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14. Calace bowlback mandolin (660)  @ 500 euros new

Larger photos are available on request.

Calace Italian bowl-back

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

Cav. Raffaele Calace

Via Chiaia 207


Signed by Calace... Anno 1912

This instrument is now fully playable after restoration. The top is sound with 2 split repairs. It has a 17-piece maple bowl back with 2 practically invisible seam repairs. It has the original rosewood fingerboard set on a shim and MOP markers. The tuners and tail are original, the bridge new. It has been refinished throughout with shellac and Tru-oil. It has been restrung with ultra-light GHS bronze wound classical strings, and is now playing well with a strident ringing sound with good sustain and volume. It has an easy playing action.

Other than cleaning, I have repaired as follows… 1) repaired 2 shrinkage cracks in the top; 2) repaired 2 open seams in the bowl; 3) reset the fingerboard on a shim to aid playability; 4) cleaned up an old repair to the neck/head join, it seems completely stable; 5) made and fitted a new arm guard; 6) refinished throughout with shellac and tru-oil varnish; 7) made and fitted a new nut and bridge; and 8) 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 shellac and tru-oil.

Belly wood

Good quality, close-grained, book-matched, spruce top with 2 split repairs. One or two small scratches.

Scratch plate

Original in rosewood in good condition

Sound hole

Round hole, approx. 60mm. Dia.

Back and sides

17-piece, maple, bowl-back, rosewood clasp, and sides. 2 almost invisible seam repairs, re-enforced inside.

Neck and Head

2-piece, veneered neck and head in fair condition. An old repair to the neck head join is stable.


Original concert fingerboard, set on a shim. 24 German silver frets relevelled and dressed. One or two missing replaced. New bone nut.

Machine heads

Original steel and brass tuners. All working.


Original in steel with 8 string posts.


New rosewood and bone bridge fitted.

Scale Length Bridge to nut

Scale of 335mm

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


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

video to follow...