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16. Old Italian mandolin (633) @  140 euros

Old Italian bowl-back

This is an old, Italian bowl-back mandolin from the early 20th century, with a relatively wide fingerboard. It is in good condition after restoration. There is no label or top-stamp to indicate who it was made by, but is undoubtedly from Naples... …

This instrument is now fully playable after restoration. The top is sound with a long shrinkage repair centre right. It has a 23-piece rosewood bowl back with a couple of seam repairs. It has a new ebony fingerboard with modern frets. The tuners, tail and bridge are originals. It retains the original finish throughout except on the top, where it 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 surprisingly loud, ringing sound with good sustain. It has an easy playing action.

Other than cleaning, I have repaired as follows… 1) repaired a long shrinkage crack in the top; 2) replaced missing MOP edging; 3) made and fitted a new fingerboard in ebony; 4) repaired several partly open seams in the bowl; 5) touched up the french polish around repairs; 6) applied a coat of Tru-oil varnish to the top; 7) refitted the original 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

140mm at bridge.


Original finish throughout, touched up around seam repairs, top protected with Tru-oil

Belly wood

Good quality, book-matched, spruce top with 1 long shrinkage repair. Missing MOP edging replaced.

Scratch plate

Original in fair condition.

Sound hole

Oval hole, approx. 70 x 40mm.

Back and sides

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

Neck and Head

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


New ebony fingerboard with modern frets. New bone nut.

Machine heads

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


Original in steel with 4 brass string posts.


Original refitted ebony shelf bridge.

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 are available if required


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


Larger photos are available on request.