31. Old Italian bowlback mandolin (526)  200 euros
Larger photos are available on request.

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. There is a label which says …

Ermalinda Silvestri

underneath a retailers label which says

E. Lavendommes

Houdeng Aimeries

This instrument is now fully playable after restoration. The top is sound with one repair. It has a superb 33-piece rosewood bowl back with 1 seam repair. It has a new semi-concert rosewood fingerboard. The tuners, tail and bridge are originals. It retains the original french polished finish throughout except on the top, which 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 bright, ringing sound with good sustain and volume. It has an easy playing action.

Other than cleaning, I have repaired as follows… 1)repaired a shrinkage split in the top; 2) repaired an open seam in the bowl; 3) made and fitted a new fingerboard; 4) fitted a new nut and refitted original bridge; 5)touched up varnish around repairs; and 6) restrung and set upset up.


Mandolin Specifications (In Millimetres)

Overall Length of Mandolin


Width of mandolin at widest point


Approx. Depth of mandolin

150mm at bridge.


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

Belly wood

Excellent quality, close-grained, book-matched, spruce top with one shrinkage repair. Maple and ebony edging in good condition.

Scratch plate

Original in good condition.

Sound hole

Oval hole, approx. 70x 40mm. Lots of MOP. Some slight warping either side, but does not affect playability.

Back and sides

Superb 33-piece, rosewood bowl-back & clasp. One seam repair . There is an end hole which might have been for a violin-style tail button, or a pickup.

Neck and Head

2-piece, veneered neck and head. Good condition.


New rosewood semi-concert fingerboard with 22 alloy 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 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.