c.1900 Wolverine Bowlback Mandolin

This is my current "daily player" mandolin. It's a "Wolverine" brand mandolin, sold by the Grinnell Brothers out of Michigan (piano makers). They probably bought this mandolin from a Chicago maker (most likely Lyon & Healy due to the maple-strip bowl construction as opposed to paper or canvas and glue) and then branded it and sold it out of their own shop or catalog. I'm dating this as c.1900 but it's likely late 1800s.

This mandolin was filthy when I got it... you cannot believe how much grime and much I had to remove from its top (and everywhere else). You can still see some of it worn into the grain of the nice spruce top itself! However, despite the grime, underneath was an all-original classic mando, so I couldn't argue too much with history's buildup!

Lovely colored wood inlay in the ebony pickguard and also quite nice multicolored purfling inlay and pretty ivoroid binding. The bridge is "new" -- and is made of bone. I had a rosewood bridge on it previously but after making this one and putting it on... wow... volume was increased doubly and the tone is wonders away from where it was.

Here's the headstock with the bakelite tuners... and a new holly nut I installed. Some day perhaps I'll go to bone, but this is pretty nice for now! Mahogany neck and ebony fretboard.

Here's the brand decal. Wolverine playing a cello around a campfire? Why not?

The bowl itself is made of dark-stained birdseye maple and quartersawn oak, which while not as defined as it would be with a lighter stain, gives an interesting look. The ribs also have no maple filler strips between them, giving an almost organic look, as opposed to the more contrasting look of most old bowls.

Oh, and here's a video of one of my songs played on it!