c.1910 Unmarked Butterfly Bowlback Mandolin

A nice old taterbug! This one's unmarked, but probably around c.1900-1910 or so. That's what the tuners and tailpiece look like -- and who knows? This looks either Chicago-made or possibly Oscar Schmidt-made in NJ.

My work included regluing some ribs on the back, regluing a top brace (below the fretboard), giving it a fret dress, the usual cleaning, de-griming, de-scuffing, etc. -- and a good setup. Also a new bone nut and bone bridge.

The results are a nice-playing, precise-sounding, sustained, and rich (especially for lead work) instrument. It'd be great for classical, folky, old-timey, or Celtic music. Has a good balanced tone.

It's also incredibly sturdy -- the braced supporting the top are quite hefty and a regular light set (34w to 10) sounds great on it -- I usually try to go a hair lighter for bowlbacks at 32 to 09.

Did I mention it looks awesome?

Love the rope binding.

Ebony fretboard with -- bone? celluloid? -- inlaid dots.

I added an old strap button to the lowest tailpiece screw hole to make it easily giggable.

Oh right -- there is that small fact that it's got a nice 19-rib Brazilian rosewood bowl! How about that?

...and original bakelite-buttoned tuners.

Gotta love it!


Alyssa said…
It's beautiful! I'm so jealous! Where did you get it? I want it sooooo bad! :)
Anonymous said…
Very nice find. It looks like a George C. Dobson mando which sometimes had butterfly decoration on the pickguard.
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