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20. Old German flatback mandolin (802 @  110 euros new
Larger photos are available on request.

This is an old, German-built, flatback mandolin, perhaps from the early to mid C20th. It is in good condition after restoration. It has a long scale at 335mm but a fairly narrow fingerboard. It would make a good travelling or 'back-packers' mandolin. There was no makers logo, not unusual for E. German-made instruments.


This instrument is now fully cleaned and playable. The top is sound with 2 repairs. It has a 2-piece flat back in stained maple with repairs. It has the original fingerboard and frets. The tuners and bridge are originals, the tailpiece new. It has been restrung with ultra-light GHS bronze wound classical strings, and is now playing well with a strong sound with good sustain and fair volume. It has an easy playing action.

Other than cleaning, I have repaired as follows; 1) repaired and reglued the split loose back, which was screwed on!! 2) repaired 2 short shrinkage cracks to the top, the upper of which was badly glued; 3) refinished the body with shellac and tru-oil; 4) made and fitted a new bone nut and zero fret; 5) refitted the original bridge; 6) fitted new tuner buttons to the treble side (slightly larger); and 7) strung and set up.


Mandolin Specifications (In Millimetres)

Overall Length of Mandolin


Width of mandolin at widest point


Approx. Depth of mandolin

Approx. 80mm at bridge.


Body refinished with Tru-oil, a hard, light modern oil varnish.

Belly wood

Fair-quality, close-grained at the centre, book-matched, spruce. 2 repairs left side.

Scratch plate

Reasonable, walnut?

Sound hole

Ovaloid approx 65 x 35mm

Back and sides

2-piece, stained maple flat-back, with repairs. I have filled the two screw holes.

Neck and Head

Stained maple in perfect condition


Original with 17 original frets. New zero fret. Spots: 5, 7, & 12

Machine heads

Original All working with 4 new buttons. (Slightly larger than originals.)


New in steel, with 4 string posts. There is also a strap button.


Original bridge, refitted. (Bridge on a slant for better intonation)

Scale Length Bridge to nut

Scale of 333mm

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