something like this.

    What I would like to ask you about is the the Double Iucci mandolin that you have posted in this site/canversation. How does it work? When we look at it closely it looks like it has an inner and an outer body, and that sound hole seems very small, almost Gypsy Jazz like. Any info would be great.

    I am new to this site. Would it be acceptable to post a couple of non-mando pics, the Iucci guitar? Would you like to be sent some pictures? His inlay is simple but intricate, and there it is again that word, warm.

    Thanks for listening. We are basiclly looking for any info on Micheal Iucci & William de Wick.


    TTFN,

    Valle'
    valle

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    Mando-Accumulator Jim Garber's Avatar
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    For a very eccentric harp guitar by Michael Iucci, check out this page on frets.com.

    A whole bunch of Iucci instruments (mostly banjos and one tenor guitar) on this site.

    Jim



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    Mando-Accumulator Jim Garber's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by (jgarber @ July 24 2006, 09:17)
    For a very eccentric harp guitar by Michael Iucci, check out this page on frets.com.
    I just received the the current issue of Acoustic Guitar magazine and this same Iucci harp guitar is featured in an article written by Tony Marcus. Small world!

    Jim



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    coprolite mandroid's Avatar
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    somewhat related, I rescued a may bell #banjo uke which was reduced to a fretboardless neck and a hoop with a few bits of hardware
    It got fitted with a disc of spruce on top and a mandolin preslotted fretboard, still openback #it has a nice tone and feel with bari uke strings and the soprano treble , for GDAE pitch..
    have a disc [burl maple] to have local guy make a bit of a reflective back on standoff spacers, next.




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    Nobody knows more than George....

    Hey, does <a href="http://cgi.ebay.com/WEYMANN-MODEL-60-TENOR-LUTE-GUITAR-BANJO_W0QQitemZ260012320705QQihZ016QQcategoryZ1189 82QQr


    dZ1QQcmdZViewItem" target="_blank">this</a> look familiar?




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    Mando-Accumulator Jim Garber's Avatar
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    There is also the Paramount Tenor Harp (also seen here.

    Also, here is one built by Raffaele Tieri, a contemporary and co-New Yorker of Iucci to show that ideas do not arise in a vacuum or else stealing was rampant even then. Who was the chicken and who was the egg?

    Jim
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    I seriously doubt that Weymann or Lange built either of those


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    Quote Originally Posted by (DiegoMoon @ July 26 2006, 13:30)
    I seriously doubt that Weymann or Lange built either of those
    Why the doubt?

    We know that Martin built those strange Paramount resonator guitars. I suppose they could easily been built by other makers.

    Jim
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    Default Re: De Wick - Iucci mandolins

    Gennaro Iucci (b. 1855) and his son Michael (b. 1884) had a factory on Broome St. Since some of the links don't work, I thought I'd upload this advertisement of Michael's harp guitar which I found in Emilise Aleandri's book on "Italian American Immigrant Theater."
    They immigrated between 1892 and 1896 so it is possible that Gennaro's designs inspired Michael.

    I sure wish Paul Hostetter was still with us. Paul, I hope you're listening. We miss you!
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    Default Re: De Wick - Iucci mandolins

    Quote Originally Posted by Mandophile View Post
    ...I sure wish Paul Hostetter was still with us. Paul, I hope you're listening. We miss you!
    I'm sure he's busy doing harp setups. I miss him as well.
    "Bargain instruments are no bargains if you can't play them". These are the words of J. Garber.

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    Default Re: De Wick - Iucci mandolins

    FWIW I pass by that address very often.

    Nice to know what was there.

    Old NY is still there just under the surface if you look for it.

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    Mando-Accumulator Jim Garber's Avatar
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    Default Re: De Wick - Iucci mandolins

    Quote Originally Posted by BoxCarJoe View Post
    FWIW I pass by that address very often.

    Nice to know what was there.

    Old NY is still there just under the surface if you look for it.

    Click image for larger version. 

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    I believe that Rudy's Music is withing walking distance of the Iucci ghosts.

    Yes, I, too, miss Paul's observations as well as his music. RIP.
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    Default Re: De Wick - Iucci mandolins

    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Garber View Post
    I believe that Rudy's Music is withing walking distance of the Iucci ghosts.

    Yes, I, too, miss Paul's observations as well as his music. RIP.
    Yeah Rudy's is a short walk from there.
    I haven't been there in a long time. If you can't buy it's no fun.

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    Default Re: De Wick - Iucci mandolins

    Quote Originally Posted by BoxCarJoe View Post
    Yeah Rudy's is a short walk from there.
    I haven't been there in a long time. If you can't buy it's no fun.
    I was there a few weeks ago and had fun and didn’t buy anything. Not too much when I was there mandolinwise. There was this bejeweled A3 that belonged to Butch Baldassari and a 1940s ( I think) Gibson F-5 that I played for maybe 20 minutes. I also had a nice conversation with a guy from Colombia about their music and also with Gordon who heads the acoustic department and is very knowledgeable.
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