2/24/2013

c.1911 Vega Style 210 Bowlback Mandolin




Update: Per Mr. Jim Garber over on Mandolin Cafe, this has been IDed as a style 210. Thanks, Jim!

This is a nice, upscale (but not over the top) Vega bowlback mandolin, made in Boston in 1911 (per the serial number stamped in the headstock's top). I didn't snap a picture of the label, but it has a typical Vega label in the soundhole. Like all the Vega bowls I've worked on, it has a lovely tone. This one seems slightly louder and richer than usual, though, and "chop" chords actually have a nice crisp percussive sound to their edges as well.

Work on it included a couple seam repairs here and there (there were a few done before "my time"), a fret level/dress, binding reglues, cleaning, and setup. I also backfilled the (previously cleated) dryness crack next to the treble side of the pickguard.


This mando is in overall good shape and sports a solid spruce top, Brazilian rosewood bowl, ebony board and bridge, and a mahogany neck. This model has slightly fancier purfling and some pretty, engraved inlay in the board. It's also got ivoroid binding around the neck as well as the top and soundhole.


Rosewood headstock veneer and bone nut. Note the three Brown University seals/stamps someone added the headstock. Cute!

Everything on the mando is original, as well.


This engraved inlaid pearl is very typical for Vega inlay styles. It's very classy.


All this fancy rope/half-herringbone purfling would have been brighter reds and greens to begin with.


The original bridge serves quite well.




Here's a closeup of those Brown University stamps.




A number of the rosewood ribs have pretty heartwood/sapwood contrasting color to them.



Note that one of the screws that mount the tuners to the coverplates is a replacement.



This has its original case as well, though it's in rough shape and would really need to get reworked before it's useful for anything more than a dust cover.

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