Experienced Banjo Mandolin

My Banjo Mandolin

contental bracketless banjo mandolin at ukulele corner
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Banjo Mandolin decorated back
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vintage european bracketless banjo mandolin at ukulele corner
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Continental Banjo Mandolin



It has steel strings and is tuned GG~DD~AA~EE

Bracketless Banjo Mandolin

Here is a continental Banjo Mandolin dating from, I would guess, the mid 20th century. I don't know a lot about it, apart from that it looks nice, as there is no makers marks on it that I'm aware of and from the style it could come from anywhere from Portugal to Italy and anywhen from 1930 to 1970. It did come at a bit of a bargain price, one of those ones where I put a small bid in, as much as anything to put it on the watch list and see how much it eventually goes for; but then no-one else bids so I end up winning. (it's always nice when this happens but it doesn't happen very often). In this case someone else did bid but they only went a pound over the opening bid and so my original bid was still the highest, (just). What really made me bid in the first place though was the nice photo they had taken of it in the sunshine with its refurbished, (from the look of the latches) and re covered, (tastefully, with sheets of old music scores), case. I liked this picture so much I had put it for "Chordophone of the day" on Pinterest not thinking I would eventually win the auction, and now having won I am thinking I will leave it "as is" for Chordophone of the day even though when it arrives I can restring it properly, clean it up and take some nice new photos of it, (I will do all of this but my photos won't be as "arty") I will also enjoy seeing if I can find out more of its age and nationality

Now it's here and the case is even nicer than I thought with plush burgundy velvet lining and lots of cushioning...
But I'm not suppose to go on about cases. The Mandolin itself is very nice too though it does need a little work; re stringing, tightening the head, the action seems very high, (though the bridge does look fairly original, or at least contemporary?) and it needs a good clean. I did think the fretboard might be radiused but it isn't, and I did hope I would be able to see some kind of maker's mark, but I can't. Maybe there is something under the head when I take it off to clean and tighten. I do hope so because it is well made and I would like to be able to say "XXX makes good chordophones"

Well I got the head off and had a good look inside but sadly there are no makers marks either on the drum or on the head so none the wiser. All I could find out from this examination is there is some age to the Banjo Mandolin and there is no neck adjustment things inside so possibly it needs a neck reset? I think it has lifted a little and this doesn't help with the action