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Thread: b & s Barrington mandolin

  1. #1

    Default b & s Barrington mandolin

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ID:	81024We have a mandolin with the only identifying mark being a name plate on the neck of the instrument with b & s barrington on it. We believe it would be from around 1940.
    It is in very good shape (7 out of 8 original strings) and has its original case with only a #21 tagged on it.
    That is about all the information I have and I'm interested in its history.
    Any help would be appreciated

  2. #2
    Registered User pfox14's Avatar
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    Default Re: b & s Barrington mandolin

    Gibson made some instruments using the B&S Barrington brand name. I've only seen some lap steel guitars, so I am not sure if they made any mandolins for this company. The B&S Barrington brand was made for a large UK-based Gibson distributor name Beare & Sons. It could be a Gibson-made mandolin circa late 30s or early 40s.
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  3. #3
    Mando accumulator allenhopkins's Avatar
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    Default Re: b & s Barrington mandolin

    Wow! Fair amount of internet info on Beare & Sons, and J A Beare, the London storefront. Apparently a dealer, not a manufacturer. The connection with Gibson is very interesting. Apparently Beare & Sons also had a branch in Toronto, so there could be North American instruments.

    The mandolin in question looks very Chicago-built, Harmony or Regal, and I doubt it's a Gibson product. Pretty sure it's American-made; the "cloud" tailpiece is quite common on US-made instruments. Can't quite tell from the frontal photo if it's a "canted" top, with a bend below the soundhole, but if so, here's a similar-looking one on Jake Wildwood's site.
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  4. #4
    Registered User pfox14's Avatar
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    Default Re: b & s Barrington mandolin

    The more I look at the photos, the more I'm also convinced it's NOT a Gibson-made mandolin. Sorry, didn't mean to get your hopes up too high.
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  5. #5

    Default Re: b & s Barrington mandolin

    Quote Originally Posted by justcurious View Post
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ID:	81024We have a mandolin with the only identifying mark being a name plate on the neck of the instrument with b & s barrington on it. We believe it would be from around 1940.
    It is in very good shape (7 out of 8 original strings) and has its original case with only a #21 tagged on it.
    That is about all the information I have and I'm interested in its history.
    Any help would be appreciated
    I have a B&S Barrington acoustic.
    Any idea of what it's worth? I have a potential buyer.
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  6. #6

    Default Re: b & s Barrington mandolin

    It appears the guitar was made by R S Williams in Canada. I'm not sure about the mandolin which has more than a passing resemblance to a Regal made instrument. The guitar has had a tailpiece added which suggests there may be problems with the bridge which has been bypassed by the tailpiece.

  7. #7
    Mando accumulator allenhopkins's Avatar
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    Default Re: b & s Barrington mandolin

    Has the nut been raised for "Hawaiian" playing (open tuning, steel bar)? That might imply a raised bridge saddle, which wouldn't comport with a pin bridge, and could lead to adding a tailpiece to allow for the higher string placement.

    Jus' guessing... As to value, assuming NickR is right -- and he generally is -- there are a few R S Williams & Sons guitars on the internet, almost all in Canada. Apparently there was an Ontario luthier named Hensel who built some of them, and asking prices for his products seem substantial. There are also student-level plywood models priced at a couple hundred dollars.
    Allen Hopkins
    Gibsn: '54 F5 3pt F2 A-N Custm K1 m'cello
    Natl Triolian Dobro mando
    Victoria b-back Merrill alumnm b-back
    H-O mandolinetto
    Stradolin Vega banjolin
    Sobell'dola Washburn b-back'dola
    Eastmn: 615'dola 805 m'cello
    Flatiron 3K OM

  8. #8

    Default Re: b & s Barrington mandolin

    The guitar is almost certainly a B & S Master- it is not one of the Hensel Artist guitars R S Williams & Sons sold- which are it seems X-braced. This guitar is a more humble instrument judging by its appearance- the top may be birch which would suggest an all birch guitar.

  9. #9
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    Default Re: b & s Barrington mandolin

    The guitar appears to me to be a budget model with a birch top. Although I do not believe that this instrument was made by Harmony, Harmony made many instruments with similar woods and appointments, and they are not valuable. Its market value is low.

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