INSTRUMENTS CURRENTLY AVAILABLE FOR SALE

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As a musician I understand that choosing an instrument just by looking at photos is quite difficult therefore I accept returns with no problems in case the instrument didn't appeal to you, although the return cost would have to be covered by the buyer.

Antique Italian Mandolin

Pietro Tonelli
at £250 including free UK (mainland) delivery

Neapolitan mandolin made by Pietro Tonelli circa early 1900's. Body resembles style of De Meglio mandolins with pick-guard settled on soundboard rather than inlaid in it, with tulip-wood binding and additional holes at sides of bowl. It's an upper end model with mother of pearl round the edge of soundboard, tortoiseshell pick-guard inlaid with M.O.P. and silver, one piece engraved tuners and bowl made of 27 rosewood ribs.


Mandolin has been restored to fully playable condition and the following work has been done: damaged bowl repaired with added patches for extra support, replaced binding, replaced fretboard fretted with narrow 1.1mm fret wire and M.O.P. Transferred from old to new. Broken headstock glued back together with added ebony face plate for re-enforcement (attempt to keep M.O.P. On headstock was unsuccessful as damage was too severe to withstand tension so additional support was necessary). Hardware cleaned and polished, tuners work fine but a little hard as usual for that age. Soundboard was all intact only requiring good clean-up. Whole mandolin has been refinished with French-polish throughout.

Action has been set to 2mm on treble side and 2.3mm on bass side at 12th fret and gap between strings and soundboard to 7.5mm making it very comfortable to play. New compensated bridge has been made for improved intonation. Tonal spectrum is stronger in mids and highs with good volume and sustain, mandolin performs better when being played hard so would suit a player who prefers more vigorous style.

Mandolin is fitted with light set of strings Fisoma F30110 Silver wound .009-.032

Soundboard – Solid Spruce

Bowl – 27 rosewood ribs & 2 side slats

Neck – Maple with rosewood veneer

Fretboard – New Rosewood with MOP inlay

Nut – New bone

Bridge – New Rosewood with bone saddle

Frets – 17 Japanese Nickel silver1.1mm crown width

Instruments measurements are as follows:

- total length 60.5cm - body width 20cm - body depth 15cm

- from nut fret to 12th fret 165mm (total scale length 330mm)

- Neck width at nut is 29.3mm, at body merge 38mm

Antique German Mandola

at £340 including free UK (mainland) delivery

Round-back mandola made in Germany, possibly Markneukirchen around 1920's. In the past I had a chance to work on exactly the same mandola which did not have any label or indication as to who was it made by or where therefore place and date of make is based solely on assumption here as well.

Mandolas bowl is made entirely of Maple with 13 ribs, spruce soundboard has a beautiful marquetry decorated inlaid pick-guard, with all solid woods. Large size bowl creates a very deep yet rich tone, mellow but bright sounding with good lows.

Mandola has been restored to fully playable condition and the following work was done: one split between ribs filled in, shrinkage split in soundboard repaired and patched from inside, neck angle has been re-set, fretboard replaced and fretted using 1.5mm copper-nickel fretwire, new M.O.P. dots inlaid in fretboard, new tuners installed as original were missing. Mandola was previously re-finished but rather poorly therefore required complete stripping. It is now finished with french-polish throughout with gloss finish to bowl and satin finish to soundboard and neck for smoother gliding of hand when played. New bone nut has been made as well as compensated rosewood bridge.

Playability is very good with comfortable narrow and fairly thin neck (not too chunky as many old mandolas have) with low action set to 2mm on treble side and 2.5mm on bass side and a gap of 7.5mm between strings and soundboard.

Mandola is fitted with new light set of strings D'Addario EJ72 .014 - .049

Soundboard – Solid Spruce

Bowl – 13 Maple ribs & 2 side slats

Neck & Head – One piece Maple

Fretboard – New Rosewood with MOP inlay

Nut – New bone

Bridge – New Rosewood

Frets – 17 Copper-nickel 1.5mm crown width

Instruments measurements are as follows:

- total length 73cm - body width 25cm - body depth 17cm

- from nut fret to 12th fret 215mm (total scale length 430mm)

- Neck width at nut is 30mm, at body merge 38mm

Antique Italian Mandriola

 

at £150 including free UK (mainland) delivery
 

12 string mandolin possibly made by Vincenzo Ferrara & Figlli ,Allievo della Giovanni Minieri, Naples 1920. There is no label present however having seen identical Mandriola recently I assume it may have been made by this maker.

Mandriola has been restored to fully playable condition and the following work has been done: replaced strutting at back due to sinkage, back has now triple bars instead of just one therefore is much stronger and capable of coping with string load. Soundboard had 2 shrinkage splits which are now repaired and patched from the inside, fretboard previously re-fretted now only re-levelled and crowned. Entire body has been stained walnut and finished with french-polish throughout. New compensated bridge has been made for improved intonation. New tailpiece installed, tuners cleaned and lubricated, hold tuning fine but some pegs turn a little hard.

Action is set to 2.2mm on treble side and 2.5mm on bass side.

Mandriola is fitted with new set of strings made up of two Martin 80/20 Bronze strings sets, a light mandolin set and an acoustic guitar set for lower octave strings. Due to number of strings and age of instrument it is recommended to have it tuned one tone lower than standard tuning Fff – Ccc – Ggg – Ddd (which I find to sound better on this type of mandolin and is my preferred tuning for octave strung mandriolas).

Soundboard – Solid Spruce with wooden inlaid pick-guard

Back and sides– Maple

Neck – Maple

Fretboard – Rosewood with MOP inlay

Nut – original, bone

Bridge – New Rosewood

Frets – 22 Brass 2mm crown width

Instruments measurements are as follows:

- total length 65cm - body width 22.5cm - body depth 7.4cm

- from nut fret to 12th fret 165mm (total scale length 330mm)

- Neck width at nut is 31.8mm, at body merge 41.1mm

C. & V. Carabba

CATANIA

SOLD
 

Premiato e Brevettato Stabilimento Musicale (Awarded and Patented Musical Establishment)

C. & V. Carabba, Corso Etneo 244 Catania. Label also carries medals awarded at – Esposizione Nazionale del 1891 in Palermo & Esposizione Italo Americana 1883. There's an actual video on Youtube on National Exhibition in Palermo showing how great and celebrated this event was at that time,

see link https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=J4WeFyGc47U

 

Carabba company was making all sorts of musical instruments from string through brass to pianos. It is mentioned in an advert of Annuario D'Italia, Calendare Generale del Regno dated 1893.

Mandolins label does not carry a date of make but label appears to be of an earlier style therefore estimated mandolin date would be somewhere 1890's.

Craftsmanship instantly shows that it isn't just another mass produced mandolin in style of other luthiers but an attempt to create something original and a quality instrument for serious players. First element that grabs attention is an unique head stock with tuners mounted on sides with string posts directed outwards. A less obvious elements are tuned braces and a longer scale length of 340mm. Wood appears to be cut slightly thinner compared to most mandolins with a soundboard sitting in a body where side slats are acting as a binding rather than sitting on top sealed with biding strip around as per usual standards.

Tonal qualities feel more balanced, soft and warm, with good volume and sustain. For sound sample please see video below, as always music has been recorded on this very mandolin with raw, unedited audio.

Carabba mandolins are rather scars and rarely seen so when restoring it I was aiming at retaining it's natural aged appearance with minimum interference in original parts whilst bringing it to fully playable state.

Mandolin is structurally fine with no cracks to soundboard, there was some movement between ribs at back as in places they are not aligned correctly but still hold tight together. Bowl did not require gluing but any gaps have been filled in as a precaution to prevent from further movement. Neck is at correct angle, original frets were high enough for reconditioning so re-leveled and crowned. Fretboard was in very good condition only requiring good clean up. Tuners were cleaned internally to ensure they work smoothly but I decided to keep outer plate of tuners and tail-piece in it's natural aged condition rather than polishing them to shine. Whole body has been cleaned and finish surface retouched to revive wood grain and bring more gloss.

Mandolin has new bone nut and compensated rosewood bridge as both nut and bridge were missing when I got it.

Playing action is set to 2mm at 12th fret and despite very gentle twist it is comfortable to play even more advanced music. Bridge height is 4mm therefore gap between strings and soundboard is rather tight (which is common for mandolins from late 19th c.).

Mandolin is fitted with new ultra light set of strings - Fisoma F3010 Silk & Steel

Soundboard – Solid Spruce

Bowl – 25 rosewood ribs, Neck – Maple with rosewood veneer

Fretboard – Rosewood with MOP inlay, Nut – New bone

Bridge – New rosewood, Frets – 17

Approximate measurements are as follows:

- total length 63.5cm, - body width 20cm

  • body depth 14.2mm, - from nut fret to 12th fret 170mm (total scale length 340mm)

- Neck width at nut is 29.9mm, at body merge 36.9mm

Antique Italian Mandolin

Il Globo


SOLD
 

Mandolin made under brand of Il Globo. Just as Stridente, Il Globo were likely to be made in Naples and were a popular import back in early 1900's. This model would have been classed as a higher end with 30 rosewood ribs, enclosed tuners, MOP binding, purfling as well as MOP inlaid tortoiseshell pick-guard. General condition of this mandolin was very good for it's age with no cracks to soundboard and only one split between the ribs. Mandolin must have been overstrained at some point, the soundboard did not sunk in but the angle of neck suffered lightly, this has now been corrected via new thicker fretboard which improved both action and bridge height. Original MOP has been transferred on to new fretboard, fretted with narrow 1.3mm fretwire with scale length of 330mm . Original finish was intact requiring only slight touch up to revive gloss and to emphasize wood grain a little more. Tuners and tailpiece both in good condition only requiring clean up.


 

Action is set to 1.8mm at12th fret on treble side and 2mm on base side therefore very comfortable to play whilst playing cleanly right to 17th fret.

Mandolin has new bone nut and new ebony bridge with bone saddle improving a sustain and compensated string length for strings G and A ensures instrument plays in tune well.

Mandolins is fitted with new set of light gauge strings – Galli G1400CL


 

Mandolin sounds quite decent, a bit deeper than usual mandolin thanks to a slightly larger bowl, for sound sample please see video below.


 

Bowl – 30 rosewood ribs

Neck – Maple with rosewood veneer

Fretboard – New rosewood with MOP dots

Nut – New bone

Bridge – New ebony with bone saddle

Frets – 17 Nickel-silver, 1.3mm crown width


 

Approximate measurements are as follows:

- total length 60.5cm

- body width 19.4cm

  • body depth 15mm

- from nut fret to 12th fret 165mm (total scale length 330mm)

- Neck width at nut is 27.5mm, at body merge 37.2mm

Il Globo Mandolin
Il Globo Mandolin
Il Globo Mandolin
Il Globo Mandolin
Il Globo Mandolin

Stridente
SOLD

Antique Italian mandolin made under brand Stridente which was a popular import to UK back in early 20th century, recognised as well made instruments within mandolin community. This is a mid-range model with 25 rosewood ribs and very ornate tuners placed at front of headstock. Mandolin restoration work included the following: new rosewood fretboard inlaid with original M.O.P. and fretted with narrow Evo-Gold fretwire (similar colour tone to brass but much harder). Repairing hairline split to soundboard and few splits between ribs on bowl. Cleaning of tuners and tailpiece, tuners work lightly and smoothly. New compensated bridge made of same piece of rosewood as fretboard inlaid with a bone saddle. Re-finished thoroughly with French-polish (shellac with addition of dragon blood).

Mandolin has a deep, warm mellow tone, action is set below 2mm therefore very comfortable and easy to play. Compensated bridge improves intonation ensuring mandolin plays in tune well. Thanks to a slightly thicker fretboard a gap between strings and soundboard has been increased which helps avoiding hitting top with pick.

Mandolin is fitted with new set of light strings by a Neapolitan brand

Gallistrings M158 .032-.010 Silverwound
 

Sound sample and more photos upon request.

Here is a list of materials of which Mandolin is made of

(please note that sometimes it is very hard to identify the material correctly due to age or simply other substitutes looking very similar)

Soundboard – Solid Spruce with tortoise shell scratch plate inlaid with celluloid (or similar)

Bowl – Rosewood

Neck – Maple with rosewood veneer

Fretboard – Rosewood with 4 MOP dots

Nut – New bone

Bridge – new, rosewood with bone saddle

Frets – 17 Evo-gold (1.3mm wide)


 

Approximate measurements are as follows:

- total length 60.5cm - body width 19cm body depth 13.5mm

- from nut fret to 12th fret 168mm (total scale length 336mm)

- Neck width at nut is 29mm, at body merge 38mm

German Flat Back Mandolin
SOLD

An O-shape flat back mandolin made in Markneukirchen, Germany likely at same place as those Guitar and Violin shape mandolins designed by Ewald Glaesel. Some remainings of label are present but too rubbed out to be legible. Restoration here was minimal as to avoid interference with original desing therefore surface has been well cleaned and re-polished to bring out more colours and gloss. Soundboard has no cracks but is slightly deformed in places. There are two cracks on side that has been patched from the inside. Floral decals are mostyly intact with little chips here and there, reasonable for it's age. Frets have been re-levelled and crowned and fretboard reconditioned, neck is straight but lightly twisted wich doesn't affect playability in any way, most importantly action is very low at 1.8mm with no buzzing. I decided to modify original bridge by inlaying a bone saddle allowing string compensation and to keep bridge size to minium so it doesn't ostruct the floral design. Tuners and tailpiece has only been lightly cleaned and lubricated to ensure they turn smoothly while keeping it in an antique state.

Old German Mandola

" Sing "

 

SOLD

Large size bowl backed mandola made under brand “Sing” also known as “Superton Sing” in Markneukirchen, Germany around1930's. This Mandola varies much from other mandolas of that period, first noticeable difference is a very large bowl with 3 top/middle ribs protruding over the rest of the bowl, longer scale of 442mm and shorter but thicker neck that meets body between 8th and 9th fret. Strutting is also quite unusual as there are thicker bars running along the grain of soundboard with only thin strutting running across it.

As the instrument was generally in a good condition for it's age and being quite rare I decided to retain it entirely in its original state. Repair work (rather than restoration) involved reconditioning of fretboard and frets to correct the level and allow lower action. Missing armrest and bridge have been replaced, tuners lightly cleaned and work fine, finish only cleaned of dirt.

Mandola is currently fitted with Octave mandolin set which is a lot lighter than standard mandola set, recording was done in traditional tuning CGDA. However, initially I have fitted it with thicker strings and tuned it 3 half tones lower which actually seemed to sound more right on this instrument as lower tuning is a more appropriate pitch to stimulate a chamber of such size (I will leave the string choice up to the future owner though).

Action above 12th fret is set to 2.2mm on treble side and 2.5mm on bass side. Bridge is quite low leaving a gap of 5-7mm between strings and top (depending on area).

Here is a list of materials of which the mandola is made of

(please note that sometimes it is very hard to identify the material correctly due to age or simply other substitutes looking very similar)

Soundboard – solid spruce

Back – maple

Neck – maple

Fretboard – rosewood with mother of pearl inlay

Nut – original, ebony

Bridge – new rosewood

Frets – 20 plus zero fret

Instruments measurements are as follows:

- total length 79.5cm

- body width 27.5cm

- body depth at cant 18cm

​- from 0 fret to 12th fret 221mm (total scale length 442mm)

- Neck width at nut is 32.5mm, at 8th fret 46mm

  • More detailed photos can be provided upon request

Mandola
Mandola
Mandola
Mandola
Mandola

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