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Thread: Historical mandolins and cultural preferences

  1. #301

    Default Re: Historical mandolins and cultural preferences

    Yes it is, Graham. Have you visited it in person?

  2. #302
    Mandolin tragic Graham McDonald's Avatar
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    Default Re: Historical mandolins and cultural preferences

    I spent a couple of days in the old warehouse that the Stearns collection was housed in back in 2012 or2013 and photographed and measured pretty well all the mandolin family instruments there. From memory the collection has been moved to a more suitable repository, but the last I heard it was not very accessible to the public. I couldn't work out what this was for a few years until I realised that it was likely to be an attempt by Embergher to modernise a Milanese/Lombardic mandolin.

    It has 21 rosewood ribs and measured 150mm from the nut to the 12th fret and 305mm from the nut to the glued on bridge. The fretboard was 45mm at the nut and the outside strings were 78mm apart at the bridge. The fretboard was scolloped (or should that be scalloped) between the bar frets. A hand written label
    Luigi Embergher
    Costruttore di strumenti ti armonica
    Roma
    1890

    From the collection serial number it would have been one of the original collection put together in the 1890s.

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  4. #303

    Default Re: Historical mandolins and cultural preferences

    Interesting. I took all those same measurements for that book project that was abandoned in—I don't quite remember—perhaps 2005 or so. The project was first assembled by a guy named Dan'l Terry and then taken over by Gregg Miner . . . and then simply petered out.

  5. #304

    Default Re: Historical mandolins and cultural preferences

    Digging back through my own e-mail archives, I see that you and I corresponded on related topics back in 2006 or so, Graham. Your own book is on my wish list, but I still haven't picked up a copy. I really should.

  6. #305

    Default Re: Historical mandolins and cultural preferences

    PS: When I last handled this piece (more than a decade ago, and I'm not sure where my notes on the piece are now), I had assumed the bridge was subsequently glued, not constructed with the intent to be glued.

  7. #306

    Default Re: Historical mandolins and cultural preferences

    PPS: There was a catalogue published of the original holdings of the Stearns Collection (Stanley 1918). It's a useful reference that I accessed via the U.S.'s university library system.

  8. #307
    Mandolin tragic Graham McDonald's Avatar
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    Default Re: Historical mandolins and cultural preferences

    I didn't try to move the bridge and I can't imagine why it would be glued down, other than the Lombardic mandolins had fixed bridges. It may simply be that the shellac or varnish had softened and the bridge was accidentally adhered. I have a pdf of a Stearns catalogue if you want a copy. Perhaps the 1918 (or so) version. I can send a copy if you are interested. Drop me an email. There are only a couple of hundred copies of The Mandolin left in the warehouse, and unless a publisher somewhere gets really excited, there will not be a re-print. You should get a copy before it is too late 8-)

    Cheers

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