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Thread: WT&B New York? Does anyone know of this maker?

  1. #1

    Default WT&B New York? Does anyone know of this maker?

    I have a vintage bowl type mandolin with a label on the inside reading, "Carmencita Mandolin, W.T. & B. New York.
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  2. #2
    Mando-Accumulator Jim Garber's Avatar
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    Default Re: WT&B New York? Does anyone know of this maker?

    I am not home with my reference works, but I would make a guess at William Tonk & Brothers. I have a couple of catalogs at home, one from 1902 (I think) and one from later. I think i recall that Carmencita model. It looks rather plain, factory made. Possibly, decent sound tho. Usual caveat, extra light strings.
    Jim

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    Full Grown and Cussin' brunello97's Avatar
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    Default Re: WT&B New York? Does anyone know of this maker?

    This is an interesting discussion. Was William Tonk related to the (eventual) Tonk Bros. who consolidated various Chicago brands in the '20s? I have found some references to W Tonk and a piano making company in NYC that was involved with other instruments (sales and/or manufacture.) This fellow, Peter Adams, has what appears to be an amazing collection of old catalogs:

    http://peterhadams.com/T%20titles.htm

    The W Tonk catalogs go back to the early 1890s, around the time of references to the founding of Tonk Bros. by one Charles Tonk.

    I have an "Edwin" mandolin in my files with the note "Edwin WTB, NY-Chicago. This reference from the Adams site looks tantalizing:

    Tonk, William & Bro. The "Edwin" album of Celebrities using and endorsing The "Edwin" Guitars and Mandolins. NY, NY: William Tonk & Bro; 1894, [32 p.] Strings: plucked. Page content alternates between illustration of actresses and players with testimonials, with illustrations of instruments ML155.T65

    Looks like a lot of material is out there. Maybe Jim or others has some more to post.

    Mick
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