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3.  Rare Esparza bowlback mandolin (701)  @ 175 euros new
Larger photos are available on request.

Old Italian bowl-back

This is an old, Italian bowl-back mandolin from the early 20th century. It is in good condition after restoration. There is a label which says …

Pietro Esparza

This instrument is now fully playable after restoration. The top is sound with no splits, but was rather scuffed and battered. It has a 23-piece rosewood bowl back with 2 seam repairs. It has the original fingerboard in rosewood. The tuners and tail are originals, the bridge new. It retains the original finish throughout, touched up around repairs, with a coat of Tru-oil for protection on the top. It has been restrung with ultra-light GHS bronze wound classical strings, and is now playing well with a strong, ringing sound with fair sustain and volume. It has bright rounded sound, and an easy playing action.

Other than cleaning, I have repaired as follows… 1) repaired two open seams in the bowl; 2) reglued loose veneer on the neck and loose inlay pieces; 3) levelled the fingerboard and frets; 4) repaired several scratches in the top and applied a coat of Tru-oil varnish for protection; 5) repaired a split in the head; 6) made and fitted a new bone nut and rosewood bridge; and, 7) strung and set up.

Mandolin Specifications (In Millimetres)

Overall Length of Mandolin


Width of mandolin at widest point


Approx. Depth of mandolin

150mm at bridge.


Original finish throughout, touched up around repairs and tru-oil to protect the top.

Belly wood

Fair quality, book-matched, spruce top. Several scratches repaired.

Scratch plate

Original in good condition.

Sound hole

Oval hole, approx. 65 x 40mm. Lots of MOP

Back and sides

23-piece, rosewood bowl-back & clasp. Tulipwood sides. 2 long seam repairs.

Neck and Head

2-piece, stained and veneered neck and head, now in good condition.


Original rosewood fingerboard with 17 levelled brass bar frets. Relatively wide... New bone nut. Position markers at 3, 5, 7, 10 and 12

Machine heads

Original steel and brass tuners with original buttons. All working.


Original in brass with 4 string posts.


New rosewood and brass shelf bridge fitted.

Scale Length Bridge to nut

Scale of 332mm

G string height at bridge


E string height at bridge


12th fret to bottom of G string (Action)


12th fret to bottom of E string (Action)


Width of fretboard at nut


Width of fretboard at widest point


Sleeve guard

Sleeve guards are available if required