Late 20’s – Early 30’s Regal Bowlback Mandolin
There are no labels or numbers anywhere on the instrument but I suspect this is a Regal Built instrument, possibly for a distributor or catalogue sale. According to Bob Carlin’s excellent Regal Musical Instrument book, Regal made bowl backs until 1934. I suspect this is one comes from around the end of that era based on the headstock shape, a decal headstock decoration, and the nine ribs alternating of Rosewood and Mahogany with a white wood strip between the layers.
The top is spruce with “rope” purfling and white binding around the edges and a pearl inlaid and painted pickguard in a non traditional style. The fingerboard appears to be ebonized with 4 pearl position markers, the frets are original with modest wear that was polished out.
This comes with it’s original rosewood bridge, original Ebony nut, original tuners in excellent shape and original canvas over chipboard case that even has all the buckles and leather straps intact.
While a fairly nice entry level instrument quality wise, it is in excellent, almost pristine condition and plays very well. I see a lot of bowl backs but it’s rare to find one in this good a shape.
WORK DONE: Two cracked top braces were glued, one back split was glued. Fingerboard cleaned, frets were polished. New strings.
Here’s a chance to own a beautiful vintage tater bug mandolin that plays very well and has a true old time sound at an excellent price. SOLD