11/20/2011

c.1919 Martin Style A Flatback Mandolin


This is a customer's Martin mando that I did a fret dress, cleaning, and setup on. I'm hoping I can convince him to sell it to me, though, as this one's a sweetie! It's crack-free and in glorious shape with just the tiniest relief to the neck, which was settled down in my fret dress anyhow. Everything is original and it plays and sounds like a champ with a good, strong voice that has a great amount of cut for a canted-top flatback design.


This particular mando dates to around c.1920 or so, judging by the tuners and the fact that it has rosewood binding on its rear (hence, post 1918).

UPDATE: I just checked the serial and it's a 1919 model. Tehe.


Ebony nut, rosewood veneer on the headstock, and no logo on the 'stock (it's stamped on the rear like '20s Martins).


The micro-dot inlay is always a classy choice. Ebony board. Frets are bar stock, too.


Simple and delightful rosette.


Compensated ebony bridge -- note chipped string channels. I'm thinking of simply cutting down the top of this and reprofiling to make it look a little more normal.


Stamp on the backstrip.



Lovely mahogany and the finish is in great shape, too!




I lubed the tuners so they're working nicely, now.





Like usual, I popped a bit of foam under the tailpiece cover to mute the extra string length (which means fewer weird overtones). Check out the pretty rosewood binding + purfling at the edge. Oh, and right -- I had to glue up a top/side seam around this area, too.


...with an original chip case! Not bad!

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