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3. Old inlaid Neapolitan bowlback (502)   @ 300 euros new

Old named Italian bowl-back

This is an old, Italian bowl-back mandolin from the early 20th century. It is in good condition after restoration. It is relatively rare as it is highly inlaid, and an upper level instrument. There is a label which says…

Luigi Poppi

Via Vecchia, Napoli

This instrument is now fully playable after restoration. The top is now sound with no splits. It has a superb 27-piece rosewood bowl back with several seam pairs. It has the original highly decorative inlaid fingerboard set on a shim. The tuners and tail are originals, 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 bright, round, ringing sound with good sustain and volume. It has an easy playing action.

Other than cleaning, I have repaired as follows… 1) rebuilt and set the original f/b on a shim for better playability; 2) repaired several open seams in the bowl; 3) refinished throughout with shellac and tru-oil; 4) made and fitted a new nut and bridge; 5) dressed and levelled the original brass frets; and 6) set up.


Mandolin Specifications (In Millimetres)

Overall Length of Mandolin


Width of mandolin at widest point


Approx. Depth of mandolin

140mm at bridge.


Refinished throughout with tru-oil.

Belly wood

Close-grained, book-matched, spruce top with no repairs. Highly inlaid around the edge... some missing MOP replaced.

Scratch plate

Original in good condition, t/s and MOP.

Sound hole

Oval hole, approx. 65x 40mm.

Back and sides

27-piece, rosewood, bowl-back & clasp, and decorative tulipwood and box edging. Some seam repairs .

Neck and Head

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


Original fingerboard, set on a shim, mostly MOP with original brass bar fets, levelled and dressed.

Machine heads

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


Original in steel with 4 brass string posts.


New rosewood and brass 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.