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Thread: Globe musical instrument company

  1. #1
    Professional History Nerd John Zimm's Avatar
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    Hi all,

    I was just looking at the website for a local music company and saw a listing for a bowlback made by the "Globe Musical Instrument Company, New York." Here is the complete listing:

    The Globe Neapolitan Style Mandolin c.1900 Labelled "Globe Musical Instrument Company, New York" and stamped "The Globe" on back of peghead. 15 rosewood ribs, spruce top, inset pickguard inlaid with celluloid vine, dyed pearwood fretboard with dot inlays. Cosmetically and structurally excellent, action is slightly higher than ideal. $175

    I am just wondering if anyone knows anything about this company and if they made crummy instruments or decent ones. I appreciate any information.

    -John.
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    Mando-Accumulator Jim Garber's Avatar
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    The world of American bowlbacks is very circuitous, esp in the New York area. I am not sure who made what for whom, which companies were merely distributors and which actually made instruments.

    According to Mike Holmes' Mugwumps site, Globe (NY) was a brand neam used by Meisel, who, I think, was a distributor. The one you mention above sounds like a low-end instrument with few ribs and dyed pearwood fretboard.

    i have a couple of higher-end Globes in my files but they do resemble other makers, which makes me think the statement above is accurate.

    Jim
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    "The one you mention above sounds like a low-end instrument with few ribs"

    Do all high end bowlbacks have a high number of ribs?
    What does the higher number contribute to the quality?

    thanks
    Bill Foley

  4. #4
    Mando-Accumulator Jim Garber's Avatar
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    Higher number does not necessarily make a better instrument just that more time a care was put into it. Same for craftsmanship. Fluting on the backs is very time-intensive and only reserved for the top-of-the-line instruments. High quality woods like ebony instead of dyed pearwood would be another indication.

    In the non-bowlback world, this is the same idea; maybe the scroll would be the equivalent to multiple ribs.

    Jim
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  5. #5
    Professional History Nerd John Zimm's Avatar
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    Thanks for the info. I appreciate it.
    Ah! must --
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    Ah! must thou char the wood 'ere thou canst limn with it ?
    --Francis Thompson

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    Registered User Plamen Ivanov's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by (jgarber @ Nov. 29 2006, 15:40)
    Higher number does not necessarily make a better instrument just that more time a care was put into it. Same for craftsmanship. Fluting on the backs is very time-intensive and only reserved for the top-of-the-line instruments. High quality woods like ebony instead of dyed pearwood would be another indication.
    Jim, do you mean ebony for the bowl?!

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    Registered User Martin Jonas's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by (plami @ Nov. 30 2006, 10:41)
    Jim, do you mean ebony for the bowl?!
    Fretboard and bridge, I would think.

    Incidentally, "Globe" are not to be confused with the Neapolitan maker "Il Globo", although the two may well occupy a similarly modest place in the grand hierarchy of bowlbacks.

    Martin

  8. #8
    Registered User Plamen Ivanov's Avatar
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    Yes, Martin, I would think the same. Never heard about bowl made of ebony. It`s almost impossible to bend a piece of ebony. And i`m not sure about the "musical" characteristics of it.




  9. #9

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    There have been some high-end 17th- and 18th- c. instruments, including ribbed guitars, with at least partially ebony bowls. Also, quirky luthier Bernie Lehmann has built modern steel-string guitars inspired by baroque aesthetics with ribbed and bowled ebony bakcs. They're weird...and heavy.

  10. #10
    Mando-Accumulator Jim Garber's Avatar
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    I was referring to the description above of the fretboard made of dyed pearwood. I think it is possible to make a bowl out of ebony tho not really practical. I saw many years ago a Martin guitar with back and sides of macassar ebony, tho I think that that was differrent wood than the kind used for fertboards. It was a great sounding guitar BTW. Like rosewood and then some.

    Jim
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  11. #11
    Registered User Plamen Ivanov's Avatar
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    Yes, seems to be rather an exotic exception.




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