35. Old Italian bowlback mandolin (629)  200 euros  new
Larger photos are available on request.

Old 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 …

Carlo Cristini

Fabbrica di Mandolini


This instrument is now fully playable after restoration. The top is sound with a small repair to the centre join. It has a 21-piece rosewood bowl back with no repairs. It has the a new fingerboard in rosewood, set on a shim. The tuners, tail and bridge are originals. It retains the original french polished finish throughout, except for 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 fair sustain and volume. It has an easy playing action.

Other than cleaning, I have repaired as follows… 1) fitted a new rosewood fingerboard; 2) repaired a shrinkage cracks down the centre join in the top; 3) refitted the bridge and a new bone nut; 4) finished the top with tru-oil; 5) replaced missing mop edging pieces; and 6) set up.

There are two bridge position buttons, which I will fit once the mandolin has settled under full tension.

Mandolin Specifications (In Millimetres)

Overall Length of Mandolin


Width of mandolin at widest point


Approx. Depth of mandolin

150mm at bridge.


Original French polish finished throughout, except for the bare wood top which has a coat of tru-oil.

Belly wood

Fair quality, book-matched, spruce top with a repair to the centre join.

Scratch plate

Original in good condition. Lots of MOP

Sound hole

Oval hole, approx. 65 x 40mm. Lots of MOP

Back and sides

21-piece, rosewood bowl-back & clasp, and tulipwood sides. No seam repairs.

Neck and Head

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


New rosewood fingerboard with 17 new levelled alloy frets. New bone nut.

Machine heads

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


Original in steel with 4 brass string posts.


Original shelf bridge refitted.

Scale Length Bridge to nut

Scale of 328mm

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.