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26. Pasquale Vinaccia neapolitan mandolin  (597)  @ 650 euros

Old Italian bowl-back

This is an old, Italian bowl-back mandolin from the late 19th century. It is in good condition after minimal restoration. There is a label which says …

Pasquale Vinaccia E Figli

Fabbricanti di Strumenti Armonici

Rua Catalana No. 53 Napoli

Anno. 1884

This instrument is now fully playable after restoration. The top is sound with no shrinkage splits. It has a 17-piece maple bowl back with 1 invisible seam repair. It has the original ebony fingerboard and MOP markers. The tuners and tail are originals, the bridge new. It retains the original finish, (touched up on the bowl around repair) throughout with shellac and Tru-oil on the top. It has been restrung with ultra-light GHS bronze wound classical strings, and is now playing well with a full, ringing sound with good sustain and volume. It has an easy playing action.

Other than cleaning, I have repaired as follows… 1) repaired an open seam in the bowl; 2) tidied up an old neck repair; 3) finished with tru-oil on the top for protection; 4) dressed and levelled the original frets; 5) replaced a modern tailpiece with orginal-style tail pegs; 6) replaced a missing tuner button; and 7) made and fitted a new bridge and set up.

Mandolin Specifications (In Millimetres)

Overall Length of Mandolin


Width of mandolin at widest point


Approx. Depth of mandolin

150mm at bridge.


Original throughout with top protected with tru-oil. Touched up around bowl seam repair.

Belly wood

Good quality, close-grained, book-matched, spruce top with no splits.

Scratch plate

Original in good condition

Sound hole

Oval hole, approx. 65 x 40mm.

Back and sides

17-piece, maple, bowl-back & clasp, and rosewood sides. Invisible repair to open seam.

Neck and Head

2-piece, veneered neck and head in good condition. I have cleaned up an old stable repair to the neck head join.


Original ebony fingerboard, German silver frets relevelled and dressed. Very slight wear.

Machine heads

Original steel and brass tuners with mostly original buttons. 1 replacement. All working fine.


A modern tail replaced by 4, more authentic, string pins.


New ebony and brass shelf bridge fitted.

Scale Length Bridge to nut

Scale of 330mm

G string height at bridge


E string height at bridge


12th fret to bottom of G string (Action)


12th fret to bottom of E string (Action)


Width of fretboard at nut


Width of fretboard at widest point


Sleeve guard

Sleeve guards are available if required


I have some re-conditioned bowl-back cases available for purchase, as well as gigbags.

Larger photos are available if required.