12/29/2011

Ephemera: Mignon Lute-a-banjo? (c.1890)


Ah, what is that peculiar instrument this "gypsy" supposedly from the French opera "Mignon" supposedly playing?

5 strings, guitar-ish scale, and mandoa-ish body -- some sort of Pollman-like "banjola"-y mandoline-banjo hybrid? Either way, I like the look, but I wish I had that instrument!

1 comment:

Bruce Brown said...

The slotted peghead on this looks like it would handle more than five strings. I think is is probably more like a tiple on a a type A mandolin body. The tiple varies on the number of strings, but I think the most common had ten arranged as 2-3-3-2. The two middle sets had the outer strings as octaves. I used to some had twelve strings as 3-3-3-3. I used to have a 1920s Martin Tiple, which had the 2-3-3-2 arrangement.

OR, it could just be an artists idea of an instrument.