Stridente Bowlback Mandriola 12 string Mandolin circa 1900

My Old Mandolin

19th century mandolin bowl back stridente

with its Bowl Back

Stridente Mandriola

A Mandriola is a type of Mandolin but with 12 strings in 4 courses of 3 instead of 8 strings in 4 courses of 2.Though essentially tuned like a Mandolin, (the courses are tuned are tuned G D A E), there is some debate about whether all of the strings are tuned to the same pitch, the lowers 2 courses are tuned an octave higher on the inner and outer string or all 4 courses have the middle string an octave lower? Historically the Mandriola was popular from about 1900 to 1910 though production must have started earlier for them to get popular. The reason for the popularity was possibly the tonal variations but I have also seen it suggested that it increased the volume, (this was certainly why Oscar Schmidt made them in the US until well past 1920)

Stridente were a fairly prolific, so probably big, luthiery company from Naples Italy, (well there is still a lot of them about?) I can't see anything about them being in business today and all of the others I have seen are dated from before the first world war

I was given the instrument by my Brother in Law's Sister and she inherited it from her Father in Law. She told me he got it before world war two but that's all she knows.

The instrument itself has a Spruce Soundboard and a rosewood bowl, and neck. The butterfly is all inlay and quite tasteful. It also has one hell of a head stock to accommodate the extra strings and if it were in reasonable to good condition and playable it would be wonderful. Sadly its in very poor shape with so many major faults I won't list them all here but it is completely unplayable the shape it is and I'm not sure it ever will be again? I'll ask a couple of luthiers and see what they think?

Sadly the consensus is "it'll never play again" a bit like my football career