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Help to identify old mandolins

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nickp 06 Sep 02 - 05:46 AM
nickp 06 Sep 02 - 05:48 AM
Gypsy 06 Sep 02 - 10:58 AM
nickp 06 Sep 02 - 11:21 AM
GUEST,honestfrankie 06 Sep 02 - 12:05 PM
nickp 06 Sep 02 - 12:10 PM
nickp 09 Sep 02 - 10:00 AM
GUEST,paul.higginson4@btinternet.com 06 Apr 04 - 05:20 AM
Dave Hanson 06 Apr 04 - 08:29 AM
GUEST 06 Apr 04 - 09:22 AM
Dave Hanson 06 Apr 04 - 09:37 AM
GUEST 06 Apr 04 - 10:22 AM
JohnInKansas 06 Apr 04 - 01:24 PM
Chief Chaos 06 Apr 04 - 01:31 PM
JohnInKansas 06 Apr 04 - 01:32 PM
GUEST,Nickp 06 Apr 04 - 04:28 PM
GUEST 18 Apr 04 - 08:14 PM
GUEST,.gargoyle 19 Apr 04 - 01:25 AM
GUEST,michael,bordun@gmx.de 01 May 04 - 07:39 AM
GUEST,MelinWashington 12 Nov 07 - 12:52 AM
Mark Ross 12 Nov 07 - 10:09 AM
mandotim 12 Nov 07 - 12:03 PM
Wesley S 12 Nov 07 - 01:51 PM
Doug Chadwick 14 Nov 07 - 05:51 PM
GUEST,Ric 31 Dec 07 - 12:10 AM
GUEST,Ajr 29 Jan 11 - 11:44 PM
GUEST,Ray 30 Jan 11 - 05:05 AM
GUEST,Aron 30 Oct 17 - 12:50 AM
GUEST,.gargoyle 30 Oct 17 - 06:59 PM
GUEST,Ray 31 Oct 17 - 03:22 AM
Rusty Dobro 31 Oct 17 - 03:42 AM
GUEST,.gargoyle 01 Nov 17 - 08:28 PM
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Subject: Help to identify old mandolins
From: nickp
Date: 06 Sep 02 - 05:46 AM

Over a number of years I have acquired 3 mandolins which spend most of the time on a wall although they are perfectly playable - they're not as loud as my main mandolin, so are mainly decorative. I'm curious if any of the Mudcatters can tell me about them. There is a jpeg at
photo here
Despite the perspective, they are all the same size, approx. 25 inches in length, 2 & 1/4 inch deep and scale length approx 13 inches. The right hand one is labelled "DRGM English Patent Applied For" and "Viennese College Of Music". The others are unlabelled. Machine heads on all are bone/brass stamped DRGM 186662. I understand that DRGM means a German Patent. The pickguards are bone/tortoiseshell but I expect both are imitation. Wood appears to be spruce and maple except the left hand one which appears to have a rosewood (-ish) back and sides. Rosewood or similar necks.
When I bought the first one (rightmost) I was led to believe that it was circa 1920's/30's and was possibly made by a migrant (post-war) worker coming to the UK from Europe. There was an assumption that it's smaller size and 'flat' design made it suitable for music students as a 'second instrument' in the sense that a chalumeau (spelling?) was often a second inst. for clarinettists.
I have seen 2 others 'in the wood', so to speak, one with another music college label, and also those of you with a copy of Steeleye Span's 'Below The Salt' will see one on the cover. I've also seen several guitar shaped bodied ones - same neck etc. obviously from the same era/source - but these have all had a large transfer picture on the back (original not later additions) usually of a lady. She is clothed (!) but I can't remember anything of the costume to help me with the dates. Having said that, it (the transfer) seemed more of a Victorian thing to do so maybe they're a bit older than I thought.
Any thoughts - preferably sensible but knowing Mudcatters..... - would be helpful
Thanks folks, Nick


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Subject: RE: Help to identify old mandolins
From: nickp
Date: 06 Sep 02 - 05:48 AM

WOW, the clicky worked first time!!!


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Subject: RE: Help to identify old mandolins
From: Gypsy
Date: 06 Sep 02 - 10:58 AM

Trippy, thanks for posting the pix. Have forwarded on to the local fanatics, mebbe they can help.


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Subject: RE: Help to identify old mandolins
From: nickp
Date: 06 Sep 02 - 11:21 AM

Thanks Gypsy - I did a quick bit of searching on the German patent and got some numbers relatively near from around 1902 (from corkscrew designs!). It's a start. Nick


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Subject: RE: Help to identify old mandolins
From: GUEST,honestfrankie
Date: 06 Sep 02 - 12:05 PM

I'd recommend the Musical Instrument Makers forum. A lot of very smart folks on that site.


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Subject: RE: Help to identify old mandolins
From: nickp
Date: 06 Sep 02 - 12:10 PM

Thanks, I'll give them a bash too.


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Subject: RE: Help to identify old mandolins
From: nickp
Date: 09 Sep 02 - 10:00 AM

refresh


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Subject: RE: Arnold Hoyer mandolin
From: GUEST,paul.higginson4@btinternet.com
Date: 06 Apr 04 - 05:20 AM

I have just purchased a mandolin by Arnold Hoyer of Germany. The back is carved maple and the top spruce finished in sunburst. The neck is a off the body design same as a violin. Also fitted is a mock mother of pearl scratch plate and headstock. I would like to find out more about these instruments and their history.


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Subject: RE: Help to identify old mandolins
From: Dave Hanson
Date: 06 Apr 04 - 08:29 AM

I used to have one of these many years ago, I'm pretty certain they are English made, they come up on eBay now and again.
eric


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Subject: RE: Help to identify old mandolins
From: GUEST
Date: 06 Apr 04 - 09:22 AM

Eric - please, which mandolin are you refering to?


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Subject: RE: Help to identify old mandolins
From: Dave Hanson
Date: 06 Apr 04 - 09:37 AM

One in the picture by nickp.
eric


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Subject: RE: Help to identify old mandolins
From: GUEST
Date: 06 Apr 04 - 10:22 AM

Cheers, I did't know if you meant the Hoyer.


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Subject: RE: Help to identify old mandolins
From: JohnInKansas
Date: 06 Apr 04 - 01:24 PM

Mandolinetto, near the bottom, has a couple of pictures of "clothed girls" that may be something like the transfers mentioned. At the same site, different page, the article on the
Elias Howe Jr patent may give some clues as to era, at least.

The "Viennese College of Music" is still, apparently, in existence, as I find a couple of citations for living musicians who claim to have learned their arts there. Unless the College is perhaps the patent holder, it would seem unusual to see it cited as anything other than as a "credential" for the builder, in which case the builder's name would be expected to appear.

The only common context in which the "College" citation would appear without a builder's name might be if the instruments were produced as "luthiery school projects"(?), although the existence of a manufacturer associated with the school can't be ruled out without more info. Neither Google nor MSN search seem to want to give any direct information on the school or its history.

John


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Subject: RE: Help to identify old mandolins
From: Chief Chaos
Date: 06 Apr 04 - 01:31 PM

When looking to identify old mandolins I always look for hair growing out of the ears of the scrollwork. I figure if it works in identifying old men, it works for mandolins too!


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Subject: RE: Help to identify old mandolins
From: JohnInKansas
Date: 06 Apr 04 - 01:32 PM

Had I looked more closely, I'd have found the citation at the mandolinetto page, just below the "ladies," of:

This strange-shaped mandolin, otherwise quite similar to the instruments above, is also occasionally found in England. It is 25 inches in length, 2 & 1/4 inch deep, with a scale length of approximately 13 inches. It is labeled "DRGM English Patent Applied For" and "Viennese College Of Music". Machine heads are bone/brass, stamped DRGM 186662 (DRGM means a German Patent for a small item).
"(image and information courtesy of the owner, Nick Pilley)"


The instruments with the ladies do show a similar citation:
By his Majesty's Royal Letters Patent.
Patent No. 2272.
Neapolitan College of Music


I would read this as meaning that the Neapolitan College of Music was the patent holder(?).

The "Howe patent" dates to 1897, and relates apparently to use of a curved top on "guitarish" instruments. The article implies that the "showing 8 strings" is an "accident" and doesn't mean it's a "mandolin patent."

John


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Subject: RE: Help to identify old mandolins
From: GUEST,Nickp
Date: 06 Apr 04 - 04:28 PM

And just to add confusion about which instrument we're discussing ... I'll join in about the Hoyer rather than my original post.

I've seen 3 of these in the last 20 years and they're rather nice beasts. I think I'm right in saying that they look like mini-archtop jazz guitars rather than the fiddle description and I seem to recall the have a deep body.

I nearly bought one once but it wouldn't have been in keeping with my old time American playing (actually an excuse for the fact that I couldn't afford it!!). I was impressed by the one I tried - happy picking!

Nick


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Subject: RE: Help to identify old mandolins
From: GUEST
Date: 18 Apr 04 - 08:14 PM


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Subject: RE: Help to identify old mandolins
From: GUEST,.gargoyle
Date: 19 Apr 04 - 01:25 AM

It is hard to imagine doing a "True Research Project" without indluding the Mandolin Brothers....

http://www.mandoweb.com/

Sincerely,
Gargoyle

font color-lightorange> Four years ago they appraised a friends mandolin at 27-32 hundred US,.......she about crocked and but the insturment back on the shelf.


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Subject: RE: Help to identify old mandolins
From: GUEST,michael,bordun@gmx.de
Date: 01 May 04 - 07:39 AM

Hello Paul,
would you please tell me something about the sound and playablitie of the Arnold Hoyer Mando? Is this a guitar shaped archtop?


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Subject: RE: Help to identify old mandolins
From: GUEST,MelinWashington
Date: 12 Nov 07 - 12:52 AM

I've been offered a Martin mandolin, an A model with F holes (teardrop), it has good maple flaming on the back, sides & neck, as well as the back of the headstock. The markings inside the mandolin are 2-15 (the "2" is hard to be sure about, it could be something else) but the 15 is clear. Below that is a number 18265. What do the numbers mean? Also, as an owner of several Martin guitars, I recognize that Martin was better at guitars than mandolins, but are these older Martins good sounding instruments. I'm just learning to play. Thanks!


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Subject: RE: Help to identify old mandolins
From: Mark Ross
Date: 12 Nov 07 - 10:09 AM

The numbers 2-15 are the model number, 18265 is the serial number(when it was made). You can contact CF Martin for the year. How much did you pay for it? They are always well made instruments.

Mark Ross


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Subject: RE: Help to identify old mandolins
From: mandotim
Date: 12 Nov 07 - 12:03 PM

Ok, I'll bite; I think it is probably a Style 2 Martin carved top mandolin, likely to have been made in the early 1950s. (Earlier Martin mandolins tended to have bent, rather than carved tops) As I remember the '15' stands for the level of decoration, just like the guitars. Nice instruments; Trevor at the Acoustic Music Company in Brighton has one for sale for just over £1000 at the moment. Rarer than Gibsons, but for that money I'd be looking for a teens/twenties Gibson AJr or A1. Plenty of them about, so prices are reasonably competitive, and a lot of them have a very sweet sound. The golden rule with old mandolins though, is 'Is it playable?'. Check for loose braces, wood splits, joint cracks, neck bends and separation between the body and the neck. All of these are serious money to repair, with no real guarantee of success. Make sure you try before you buy!
Tim


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Subject: RE: Help to identify old mandolins
From: Wesley S
Date: 12 Nov 07 - 01:51 PM

Here's another good place to check for information.

Mandolin Cafe message board


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Subject: RE: Help to identify old mandolins
From: Doug Chadwick
Date: 14 Nov 07 - 05:51 PM

Well, well - I have a mandolinetto, and I just thought it was a mandolin.

This link shows some pictures taken during the 2007 Mudcat Eurogathering in Kiel. If you scroll down, you'll see Mudcatter Gulliver holding my mandolin. Compare that to the Mandolinetto site given by JohnInKansas and you find the almost identical instrument. The only difference I can see is the bridge on mine is slightly different, being a little plainer with no white part.

I inherited my mandolin (or mandolinetto, as I now should call it) from my Dad. There are no ID markings or labels but I have had it variously described, by people who seem to know more than me, as either Italian or American. It is thought to have been made around 1910. Bill Sables told me that he thought it was probably from the Viennese College of music, so he wasn't too far out (although he told me something completely different the first time he saw it   ?:-)   )

Thank you John. I¡¦m really pleased to have some solid information.

DC


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Subject: RE: Help to identify old mandolins
From: GUEST,Ric
Date: 31 Dec 07 - 12:10 AM

I also have one of these mandolins marked viennese college of music, I would like to sell it can anyone tell me how I could get a valuation?


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Subject: RE: Help to identify old mandolins
From: GUEST,Ajr
Date: 29 Jan 11 - 11:44 PM

Have probably early twenty's Gibson Ajr Snakehead.Label with the serial# is gone Fon # is 8407,has no logo on headstock,have pics.Can anyone tell me what year this is.I,m thinking possibly 1924.Thanks.


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Subject: RE: Help to identify old mandolins
From: GUEST,Ray
Date: 30 Jan 11 - 05:05 AM

Try the Mandolin Cafe or have a look here - http://www.mandolinarchive.com/ - or preferably both! Unfortunately the FON throws up no results on the latter.


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Subject: RE: Help to identify old mandolins
From: GUEST,Aron
Date: 30 Oct 17 - 12:50 AM

I have a mandolin that has paramount on the neck..but cant find any ifo on it please help


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Subject: RE: Help to identify old mandolins
From: GUEST,.gargoyle
Date: 30 Oct 17 - 06:59 PM

The Mandolin Bros (on the internet) will give you a full appraisal and sometimes bits of the history.

They require a specific set of photos and dates.

The Mandolin brothers have an identification with photos, yuppies, and well spawned settlers.


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Subject: RE: Help to identify old mandolins
From: GUEST,Ray
Date: 31 Oct 17 - 03:22 AM

If you're talking about the "Mandolin Brothers" shop in the US - owned and operated by the late Stan Jay, you'll find that they closed down a couple of years ago.


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Subject: RE: Help to identify old mandolins
From: Rusty Dobro
Date: 31 Oct 17 - 03:42 AM

I have a much-treasured Hoyer, as described above, given to me by the old rogue Ivor Biggun. I believe there was a craze in 1950's Germany for these jazz-guitar shaped mandolins, and the respected firm of Hoyer catered for it.

As regards the Viennese College of Music examples, I was asked to set up a mandolin owned by a Brit expat in Spain. From memory, it was just like these, with the transfer on the back, and the owner told me that during a period of enthusiasm in Edwardian? days, one of his relatives had signed up for a course of lessons and the mandolin had been included in the price.


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Subject: RE: Help to identify old mandolins
From: GUEST,.gargoyle
Date: 01 Nov 17 - 08:28 PM

GUEST -Ray


Yes, you are correct...for about a $20 dollar fee, with a detailed set of photos....they provided a history and evaluation based on previous.

My friend's g-g-mother played in an all women band.

Sincerely,
Gargoyle

Like my nephew, and his wife, It is dead people's shit....who gives a shit?


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