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Old 11-23-07, 06:42 PM   #1
brianb
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Know anything about antique musical instruments?

If so, I could use some help. On the passing of my grandfather, we found a VERY old instrument in his closet. I think it is a mandolin, but I'm not sure. If anyone has any brains on antique stringed instruments I would appreciate some conversation! I know it is from Italy. Please take a look at the attached pic if you can help.

The wording inside the body is:
"Vendita exclusiva per l'Italia Meridionale:
Grande Casa Musicale Curci
NAPOLI - Via Roma, 304 - 305 - 306 - Tel. 63490

Thanks!
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Old 11-23-07, 06:53 PM   #2
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its' not that old if it had a telephone number in it.
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Old 11-23-07, 06:53 PM   #3
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Out of curiosity I translated the first two lines of text using http://babelfish.altavista.com . It came back with this:

Vendita exclusiva per l'Italia Meridionale:
Exclusiva sale for Southern Italy

Grande Casa Musicale Curci:
Great Musical House Curci

Not much help I'm afraid.
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Old 11-23-07, 07:14 PM   #4
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I want to say it is a mandolin. It doesn't look like a normal one, so it probably is a different version. Most mandolins are fatter.
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Old 11-23-07, 08:24 PM   #5
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OK, a bit more googling:

Here's a link to some history on the Curci family:

http://www.firponet.com/curci.info/


Quote:
"... Arturo Curci, whose family had established the Curci Musical House for the sale of musical instruments and scores."

http://www.firponet.com/curci.info/r...i/index_en.htm


and a better page:
"... Its founder Francesco Curci was born in Avellino, an important town of region Campania (Italy), and died eightynine-year-old on December 9th, 1912, in Naples (the chief town of region Campania), where he had moved in 1860 to open a shop in the small square Trinitā degli Spagnoli, situated in the old part of the city, to sell pianos and other instruments, and to produce musical scores."

http://www.firponet.com/curci.info/e...i/index_en.htm


and here's the website for the company that used to make these instruments along with sheet music. It looks like they only sell sheet music now.

http://www.edizionicurci.it/

You can always write to them for info on the instrument.


Hope this helps.
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Old 11-23-07, 08:29 PM   #6
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I have a friend who may know - will try and raise him outta his cubby hole ...
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Old 11-23-07, 08:44 PM   #7
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Apparently there's a Curci Foundation:

http://www.fondazionecurci.it/main.php?LANG=en
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Old 11-23-07, 09:24 PM   #8
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Looks like it's a rare, double-bass ukelele.
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Old 11-23-07, 10:55 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by goldfishin View Post
its' not that old if it had a telephone number in it.
Yeah, I realized that after thinking about what I wrote, but I guess telephones have been around at least since the 1940's, so it seems old to me.

Good info so far, I'm still hoping someone can ID this thing for me so I can decide if it's worth anything! I'm hoping it's worth something so I can sell it and beef up Grandma's bank account.
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Old 11-24-07, 01:32 AM   #10
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phones have been around since either the late 1800's or early 1900's. that number may be pretty old since it's so short.
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Old 11-24-07, 06:27 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by USAZorro View Post
Looks like it's a rare, double-bass ukelele.
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Old 11-24-07, 09:15 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by brianb View Post
Yeah, I realized that after thinking about what I wrote, but I guess telephones have been around at least since the 1940's, so it seems old to me.

Good info so far,
I'm still hoping someone can ID this thing for me so I can decide if it's worth anything! I'm hoping it's worth something so I can sell it and beef up Grandma's bank account.
Your motives are admirable, however I doubt that anyone here is going to be able to ID this instrument. It's a very specialized inquiry. You'll likely have your answer within a day or two if you email the company directly. You can be sure they have historical documents on their past products. Their website is in Italian, however you can be sure they will be able to converse in English almost as well as their native language. Once again the co's website is:

http://www.edizionicurci.it/
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Old 11-24-07, 12:39 PM   #13
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Try this. http://www.mandolincafe.com/

If you search the site you may find some photos of your instrument and they have a message board that you can post to and ask your questions.

Some of the people there are like bike forums, they don't have a life outside of their forum.

I would like to see a picture of your "mandolin" if you could post one here, it could be unique.

Steven A mandolin player.
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Old 11-24-07, 01:02 PM   #14
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It's a classical Italian design, the Neopolitan.

http://www.mandolinserenade.com/mhis.html

Does it have a rounded or flat back? That will tell whether it's influenced by the Gibson design or baroque.
Neopolitan Mandolin with Baroque influence
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Old 11-24-07, 01:06 PM   #15
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The old antique musical instrument I know of is me...
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Old 11-24-07, 04:28 PM   #16
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Quote:
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The old antique musical instrument I know of is me...
This harder you squeeze, the higher the pitch?
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Old 11-25-07, 01:09 AM   #17
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As Tom said, what you have is a neopolitan and here in the good old USA they are not reallly commanding a high price unless you can find a collector, AND you have a high demand item.

I have played a tater bug (similar to yours) and they sound way nice, good tone and a lovely voice but be warned, don't put bluegrass strings on it, you'll kill it.

I went and looked on the Mandolin Cafe site and didn't find it, but I didn't look everywhere.

Good luck on your Mandolin.

Steven
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Old 11-25-07, 01:16 AM   #18
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Also:

I asked the COMANDO list that I am part of ( did you think bike forums was all I did?) to come over and take a look at your mandolin. I monitor the comando list and let you know what (if anything) they say.

comando stands for Company of Mandolin players, or some such thing.

Steven
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