1925 Emanuelle Egildo High-Grade Italian-made Bowlback Mandolin

It's something, isn't it? I don't often get high-grade bowlback mandolins through the shop, but when I do I always get a little thrill. I'm a fan of mandolin orchestra music and these were made to excel in such use. Something like this -- with clarity, volume, and projection -- does a great job as a lead instrument in a group... though not if that's a bluegrass group, mind you.'

This one is signed, labeled, and dated (1925) on the inside as made by Emanuelle Egildo and boy is it in the "Roman" fashion -- scroll headstock, slotted tuners, fluted flamed maple back with a zillion ribs, hard v-shaped neck, thick ebony fretboard with long extension, thicker bar frets, compensated bone bridge -- the list goes on. It's clearly a pro-level instrument and would have been exhausting to build. It also sounds and handles like a pro-level instrument, too.

It's now playing spot-on and sounds the biz, but when it arrived it was a little out of sorts and needed a glorified setup and some fussing.

Repairs included: fret level dress, tuner lube, much cleaning, cleats and seal job for previously-repaired hairline cracks on the top below the cant (parallel to the string-ends behind the bridge), setup...

Made by: Emanuelle Egildo

Made in: Italy

Serial number: illegible -- 2166? 466?

Top wood: solid spruce

Back & sides wood: solid flamed maple

Bracing type: ladder

Bridge: original compensated bone

Fretboard: ebony

Neck wood: flamed maple

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

Neck shape: medium hard V

Board radius: flat

Neck relief: straight

Fret style: medium bar, squarer profile

Scale length: 13 3/8"

Nut width: 1"

Body length: 12 1/4"

Body width: 8 1/4"

Body depth: 5 1/8"

Weight: 1 lb 2 oz

Condition notes: about 1/5 of the inlay on the top edge is replacement. The scroll's "face" is missing a big pearl block inlay and is just black, instead. There are two (repaired, but obvious) hairline cracks on the "lower bout" to the sides of the string-ends. I added side dots. A couple of the tuner buttons have repaired hairline cracks in them but work just fine. The tuners themselves are a hair stiff/fussy even after a lube -- they're handmade "hollow core" units, though -- and aren't really an issue, but I like to be thorough. The finish is in actually really good shape and cleaned-up nicely. It shows mild wear and tear throughout -- but mostly confined to the top (pick area and pickguard) and  where strings rubbed at the headstock.


daverepair said…
A lovely piece of workmanship!