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36. Ornate old Italian bowlback mandolin  (750)  @  250 euros new

Old named Italian bowl-back

This is an old, Italian bowl-back mandolin from the late 19th or early 20th century, with a fairly high level of decoration. It is in good condition after minimal restoration. There is a label which says …

Francesco Salomone

Fabricca di Mandolini


Via Chiara 16

This instrument is now fully playable after restoration. The top is sound with 1 shrinkage repair, lower left. It has a superb 27-piece rosewood bowl back with a long seam repairs. It has a original decorative fingerboard in rosewood and new brass bar frets. The tuners and tail are originals, the bridge new. It has been refinished throughout except on the top which has been lightly finished with 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) restained the neck and head; 2) repaired a split in the top, and an open seam in the bowl; 3) replaced missing edging; 4) fitted new brass bar frets; 5) refinished throughout with shellac and tru-oil, with thin coat on the top for protection; 6) made and fitted a new bridge; and 5) strung and set up.


Mandolin Specifications (In Millimetres)

Overall Length of Mandolin


Width of mandolin at widest point


Approx. Depth of mandolin

150mm at bridge.


Refinished throughout with shellac and tru-oil, top protected with Tru-oil varnish.

Belly wood

Good quality, close-grained, book-matched, spruce top, with one repairs.

Scratch plate

Original butterfly motif, t/s and mop in excellent condition.

Sound hole

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

Back and sides

27-piece, rosewood bowl-back, clasp & tulipwood sides and decoration. Small cosmetic repairs to décor.

Neck and Head

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


Original rosewood decorative fingerboard & 17 new brass bar frets. Original bone nut.

Machine heads

Original steel and brass enclosed tuners with original ivory? buttons. All working, some a little stiff.


Original in steel with 4 brass string posts.


New rosewood and brass bridge fitted.

Scale Length Bridge to nut

Scale of 335mm

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


Larger photos are available on request.