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12. Casella bowlback mandolin (649)   @   160 euros  new

Larger photos are available if required

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 …

Mario Casella

Premiata Fabbrica di Srumenti Musicali A Corda


(the signature 'Mario Casella' is also inked across the label)

This instrument is now fully playable after restoration. The top is sound with a shrinkage repair left side. It has a 21-piece rosewood bowl back with some seam repairs. It has the original fingerboard in rosewood and re-levelled frets. The tuners and tail are originals. It retains the original finish throughout, except for the top which has a coat of Tru-oil for protection. 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 an easy playing action.

Other than cleaning, I have repaired as follows… 1) repaired several open seams in the bowl; 2) repaired a long shrinkage crack in the top; 3) replaced missing edging; 4) levelled and dressed the original brass bar frets; 5) made and fitted a new rosewood shelf bridge; and 6) strung and set up.

Mandolin Specifications (In Millimetres)

Overall Length of Mandolin


Width of mandolin at widest point


Approx. Depth of mandolin

145mm at bridge.


Original finish throughout, somewhat scuffed on the bowl, except for the bare wood top which has a coat of tru-oil.

Belly wood

Fair quality, book-matched, spruce top with a long repair centre left.

Scratch plate

Original in good condition. Lots of MOP

Sound hole

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

Back and sides

21-piece, rosewood bowl-back & clasp, and tulipwood sides. Several seam repairs.

Neck and Head

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


Original rosewood fingerboard with 17 dressed and levelled brass bar frets. Original bone nut.

Machine heads

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


Original in steel with 4 brass string hooks.


New rosewood 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)

1.75 mm

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


I have some re-conditioned bowl-back cases available for purchase, as well as gigbags.


Video to follow shortly....