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4. French built bowlback mandolin  (525)  @ 140 euros

This mandolin has now been set up as a left-handed instrument

Larger photos are available on request.

Old French bowl-back

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


which usually signifies a mandolin made at Mirecourt in the Vosges, in the Neapolitan style.

This instrument is now fully playable after restoration. The top is sound with two shrinkage repairs. It has a 15-piece rosewood bowl back with a couple of almost invisible seam repairs. It has the original fingerboard in rosewood. The tuners and tail are originals, the bridge new. It has been refinished with shellac and tru-oil varnish throughout, touched up around small 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 good volume and bright rounded sound, and an easy playing action.

Other than cleaning, I have repaired as follows… 1) repaired 2 open seams in the bowl; 2) repaired 2 shrinkage splits to the top; 3) repaired damaged edging; 4) levelled the original frets; 5) refinished throughout with shellac and a coat or two of tru-oil for protection; 6) made and fitted a new 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

140mm at bridge.


Refinished throughout, with shellac and tru-oil to protect the top.

Belly wood

Excellent quality, book-matched, close-grained, spruce top. 2 shrinkage repairs. Also repairs to purfling.

Scratch plate

Original acetate in good condition with lots of MOP

Sound hole

Oval hole, approx. 70 x 40mm. Lots of MOP inlay.

Back and sides

15-piece, rosewood bowl-back, clasp. Tulipwood sides. 2 seam repairs.

Neck and Head

2-piece, stained neck and head, in good order.


Original rosewood fingerboard with 16 new brass frets. Original bone nut. Position markers at 3, 5, 7, 10 and 12

Machine heads

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


Original brass with 4 large string posts.


New rosewood and brass shelf bridge fitted.

Scale Length Bridge to nut

Scale of 330mm

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