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36. Italian bowlback mandolin  (622)  @  175 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. There is a label which says…

Pietro Ruffini

Premiata Fabbrica Strumenti Musicali

Brescia (Italia)

and an Importers label which says Ball, Beavon & Co. London

This instrument is now fully playable after restoration. The top is sound with 2 repairs, one either side of the fingerboard. It has a 23-piece rosewood bowl back with NO repairs. It retains the original ebony fingerboard now with relevelled brass bar frets. The tuners, tail and bridge are originals. It has original French polished finish throughout but with Tru-oil on the top. 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) relevelled the original frets; 2) repaired damage to the top; 3) repaired damage around the heel; 4) finished the top with Tru-oil as protection; 5) refitted the bridge; and 6) restrung 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 French polished finish throughout, touched up around repairs, and top protected with tru-oil.

Belly wood

Book-matched, spruce top, close grained at the centre, with repairs either side of the fingerboard. There is light warping onb the left of the sound hole, which does not affect playability.

Scratch plate

Original in good condition.

Sound hole

Oval hole, approx. 65 x 35mm. Lots of MOP

Back and sides

23-piece, rosewood bowl-back, clasp and sides. No seam repairs .

Neck and Head

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


Original ebony, original brass bar frets, now level.

Machine heads

Original steel and brass open tuners with original buttons. All working, though some stiff.


Original in steel with 4 string hooks.


Original ebony and brass shelf bridge refitted.

Scale Length Bridge to nut

Scale of 336mm

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.