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4. Michele Maratea bowlback mandolin  (752)  @ 300 euros new
Larger photos are available on request.

Old named Italian bowl-back

This is an old, Italian bowl-back mandolin from the late19th century, made by Michele Maratea, a student of Vinaccia. It is in good condition after restoration. There is a label which says…

Michele Maratea

Allievo di Vinaccia

Fabbricante de Mandole, Luiti e Mandolini

Vicoletto Rosario a Portamedina No 18

Napoli 189-

This instrument is now fully restored and playable. The top is sound but has small repairs to the lef side. It has a 17-piece rosewood bowl back with NO repairs. It has the original re-levelled fingerboard in ebony, with original brass bar frets. The tuners and tail, are originals, the bridge and tensioner new. The top has been repaired and lightly refinished with Tru-oil for protection, elsewhere it retains the original French polished finish a little scuffed in places. It has been restrung with ultra-light GHS bronze wound classical strings, and is now playing well with a rounded, mellow sound with good sustain and fair volume. It has an easy playing action.

Other than cleaning, I have repaired as follows… 1) replaced missing and broken edging; 2) repaired small shrinkage splits left side of top; 3) replaced damaged neck veneer, refinishing neck and head; 4) levelled the fingerboard and dressed the frets; 5) finished the top for protection with a coat of Tru-oil; 6) made and fitted a new bridge and tensioner; 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.


Original finish on bowl, a little scuffed. A coat of Tru-oil protects the top and refinish on neck and head.

Belly wood

Fair quality, book-matched, spruce top with small repairs. Top sealed with a coat of Tru-oil. Edging renewed.

Scratch plate

Original, small chip right side.

Sound hole

Oval hole, approx. 65 x 45mm. Also side vents.

Back and sides

17-piece, rosewood, bowl-back, clasp, and sides. No seam repair.

Neck and Head

2-piece, stained head and veneered neck. Some damaged neck veneer replaced


Original ebony with original re-levelled brass bar frets. (Slight wear) MOP position markers at 3, 5, 7, 10 and 12.

Machine heads

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


Original in German silver with 4 string posts.


New inlaid ebony shelf bridge and tensioner.

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