10/28/2010

c.1925 Stromberg-Voisinet "Galiano" Mandolin


Forget the fake Italian name... this was made by Kay/Stromberg Voisinet in Chicago around c.1925-1930 or so. It's entirely made from solid mahogany, with a canted-top and flat back, and has that fun Venetian shape typical to Kay/SV instruments of various types from the time. While it feels on the small side to hold, it's got plenty of punch and a crisp, balanced tone, with that sweet warmth that you get from mahogany.

This is an instrument I worked on for a customer -- work included a neck reset, fret dress, new bridge and nut, and setup.



Gotta love the pearloid with the mahogany... sweet look.



New rosewood bridge. I may cut the top edge to line up with the slots a little better tomorrow.


Not only is this not an Italian style mandolin... it was also made in Chicago. Galiano, however, was a reseller, and popped this label right in.



The mando is in really great shape... no cracks at all and every brace was in good order. It's extremely lightweight and quite comfortable to hold.


Nice backplate for the tuners... I opened these all up and tightened everything... they were pretty loosey-goosey upon arrival.


At some point in its previous history, someone attempted to reset the neck by drilling a hole and installing a dowel. This -- sort of -- works, for a while, but then always loosens up down the line. What really needed solving was a bad dovetail joint, which once properly shimmed up to match the heel profile, will be stable for the foreseeable future.



Nice looking mahogany.




Luckily, it still has its tailpiece cover. Also: nice purfling around the edges! Both top, back, and fretboard are bound in cream celluloid, too.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

While that might not have been made by Galiano, I believe it was in fact designed by an Italian luthier, Joseph Zorzi. I have two of the Venetian S-V mandolins, and they're fine playing instruments.