1900s American Conservatory (Lyon & Healy, Regal-made) Rosewood Mandolinetto

This mandolinetto -- a guitar-shaped mandolin -- sports Brazilian rosewood back and sides and a lot of trim upgrades over the more-usual Regal-made fare at the time. It's branded American Conservatory (Lyon & Healy's not-quite-Washburn-level brand) but was definitely made by Regal for the company. That swooped headstock shape is often indicative of their builds at the time and even shows-up on Regal gear into the '20s and '30s -- but fortunately, all the rest of the details add-up, too.

It's here via consignment and I figured I'd pop it in the rcurrent epair pile along with all of the other oddities I'm working-on at the moment -- a herd of tiples, mandolin-family toys, ukes, and bizarre world instruments.

Despite looking pretty nice when it came in, it needed a bit of effort to get it running, but now that it is, I'm happy with it. Rosewood-backed flatback mandolins really do have an advantage over ones with other woods. They tend to be fuller-sounding, warmer, and have the clean sustain that makes them fun to play and might otherwise sound a little "boxy" with birch or mahogany back//sides. Said kin aren't bad, mind you, but I do like the sound of a rosewood flatback.

It plays fast and easy and is ready to go. It does have a hairline crack in the heel, though, which I reglued and then reinforced with an internal pin/bolt addition.

Repairs included: a neck reset, repair/reinforcement of a heel split, fret level/dress, side dots, one replacement tuner button, repair of tuners (I had to solder the gear to the post as these are friction-set and they were slipping on the post -- ugly but they work and they're an odd spacing, so needs must as replacement is difficult), new compensated ebony bridge, brace repairs, replacement tailpiece, small section of replaced binding on the back, and setup.

Made by: Regal

Model: American Conservatory model...?

Made in: USA

Top wood: solid spruce

Back & sides wood: solid Brazilian rosewood

Bracing type: ladder

Bridge: ebony comp'd

Fretboard: ebony, ebony nut

Neck wood: mahogany

Tone: clean, rich, sustained, sweet

Suitable for: folk, old-time, Celtic, world

Action height at 12th fret: 1/16" overall (fast, spot-on)
String gauges: 32w-9 (GHS A240 set)

Neck shape: medium C/V

Board radius: flat

Truss rod: none

Neck relief: straight

Fret style: small/low

Scale length: 13"

Nut width: 1 1/8"

String spacing at nut: 1"

String spacing at bridge: 1 9/16"

Body length: 10 1/2"

Body width: 7 3/4"

Body depth: 3"

Weight: 1 lb 6 oz

Condition notes: original save one pearl dot, replacement bridge, one tuner button, a small section of binding, and the tailpiece. There are no cracks but it does have a lot of wear including pickwear and scratches all over the top, back, and sides. In addition, scratched-into the finish in very small characters at the back-center-seam is, "Belonged to Goldie Thomas Shepherd, Aunt of..."