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15. Old American  bowlack (620)  @ 120 euros

Larger photos are available on request.

Old American bowl-back

This is an old, American bowl-back mandolin from the late early 20the century I think, made in the style of italian instruments. It is in good condition after restoration. There is no label...

This instrument is now fully restored. The top is sound with no repairs. It has a 11-piece flamed maple bowl back with 1 repair. It has the original fingerboard, with original brass bar frets. The tuners and tail are originals, the bridge new. The mandolin has been refinished throughout with shellac and tru-oil varnish.. It has been restrung with ultra-light GHS bronze wound classical strings, and is now playing well with a strong, mellow sound with good sustain and fair volume. It has an easy playing action.

Other than cleaning, I have repaired as follows… 1) fitted a new bone nut; 2) re-levelled original brass bar frets; 3) repaired a split in the bowl; and 4) refinished throughout with Tru-oil and shellac; 5) made and fitted a new bridge and bone nut; and 6) re-enamelled the tailpiece 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, a modern hard light oil varnish.

Belly wood

Book-matched, spruce top with NO repairs. Top sealed with a coat of Tru-oil. Edging in v. good repair.

Scratch plate

Faux t/s and celluloid inlay.

Sound hole

Oval hole, approx. 60 x 40mm.

Back and sides

11-piece, flamed maple bowl-back, and stained clasp and sides.

Neck and Head

Single-piece, stained head and neck.


Original with 17 original re-levelled brass bar frets. MOP position markers at 5, 7, 10, 12. New bone nut.

Machine heads

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


Original, with 8 string hooks. Re-enamelled.


New 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 N/A


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