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Thread: Old British mandolin quartet

  1. #1
    Martin Stillion mrmando's Avatar
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    Default Old British mandolin quartet

    Check this out, from eBay:

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    This is the Frederick Winslow Quartette from 1912. Looks like they have, among other things, a matched set of instruments. They look Larson Bros.-ish, but I'm wondering if they're actually British made. Or perhaps from elsewhere in Europe.

    The mandocello is huge! I dig the cradle that the player has rigged up to hold it.
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    Default Re: Old British mandolin quartet

    They look like they were made by JE Dallas, a company based in London. One of the Hobgoblin shops had a trio of Dallas mandolin, mandocello and mandobass up for sale for a while.

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    Patrick

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  4. #3
    Martin Stillion mrmando's Avatar
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    Default Re: Old British mandolin quartet

    The headstock is a match! I think we might have a winner.
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    Full Grown and Cussin' brunello97's Avatar
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    Default Re: Old British mandolin quartet

    Here is a John Dallas mandolin I have in my files. I enjoy the rotated oval soundhole. Not convinced that Dallas was the builder or perhaps the importer. Very curious construction details on this makes that unclear. I'd like to find out more.

    Mick
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    Mando-Accumulator Jim Garber's Avatar
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    Default Re: Old British mandolin quartet

    Here is a head on shot of the mandobass/mandolone and mandocello.
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  8. #6

    Default Re: Old British mandolin quartet

    Here is one of his mandolins on ebay. I don't know where it was made- could be German but it may have been made in the UK. interesting tuners- look like koala bears- at the ends!

    https://www.ebay.com/itm/Antique-Man...IAAOSwIo1c3blx

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    Default Re: Old British mandolin quartet

    There is a thread on Dallas mando instruments herehttp://https://www.mandolincafe.com/...Family-Reunion
    Graham McDonald's book on mandolin history provides some coverage of the early 20th century English builders such as Dallas and Winslow. I supplied most of the photos in that section of his book.
    Anglocelt
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  10. #8
    Martin Stillion mrmando's Avatar
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    Default Re: Old British mandolin quartet

    Cool! So we know Winslow was a luthier/repair tech as well as a musician. The label upon a label upon a label does raise questions about the mandolin's origin. I've seen one of those triangular tailpieces before; might have been on a Dallas mandolin. Interesting that it has a U.S. patent stamp.

    With a later date than the group photo, this mandolin likely isn't one of the ones depicted in that photo, and its former owner doesn't look like any of the group members.

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    Emando.com: More than you wanted to know about electric mandolins.

    Notorious: My Celtic CD--listen & buy!

    Donaldson Wood Thormahlen Andersen Old Wave Bacorn Yanuziello Fender National Gibson Franke Fuchs Aceto Three Hungry Pit Bulls

  11. #9

    Default Re: Old British mandolin quartet

    I cannot reach that link, I am afraid. The mandolin in that ebay auction has a number of labels and I assume it was modified by Frederick Winslow- it would be interesting to know what the other labels state.

  12. #10
    Mando-Accumulator Jim Garber's Avatar
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    Default Re: Old British mandolin quartet

    This Dallas mandolin sold in 2012 has both a Dallas label and a Winslow label with "adjusted by" written in. I guess Winslow was the Dallas' equivalent of Loar-like acoustic engineer. He had some eccentric ideas including the super-complicated overlapped stringing (see attached US patent). This also would have been in the 1920s though the design of the basic "unadjusted" mandolin looks like it dated back to around 1911. I guess the proper stringing of that eBay mandolin above would be like this one. Yikes! Imagine what it was like to break a string.
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  14. #11

    Default Re: Old British mandolin quartet

    Those tuners are "worm over gear" which suggests they are from 1927- not earlier as they would have had the worms under the gear and I assume they are not later replacement items. I have no idea where those tuners are from- be they made in the UK or Germany. The fact is, Germany was the most obvious place to buy tuners.I have a feeling that the part of the word you can see under the label may be "SPECIALIST" and it might be another of his labels.

  15. #12
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    Default Re: Old British mandolin quartet

    Quote Originally Posted by brunello97 View Post
    Here is a John Dallas mandolin I have in my files. I enjoy the rotated oval soundhole. Not convinced that Dallas was the builder or perhaps the importer. Very curious construction details on this makes that unclear. I'd like to find out more.

    Mick
    That is one I bought off eBay. Definitely a Dallas, London, build about 1914. Still awaiting restoration, unfortunately.

    Kevin
    Anglocelt
    mainly Irish & Scottish but open to all dance-oriented melodic music.
    Mandos: Gibson A2, Mike Black A4, Taran Springwell, Shippey Rosewood; TM and OM by J E Dallas (London) & Davidson.

  16. #13
    Mando-Accumulator Jim Garber's Avatar
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    Default Re: Old British mandolin quartet

    Quote Originally Posted by NickR View Post
    Here is one of his mandolins on ebay. I don't know where it was made- could be German but it may have been made in the UK. interesting tuners- look like koala bears- at the ends!

    https://www.ebay.com/itm/Antique-Man...IAAOSwIo1c3blx
    What is especially interesting about that one is that it has some characteristics of Napoli-made DeMeglio mandolins incuding the dash-dot-dash side ports and the tulipwood binding. Demeglio mandolins were often imported into the UK back in the early part of the last century.

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    Jim

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  17. #14

    Default Re: Old British mandolin quartet

    My 1890s Vinaccia has tulipwood binding. You may be right that this is another Naples made instrument. I don't think it is from the UK or central Europe.

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