This mandolin’s tuning machines have temporarily been replaced with Stew-Mac replicas (engraved plate/grained ivoroid buttons, but the original somewhat yellowed grained ivoroid button 1920 tuners reside in the case and its next owner could, if he or she wished, reinstall them. Top and back of the body are bound in ivoroid; the back binding has yellowed and even taken on a small amount of blue/green in three areas, leached from the case lining, while the top binding has remained white-ish.
The bridge is one-piece, striped ebony with individual compensation to the top to allow for four separate distances from the bone nut for each pair of doubled strings. We’ve thought about this a great deal but our conclusion is, observing the subtleties of the carving that it looks right and it does have the small positioning hole in the lower treble side where the metal pin underlying the grained ivoroid fingerrest resides. The other alternative is that, because it is not black ebony one wonders if it’s a brilliantly made replica.
There is presently a 1” area of back binding that has slightly pulled away from the wood on the upper treble; it needs to be heated, pressed back, and glued. There may be some other areas where two piece of wood are joined in holy matrimony where there is a small line to indicate that an incipient separation might be forming, but so far none of these are open. A person with enhanced visual acuity will note a few small dings here and there and fewer than expected scuffs here and there, crazing lines on the headplate and center back of headplate, a couple of small chips on the top edge of the front of the headplate and small indents on the backplate – perhaps from when the Stew-Mac tuners were installed. The pickguard was at one time loose at the nail that holds it to the treble edge of the fingerboard and in introducing a new nail a prior owner separated two layers of grained ivoroid under the pickguard which has resulted in a slight bow (lift, rise) in the fretboard near its center, as seen from the edge. This is of little consequence but we believe in full disclosure. In all this is a beautiful and well-preserved mandolin in a formal yet cheerful color that one just doesn't see often enough these days.
THIS WAS $4,119 BUT IS NOW ON SALE!