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Author Topic: Venetian Wasburn Mandolin  (Read 2827 times)

Offline Mprops

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Venetian Wasburn Mandolin
« on: April 26, 2011, 10:50:48 AM »
I've just found this lovely venetian Mando with tons of mother of pearl inlay on the fret board, sound hole, face rim. Its also got an engraved metal plate on back of tuning peg head that matches a smaller metal plate on bottom. Serial number 223796 style #275 could be a 276 perhaps. I'd love to know how old, where it was made , all the fun details I could get on it. I've ordered the Washburn Prewar Instruments book by H Pleijssier but it doesn't arrive until next week. Husband tuned and its has a sweet voice. Leather case isn't in perfect condition but has provided protection faithfully so far.Looking forward to hearing back from all.
 

Offline keef

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Venetian Wasburn Mandolin
« Reply #1 on: April 28, 2011, 04:40:24 AM »
Thanks for buying the book! I hope you will enjoy it.

Style 275 was made between 1905 and 1915 and was at the time that your instrument was made (approx. 1907) the top of the range Washburn mandolin, and retailed at $75 (hence the last two digits of the style number). These were made with the very best materials. Unfortunately surviving 275s are often missing parts of the pearl inlay on neck or body.

Best,
Hubert Pleijsier
 

Offline Mprops

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« Reply #2 on: April 28, 2011, 10:52:09 AM »
So mine isn't missing any parts. Should it be used? I feel it wants to sing. Or would you advise putting it under glass getting it a home with a collector? Thanks for your terrific info. I'm sure to use the book here at the Opera too. Megan
 

Offline keef

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« Reply #3 on: April 29, 2011, 05:33:07 AM »
You can use it if the neck is not too bowed upwards. Make sure to buy the lightest possible strings for it (Lenzner Consort, made for historical instruments), and first tune it up lower than standard pitch to see how it behaves, then raise the pitch after a week or so if all is well. Good luck!

 

Offline Mprops

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« Reply #4 on: May 04, 2011, 05:01:16 PM »
The original strings seem in good order. Is there an advantage to  replacing them to reduce any accidents from happening? Roll them up for safe keeping. Loved all the details/pictures in the book! The family just found it in the bottom of the grandma's closet and didn't know much else. Happy to read its leather case was best available at the time too. Guess that's what saved it. What's the best cleaning of wood materials, mother of pearl and even string cleaning or just leave all that pattina alone?
 

Offline keef

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« Reply #5 on: May 07, 2011, 06:52:49 AM »
A tried and true method on vintage finishes is using saliva (on a lint free cotton rag or cleaning cloth), and remove the remaining gunk with a little naphta (lighter fluid - beware not to use lighter fluids with an alternative composition). Should do the trick.

Don't use Virtuoso cleaner/polish or other cleaners/polishes with a white, thick milky appearance - these could run into cracks and dry up white, and may be difficult to remove.
 

Offline keef

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« Reply #6 on: May 07, 2011, 06:54:38 AM »
Oh - and use new low tension strings - they are by all accounts better than the old stuff. Put those in the case.
 

Offline Pike

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« Reply #7 on: May 07, 2011, 06:30:20 PM »
Interesting thread. Very nice find Megan, got any pics you could share? Great info as usual Keef!