1890s Weymann Bowlback Mandolin

Update 2019: I've added new pics, a video clip, and have updated parts of the description.

I don't see too many Weymann bowlbacks grace the doors via customers and most of them are of the slightly-newer (1900s), tubbier-looking variety. This one is clearly older -- probably mid-1890s judging by the '94 patent date on the tuners -- and a little narrower and drier-sounding -- like many other American bowlbacks of the same decade.

It's also in great shape but it did get a heavy-handed fret level/dress, modification to the bridge, some binding repair, a couple hairline cracks cleated and filled, some side dots, and a good general setup before it was allowed to leave. It's got interesting woods with birdseye maple and mahogany ribs on the bowl and a mellow, buttery-yellow finish to the spruce top. The trim has fairly fancy purfling and binding (complete with nice red dye still extant) but the whole effect is understated.

What's it sound like? Well -- it's "classical" and dry with a lot of sustain and focus on the note. The low-end is scooped right out but it does sound good for old-timey/Celtic riffing and has an almost "Strat neck+middle position" voice to it. I like.

Work included: stuff mentioned above -- but suffice to say the neck is straight, the mandolin has been very stable the last two years, and it plays bang-on with 1/16" action at the 12th fret. I have it strung with the GHS A240 bowlback-gauge string set and I wouldn't go any heavier.

Scale length: 13 1/4"
Nut width: 1 1/8"
String spacing at nut: 1"
String spacing at bridge: 1 1/2"
Body length: 12 3/8"
Lower bout width: 7 3/8"
Side depth at endpin: ~5"
Top wood: solid spruce, canted
Back/sides wood: solid figured maple and solid mahogany
Bracing type: ladder
Fretboard: ebony
Bridge: ebony/bone insert
Neck feel: slim C shape, flat board

Condition notes: it's clean overall but does have one longer and one shorter repaired set of cracks on the top-lower-bout. It's also 100% original except for the new side dots.

It comes with: a dilapidated original leather case.

I've always liked those aluminum-buttoned, recessed Weymann-style tuners.

The board and bridge are ebony and the nut and saddle are bone.

I've got 32w-9 GHS mando strings on here.

The pickguard has crackled like crazy. I did soak some glue in there to hold it more-stable. There's one tiny missing shard in the middle of it that's simply filled, though it's not obvious. I compensated the bridge, too.

The tailpiece is Waverly-style but not a Waverly product.

The mix of dark-stained birdseye maple and mahogany is grand, isn't it? It's like some wild vegetable plucked from the garden.

The lower tailpiece screw is new and, strangely-enough, the tailpiece was never drilled for a screw down there. I figured it would be a good idea to add one for stability's sake.