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5. Rare Old German bowlback  mandolin (797)    @ 200 euros new


Larger photos are available on request.

Old un-named German bowl-back

This is an old German bowl-back mandolin from the early 20th century, with a fairly narrow fingerboard. A rare find with original intact Richter tuning system. It is in good condition after restoration. There is no label....

This instrument is now fully playable after restoration. The top is sound with 1 almost invisible shrinkage repair. It has a 24-piece stained maple bowl back with two long seam repairs. It has a the original fingerboard with re-levelled brass frets. The Richter tuners, tail and refitted bridge are all originals. It has been refinished throughout with Tru-oil varnish. It has been restrung with ultra-light GHS bronze wound classical strings, and is now playing well with a full, round sound with good sustain and volume. It has an easy playing action.

Other than cleaning, I have repaired as follows… 1) repaired a fine shrinkage crack in the top; 2) repaired 2 open seams in the bowl; 3) finished throughout with Tru-oil; 4) levelled and dressed the original frets; 5) refitted the bridge and ebony nut; and 6) 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.


Refinished throughout with Tru-oil varnish.

Belly wood

Fair quality, book-matched, spruce top, close-grained at the centre. 1 fine crack repair.

Scratch plate

Composite, slight wear, v. slight warp one side.

Sound hole

Ovaloid sound hole, approx. 65x 35mm.

Back and sides

24-piece, stained maple bowl-back, clasp & sides. 2 seam repairs.

Neck and Head

Two piece, stained neck and head in good condition.


Original rosewood fingerboard with 17 re-levelled brass frets. Original ebony nut.

Machine heads

Original steel and brass Richter tuners. All working.


Original in steel with 8 string hooks and strap loop.


Original rosewood refitted bridge, new bone saddle.

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