1920's Stromberg-Voisinet Mandolin Venetian Cutaway Brazilian Canted

Very Good
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KJ's Vintage Guitars
Denver, CO, United States
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About This Listing

Here is a rare find, and a very cool vintage Mandolin with high-end features!

Several experts have told me this is a Stromberg-Voisinet probably from late 20's. This is the company that was bought out in 1928 by Kay Musical Instruments, and the features on this one, especially the headstock, indicate "pre-Kay".  The main evidence is the 2-point design, and how close the points are to each other-- this being more of an earlier feature (the later Kay's and Rex's were broader and further from neck).

It has no label.  The woods are solid woods:  Brazilian RW back/sides; a bent (canted) solid spruce top, Venetian 2-point body shape, oval soundhole, bound back, nice "marquetry" inlay around front and sound-hole; rosewood fretboard with pearl dot inlays, Gibson-shaped peghead, nickel tuner cover; black pickguard held on with pearl-pins, clamshell tailpiece; ebony bridge (may be replaced), center herringbone strip on back; nice binding on back and front, and original tuners with celluloid keys.

I had this checked by a luthier when I acquired it.  There are 3 cracks on back, and he did what he thought required to shore them up/repair them-- there are no cleats, I think he just worked in some glue.  Nothing has expanded in the years since, or while I've owned it (20-some-odd-years).   As you can see, the back is "bookmatched" Brazilian, and there are some serious "knots" in the wood-- the knots are where some of the "cracks" are, so they are really not all cracks, but the long one protrudes out (it has no play and does not move when pressing it).

This mando could use a serious professional set-up and tune-up, and I think it would be simply awesome.  I tried to position the bridge/saddle correctly for intonation, but it still needs tweaking.  It also needs new strings.  The action might be slightly high... it is between 1/16" and 2/16" on treble side, and I'd think you'd want it at 1/16".  This could be accomplished by carefully sanding the bottom of bridge, once slots are checked.  To me, the neck seems straight and flat across and the frets are in ex shape.

One comment:  my picture of the back of headstock and the nickel cover-- that is just me being clever and capturing a reflection of a vase with flowers!  I couldn't help myself!

 What appears to be the original canvas case with leather handle and features is too cool.

This item is sold As-Described

This item is sold As-Described and cannot be returned unless it arrives in a condition different from how it was described or photographed. Items must be returned in original, as-shipped condition with all original packaging.

Product Specs

Listed11 days ago
ConditionVery Good (Used)
Very Good items may show a few slight marks or scratches but are fully functional and in overall great shape.learn more

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