Art/ Collection/ Collection/ Art Object
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Mandocello

Maker:
Gibson Mandolin-Guitar Manufacturing Co., Ltd. (American)
Date:
1916
Geography:
Kalamazoo, Michigan, United States
Culture:
American
Medium:
Spruce, birch, mahogany, ivoroid, mother-of-pearl, nickel silver
Dimensions:
Overall: 37 5/8 × 14 1/4 × 18 1/2 in. (95.6 × 36.2 × 47 cm)
Classification:
Chordophone-Lute-plucked-fretted
Credit Line:
Purchase, Amati Gifts, 2013
Accession Number:
2013.127a–c
Not on view
Gibson K-2 model mandocello with a light to dark red sunburst finish, serial number 25254. The K-2 model mandola has a teardrop shaped body (like the A model mandolins). The mandocello has a carved, arched top and back, a design patented by Orville Gibson in 1898. Five businessmen bought the name and patent from Orville Gibson in 1902 and started The Gibson Mandolin-Guitar Manufacturing Co., Ltd. The oval soundhole has decorative binding of a ring of inlaid wood and a second ring of ivoroid. The binding around the top and back of the instrument, the fingerboard, and the headstock is also ivoroid. Mahogany is used for the neck, and the fingerboard is of ebony and extends over the soundhole. There are twenty-four nickel-silver frets with mother-of-pearl position dots on the fingerboard and upper edge of the neck. The floating bridge is a modern replacement (the original bridge survives in the case). The mandocello has the standard string disposition of eight steel strings in four courses, tuned in unison pairs to the pitches of a viola: C, G, D, A (one octave below the mandola). The nickel-silver tailpiece is engraved "The Gibson." The distinctive headstock echoes the scroll shape from the body has an inlaid "flower pot" design that was commonly used on high-end Gibson instruments, as well as inlay that reads "The Gibson." The Handel machine four-on-a-plate tuners are inlaid with a flower motif. The instrument has a raised pickguard mounted on metal brackets.
Signature: Paper label inside mandolin reads:

Patented Feb. 1, '98 / " March 30, '06 / Other Patents pending /
Gibson Mandocello (handwritten) Style K2 (handwritten)
Number 25254 (handwritten) is hereby / GUARANTEED /
against faulty workmanship or material. Should / this instrument,
with proper care anf usage, go wrong / we agree to repair it free of charge
at our factory, or / to replace it with another of same style or vale. / GIBSON
MANDOLIN-GUITAR CO. / (Manufacturers) / Kalamazoo, Mich., U. S. A.
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