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Mandolin maker: label with no name?

VirginiaTam 09 Jun 09 - 05:16 PM
oldhippie 09 Jun 09 - 07:10 PM
Desert Dancer 10 Jun 09 - 02:08 AM
VirginiaTam 10 Jun 09 - 02:36 AM
GUEST,FTW ? 10 Jun 09 - 04:03 AM
Willie-O 10 Jun 09 - 10:37 AM
VirginiaTam 10 Jun 09 - 01:38 PM
GUEST 10 Jun 09 - 01:55 PM
Ernest 10 Jun 09 - 02:04 PM
The Sandman 10 Jun 09 - 02:16 PM
VirginiaTam 10 Jun 09 - 02:30 PM
Mavis Enderby 10 Jun 09 - 02:35 PM
VirginiaTam 10 Jun 09 - 02:52 PM
JohnInKansas 10 Jun 09 - 06:40 PM
Richard Bridge 11 Jun 09 - 04:31 AM
Richard Bridge 11 Jun 09 - 05:58 AM
Ernest 11 Jun 09 - 07:08 AM
GUEST 11 Jun 09 - 12:39 PM
GUEST,Vtam not logged in at the moment 11 Jun 09 - 01:01 PM
Willie-O 11 Jun 09 - 01:09 PM
Richard Bridge 11 Jun 09 - 01:42 PM
VirginiaTam 11 Jun 09 - 02:39 PM
Richard Bridge 11 Jun 09 - 05:22 PM
VirginiaTam 12 Jun 09 - 01:58 PM
VirginiaTam 12 Jun 09 - 02:14 PM
GUEST,niall 03 Apr 10 - 03:04 AM
JohnInKansas 03 Apr 10 - 04:15 AM
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Subject: Mandolin maker: label with no name?
From: VirginiaTam
Date: 09 Jun 09 - 05:16 PM

How does one discover the maker of a flat back pear shaped mandolin that has a label inside with only a logo and no manufacture or maker name?

The label has graphic of basket of flowers in black and white. There is an illegible number.

Mandolin was owned by a muso who had a collection of guitars, ukes and banjos.

Any ideas?


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Subject: RE: Mandolin maker: label with no name?
From: oldhippie
Date: 09 Jun 09 - 07:10 PM

A photo might help.


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Subject: RE: Mandolin maker: label with no name?
From: Desert Dancer
Date: 10 Jun 09 - 02:08 AM

www.mandolincafe.com is the site for all things mandolin. If you can post there with a picture, you might get an answer...

~ Becky in Tucson


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Subject: RE: Mandolin maker: label with no name?
From: VirginiaTam
Date: 10 Jun 09 - 02:36 AM

looks like this

can't see the label and the seller doesn't know the make.


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Subject: RE: Mandolin maker: label with no name?
From: GUEST,FTW ?
Date: 10 Jun 09 - 04:03 AM

Why? Does it matter? Unknown is unknown.


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Subject: RE: Mandolin maker: label with no name?
From: Willie-O
Date: 10 Jun 09 - 10:37 AM

That link doesn't load, Virginia. The listing at eBay is probably expired.

Always interesting to seek out the provenance of an old instrument.
The logo is a good clue, but more context is needed.
Here are the first questions:
1. What country did you acquire the mandolin in?
2. Name and location of previous owner "muso"? Any idea how long he/she owned the instrument for, if (let's say he) was original owner, or where his other instruments were typically acquired--a favourite music shop or two perhaps, or a preferred maker/brand as going by the rest of his collection?
3. Body style & materials: "flat back, pear-shaped" suggests it is an A-style body. These can have either f-holes or a round sound-hole on the top, which is it?

Is the top flat or carved (concave like a chair bottom, and/or with decorative ridges evident)? One common type of flat top is the "bent" top, as seen in this example currently for sale at the 12th Fret in Toronto:
1926 Martin Style B

Are the sides and back mahogany, rosewood or something else, maple perhaps? (The vintage example above is Brazilian rosewood)

Decorative touches: what kind of position markers, if any, are inlaid into the fingerboard, and at what fret positions? (dots, diamonds, floral patterns, or what have you?) likewise, is there any inlay on the peghead?

Shape of peghead--is it shaped like a paddle (wider at end then where it meets the fingerboard, as on the Martin example above) or "snakehead" (narrower at end--these are considered more desirable)
And how is the peghead shaped at the end--a straight cut, or something more fanciful such as on the example Martin (which is not at all typical of Martin mandolins BTW)

Good luck.
W-O


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Subject: RE: Mandolin maker: label with no name?
From: VirginiaTam
Date: 10 Jun 09 - 01:38 PM

trying link again

another link

message from the seller to me

I'm pretty certain my husband didn't have it set up by a luthier, but he was a very capable musician so he could do quite a bit himself.

She also stated that the local music shop couldn't tell her anything about it.

I am thinking if the owner was such a keen musician (possibly hobbyist luthier) and had loads of instruments and bits of instruments, spares etc. then maybe this mando, might be a little gem, if I can find out anything more about it.


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Subject: RE: Mandolin maker: label with no name?
From: GUEST
Date: 10 Jun 09 - 01:55 PM

Looks a familiar design but I can't place it. Don't think it's that old. Those machines look very modern. I'd guess within the last 15 years.


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Subject: RE: Mandolin maker: label with no name?
From: Ernest
Date: 10 Jun 09 - 02:04 PM

The ebay-ad also said that she is selling her husbands instrument collection which judging by her other items consisted of (among other things) a lamp table, an antler suitcase and a lawnraker.

BTW the lawnmaker is an electric one (and therefore not folk...;0)

Mando is hard to judge - the tuners look quite new to me, the general appearance does not suggest a vintage instrument, but a relatively new one. Seems to be in good shape though. Any chance you can go there and have a closer look?

Best
Ernest


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Subject: RE: Mandolin maker: label with no name?
From: The Sandman
Date: 10 Jun 09 - 02:16 PM

you need to look at the action,is it high,etc,is the neck warped,etc


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Subject: RE: Mandolin maker: label with no name?
From: VirginiaTam
Date: 10 Jun 09 - 02:30 PM

A look at seller's history shows that she has sold one ukelele and a banjo. Many listings have been private, so there may have been more instruments and spares.

Bury St Edmunds is about 1 hour and half drive and I can't get there anyway, before the auction ends anyway.

Just hoped someone would recognise the description of label.

I will trawl through Mandolin cafe. Thanks for the tips.


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Subject: RE: Mandolin maker: label with no name?
From: Mavis Enderby
Date: 10 Jun 09 - 02:35 PM

Looks remarkably like this little fella...


Blue Moon

Pete.


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Subject: RE: Mandolin maker: label with no name?
From: VirginiaTam
Date: 10 Jun 09 - 02:52 PM

Yeah I thought so too. The shape of the head stock especially. But there is none of that white trim around the body.

I am wondering if the owner built this thing out of bits. That label is such a mystery.


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Subject: RE: Mandolin maker: label with no name?
From: JohnInKansas
Date: 10 Jun 09 - 06:40 PM

If the table it's leaning against at the second link is a typical 28 - 30 inch high beneath the drape, it looks a bit long-in-the-strings to be a mandolin.

Perhaps it's really a mandola?

(Of course what looks like a table could be a stack of books on the origins of mandolins.)

John


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Subject: RE: Mandolin maker: label with no name?
From: Richard Bridge
Date: 11 Jun 09 - 04:31 AM

Even if the machine heads are the miniature Gotoh Shaller-styles the headstock has got to be six inches long and the scale length appears to be about three times that. On the other hand those string covers are prety standard at 2.5 inches and it appears to fit into the scale length 6 times which would be a mandolin scale length. I suspect that perspective is playing tricks, as it would unless the photo were taken from a point equidistant between the ends of the instrument (and plainly it wasn't).

So it's too short to be a mandola, I think.

It's plainly a modern instrument.

Unless the neck is bent (rare on mandolins) or the frets played out of existence, the action will be capable of being Rodgersed.

The fact that there are no-half-frets on the flying fingerboard points to a less expensive instrument.

I have half a feeling I've seen that logo before (ie as you desribed and as far as I can determine from the pix). Maybe the Ashbury range from Hobgoblin, or one of the ebay sellers who sells specifically "celtic mandolins" - but the machine heads look too good to be either (unless they are cheap chinese copies, I've seen cheap chinese Grover copies that were very cheap and very nasty - but gold and pretty).


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Subject: RE: Mandolin maker: label with no name?
From: Richard Bridge
Date: 11 Jun 09 - 05:58 AM

No, it's not a Celtic Star nor an Ashbury. I think I'd go with a Blue Moon - perhaps the bindings on the modern Blue Moons were not always there.


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Subject: RE: Mandolin maker: label with no name?
From: Ernest
Date: 11 Jun 09 - 07:08 AM

Lots of those instruments are made somewhere in Asia, Romania or similar places - with the choice for dealers ordering certain quantities to request certain specifications like gloss (like the Blue Moon) or satin finishes (like the one in question), with/without bindings etc. So I guess it is the same maker. So apart from the bent-neck-question someone owning a Blue Moon could probably say something about the quality.


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Subject: RE: Mandolin maker: label with no name?
From: GUEST
Date: 11 Jun 09 - 12:39 PM

Does seem to be a ringer for that Blue Moon. Close enough that you can assume its a less-appointed version of the same model built in the same factory in China. We don't know whether the top or body is solid or ply (forgot to mention that before) but considering that the equivalent but slightly upgraded Blue Moon model sells for 65 pounds it wouldn't do to make assumptions biased towards higher quality. I'd want at least the top to be solid in a mando that style. Look into the Blue Moon specs, and ask the seller if she can see any visible plie inside A walnut-laminate body would be acceptable.

It's probably a good buy at the price currently shown (31 lb), but will likely go in the end for more than its worth.

It looks like a decent player-grade folkie (not bluegrass) mando. The owner may have upgraded the tuners--I have done that several times, because otherwise-decent inexpensive mandos usually have crappy tuners and they are easily replaced. Other than a possible hardware or bridge upgrade I am sure he didn't "build it out of bits", mandolins are not bolte together!

But by all means get a mandolin, the best one you can afford!

W-O


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Subject: RE: Mandolin maker: label with no name?
From: GUEST,Vtam not logged in at the moment
Date: 11 Jun 09 - 01:01 PM

I have tried a blue moon in the last couple of weeks. It was at the Wake, Richard. Mumblin Len's from TDL.

A bit bigger than the baby mandolin you loaned me, but felt ok.

I will email the seller again re whether it is ply or solid.

Thanks everyone.


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Subject: RE: Mandolin maker: label with no name?
From: Willie-O
Date: 11 Jun 09 - 01:09 PM

Hm I thought I was logged in...my error, the seller won't know if its ply or not since there is binding around the soundhole...blue moon dealers should know.

w-o


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Subject: RE: Mandolin maker: label with no name?
From: Richard Bridge
Date: 11 Jun 09 - 01:42 PM

Most Blue Moons are stated to be solid top


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Subject: RE: Mandolin maker: label with no name?
From: VirginiaTam
Date: 11 Jun 09 - 02:39 PM

this tempting me


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Subject: RE: Mandolin maker: label with no name?
From: Richard Bridge
Date: 11 Jun 09 - 05:22 PM

Buchanan Mandolin


The above is interesting. The current Buchanan website shows fixed bridge intruments, not the bridges shown in the pic, but the current Buchanans are rather expensive (pm me VT for details) and the current ebay price is LOWOWOWOW (assuming it is genuine)


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Subject: RE: Mandolin maker: label with no name?
From: VirginiaTam
Date: 12 Jun 09 - 01:58 PM

well, Richard, it has just got too expensive for me. current bid £256. wonder if that carved top makes the sound louder?

thanks anyway.


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Subject: RE: Mandolin maker: label with no name?
From: VirginiaTam
Date: 12 Jun 09 - 02:14 PM

here is another just listed

The fret board looks awfully short though.


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Subject: RE: Mandolin maker: label with no name?
From: GUEST,niall
Date: 03 Apr 10 - 03:04 AM

Have an f hole scroll body wedge neck 30 fret cutaway bought 26 years ago. Purchased on no-name terms i.e. retailers were not permitted to give any information on make or manufacturer.
It has almost the Gibson logo except that the cup has three vertical slits in it.
How do I upload a photo.

Thanks


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Subject: RE: Mandolin maker: label with no name?
From: JohnInKansas
Date: 03 Apr 10 - 04:15 AM

Guest,niall

You can't post a picture here. Mudcat is "text only."

You need to find another site where you can post the picture and then put a link here so we can go look at it.

John


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