c.1920 Vega Fancy Bowlback Mandolin

Sunday special, two posts this evening! We're snowed in to an insane depth here in the wonderful Green (white? snowy?) Mountains and it keeps coming down... it's been three days at it and I fear it will continue until nightfall tomorrow. Anyhow! You're in luck, because I can't go and stargaze tonight!

I just finished this excellent Vega bowlback for a local customer. She was going to have me fix it up to sell so she could put the money into a different instrument (or food, considering this economy!) but after I cleaned it up and set it up proper, I think she may hold on to it, which is what my voice would say: "You're not gonna get the value back that it has as a player, if you sell it for some greenbacks!" Action's nicely below 1/8" at the 12th with no buzzing and it has a cozy u-shape neck for fast fingers. The only issue with this mandolin is that some tomfool used a really gross brownish some-sort-of-glue to "repair" binding/top separation on the left side of the top in the above photo. This hurts value, but from a couple feet one doesn't notice it.

Ivoroid tuner buttons in recessed tuner housing, bone nut, ebony fretboard, rosewood peghead overlay. Style, sophistication!

Abalone green and pearl galore! Gorgeous, tasteful inlay on this one. It's not too gaudy like upper-end Lyon & Healys from the same time... just the right amount of spit and polish! Those strings are phosphor bronze, gauged 024-008... she likes a light touch, and even with my lowering the action to buttery goodness (as good as it gets) the tension of something heavier might not be her thing. They're also closer to period gauges, which were lighter than our usual flatback mandolin lights now.

Nice stamped tailpiece and binding.

Glory behold the rosewood back!

...which is in pristine shape.

Tuner backplate with nice engraving/stamping.

Bottom's up!

Label. Oh, zithers, huh? And bandurrias? I'd like a few more of those!

Gleaming now! What a tarnished and yucky old mess this mandolin was before a thorough cleaning and de-gunking.

And a nice profile, too! And there you go, a little gem of a mandolin! Very springy tone, full of sustain, brilliant with rich lows and sparkly highs. Just what you'd expect of a Vega.