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Old Milanese mandolin (569)  @ £450  new

Old Lombardy bowl-back mandolino

This is an old, upper level, Lombardy bowl-back mandolino from the late 1800s or early 1900s. It is in good condition after restoration. There is a label which says…

Ant. Monzino & Figli


Strumenti Musicali a Corde

(the address line is illegible)

This instrument is now fully restored. The top is sound with minor shrinkage repairs. It has a 21-piece rosewood bowl back with 2 seam repairs. It has the original ebony fingerboard, with original German silver bar frets. Much missing mop decorative inlay has been replaced. Pegs are replacements for an incomplete motley collection. It has been completely refinished with shellac and Tru-oil for protection. It has been restrung with nylon strings (as opposed to gut), and is now playing well with a light bright sound. It has an fair playing action.

Other than cleaning, I have repaired as follows… 1) repair 2 open seams in the bowl; 2) repaired shrinkage cracks in the top and replaced a small damaged section, bottom left; 3) replaced missing MOP inlay pieces; and 4) renewed all pegs and peg holes; 5) refinished throughout; and 6) strung up with nylon strings.

Being a Lombardy mandolino, not a neapolitan, its tuning is different.... it is tuned GBeadg (bass to treble) using nylon or nylgut strings, or wire wound silk on the lower 3 strings. The Lombardian, or Milanese mandolin was a C19 version of the older mandolino, developed principally by the Monzino family in Milan between 1750 and 1930. This was probably made by Antonio Monzino IV or his son Antonio V, sometime between 1870 and 1930...



Mandolin Specifications (In Millimetres)

Overall Length of Mandolin


Width of mandolin at widest point


Approx. Depth of mandolin

140mm at bridge.


Completely refinished with shellac and tru-oil. A coat of Tru-oil protects the top.

Belly wood

Fair quality, book-matched, spruce top. Several small shrinkage repairs. Small repair lower left. Damaged edging repaired.

Scratch plate

Original in good condition, lots of Mop.

Sound hole

Oval hole, approx. 70 x 35mm. Lots of MOP in the surround.

Back and sides

21-piece, rosewood, bowl-back, clasp, and sides. Two seam repairs. Lots of marquetry inlay on the clasp and sides.

Neck and Head

One-piece, painted, maple head and neck.


Original scalloped ebony fingerboard, with 20 original German silver bar frets. MOP position markers.


New ebony pegs fitted as originals were lost. All peg seatings renewed..




Original, probably painted maple.

Scale Length Bridge to nut

Scale of 305mm

Bass string height at bridge


Treble string height at bridge


12th fret to bottom string (Action)


12th fret to bottom string (Action)


Width of fretboard at nut


Width of fretboard at widest point


Larger photos are available on request.