10/02/2013

c.1919 Vega Cylinder-back Mandolin


This two-pointed, canted-top Vega mandolin was built in Boston and the serial (35xxx) dates it to 1919. These are good-quality instruments and have a sweet, sweet sound. They're very full without being overly-warm or muddy from too many overtones. they also handle well and look stunning.

Like the Oscar Schmidt mandolin in the last post, this is owned by local Mr. Jim S. and was in for a "check up." It's needing only a fret level/dress and setup at the time of these photos.





The top is almost certainly refinished and I wouldn't be surprised if this was a either "redburst" to begin with or possibly natural/pumpkin in color.


Rosewood-veneered headstock and bone nut. I love the headstock shape.


The ebony board has nice, engraved pearl inlay and bar frets.


The inset, pearl-bedecked pickguard and pearl-trimmed soundhole rosette sure are fancy. It's hard to complain about the looks of these mandos!




Ah, anyone mention the fantastic flamed maple back, sides, and neck? Sheesh!



If all that luscious maple and cylinder-form back doesn't make your mouth water, you've definitely not caught the vintage mando bug...!



Typical Vega "volute" at the headstock bottom and nice recessed tuners...


How about that flamed neck? It's a nice size, too, substantial but not too big. It gives a feeling of security to the design.




Here you can really get a sense of how much that "cylinder" center on the back bulges.



...and who doesn't like an original, green-lined, hard case?

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