1930s Regal Arched Top Reverse Scroll Mandolin

These are rare, nicely-built, and excellent bluegrass or jazz style mandolins, built in the 1930s by Regal and pretty much sold from their catalog or distribtor's catalogs -- like Montgomery Ward, and others. I previously owned this lovely round-hole carved top version (click here) but sold it to foot some bills, and of course later regretted it.

Scale length is 13 3/4" which is a nice "in-between" length.

This f-hole version has a slightly darker, more "liquid" sound that I really like. Aside from my parts-bin tailpiece cover, it's all-original, too. Unfortunately the tortoise pickguard was cracked and crumbled, so I've left it off.

Typical period Regal head stock. Original bone nut. I did a fresh fret dress, hairline crack repairs on the top, a small seam repair to the top, and also slightly recut the bridge topper along with a full setup, cleaning, etc. I also installed a double-sensor K&K pickup.

Action is just about as good as you could ask. It's super fast and the frets are somewhat tall to it feels very very quick. The neck is slightly thicker front to back than the oval-hole model I had before, which is actually much more pleasant to me as I learned on a very big-necked old c.1910 flatback.

Original rosewood bridge.

Unlike the front, the back, sides, and neck finish are all in really nice shape. The front has plenty of pickwear... which is a good thing! Woods are solid spruce top and solid maple everything else, with an "ebonized" maple fretboard.

Tuners are actually really nice engraved models. At some point I'll truly clean them up so they sparkle, but I was too excited to "get behind the wheel" to care too much about aesthetics.

Used an old brass lamp connector part to give the pickup jack a more vintage look. Maybe I'll find an old strap button, too, to finish the look.

Bound top and back and around the two points in cream celluloid.


Martin said…
Jake, did this have internal back bracing?