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Italian bowlback mandolin (677)  @ £140  new

Old named Italian bowl-back

This is an old, Italian bowl-back mandolin (some say French!?) from the late19th century, made in the de Meglio style. It has a wide fingerboard, so would suit a larger hand, and is in good condition after restoration. There is a label which says…


Premiata Fabbrica di Strumenti Armonici

con meurione onerevole esposizione de Palermo 1891-2


(It has also a pyrographically etched top stamp, so was certainly intended for the French market, where this style of marking was very typical.)

This instrument is now fully restored. The top is sound with NO cracks, but had been sadly abused. It has a 17-piece rosewood bowl back NO repairs. It has a new ebony fingerboard, with modern frets. The tuners, tail and bridge are originals. The top has been lightly refinished with Tru-oil for protection, elsewhere it retains the original French polished finish, except on the neck which has been reveneered. It has been restrung with ultra-light GHS bronze wound classical strings, and is now playing well with a rounded, mellow sound with good sustain and fair volume. It has an easy playing action.

Other than cleaning, I have repaired as follows… 1) replaced all the missing tulipwood edging; 2) replaced the damaged, worn neck veneer, and varnished; 3) fitted a new ebony fingerboard and frets; 4) replaced a missing tuner button; 5) finished the top for protection with a coat of Tru-oil; and 6) refitted original bridge, 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.


Original finish in good condition on the bowl. A coat of Tru-oil protects the top. Neck refinished where veneer was replaced.

Belly wood

Book-matched, spruce top with no repairs, but was badly scuffed and scratched. Top now tidy, and sealed with a coat of Tru-oil. Tulipwood edging replaced.

Scratch plate

Original in very good condition.

Sound hole

Oval hole, approx. 65 x 45mm. Also side vents.

Back and sides

17-piece, rosewood, bowl-back, clasp, and sides.

Neck and Head

2-piece, stained head and veneered neck. Neck veneer new.


New ebony with modern alloy frets. MOP position markers at 3, 5, 7, 10 and 12.

Machine heads

Original steel and brass enclosed tuners with original buttons except for 1 replacement. All working.


Original with 4 string posts.


Original in ebony with original tensioner.

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


Larger photos are available on request.