|Comments||Towards the end of the 19th century and at the start of the 20th, mandolins became very popular in North America, likely due to European immigrants bringing their musical styles with them. As a result, there was a great increase in the construction of these instruments and this led to many innovations – including Orville Gibson’s radical blend of violin and mandolin principles in the Gibson A and F style mandolins.
August Pollmann was a musical equipment distributor in New York in the late 1800’s. Distrubutors then, as now, contracted with builders to produce instruments to meet market trends. This instrument, the August Pollmann Royal Mandoline Banjo, was likely built by Pehr Anderberg, a Swedish guitar builder who had immigrated to the US in the Civil War era. His shop was in Boston, and he also built instruments for the Haynes company.
This 1890s August Pollmann Royal Mandoline Banjo is a blend of at least two instruments. Strung like a 5-string banjo, it has the body size of a mandolin. Mandolins at that time often had European-traditional bowl backs, so the body construction is more like a mandola. This specific example uses mahogany for the back and sides; other Pollmanns feature Brazilian rosewood.
The instrument is in good playing order. It’s had a few repairs over the years but has been solidly repaired, and it sounds quite good.
|Serial Number||N/A, but dates to the 1890’s and probably built at the Pehr Anderberg shop in Boston, Massachusetts, USA.|
|Pricing||$750.00 CAD with non-orignal case. SOLD|
|Neck||Mahogany neck with Brazilian rosewood fingerboard. 23.75 inch scale length, 1.25 inch nut width. Celluloid badge on headstock, with engraving reading ‘August Pollmann’s Royal Mandoline Banjo’. The neck has a pronounced V-profile. 5th string tuner at the 5th fret.|
|Frets||Tang-type narrow frets with minor wear.|
|Body||Teardrop shape body with mahogany back and sides, spruce top. The top has an inlay between the soundhole and bridge, characteristic of European bowl-back mandolins. The top has three transverse braces; the back also has three with one bearing a brand reading ‘PAT MAY 3rd 1887’. The top has maple binding with purfling.|
|Finish||Original natural varnish finish in reasonable condition.|
|Hardware/electronics||Original banjo-style friction tuners marked ‘PAT MAY 8.88’. Ebony bridge with fretwire saddle. The tailpiece reads ‘WM. GERKE PROV. R.I’ and ‘PAT’D Jan 31 1888’|
|Playability/Action||Plays nicely. It’s light and compact, and has an open, airy sound, perhaps reminiscent of a dulcimer.|
|Case||Non-original case included.|
This instrument is SOLD. For details on other instruments we have avaialble, contact us here
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