A fine oval hole carved mandolin
1929 Martin Style 20
© Frank Ford, 2000; Photos by FF
I'd rank this mandolin right in there with the best of the great 1920s Lyon & Healy instruments. Not as powerful as a Gibson, this short scale mandolin exhibits the quality of fit and finish that Gibson never achieved even in its finest hour. You can stare at this mandolin all day and not find a glitch or sanding scratch in the original workmanship.
Made in 1929, it has the truly obsolete but incredibly long wearing "bar frets" and the pierced peghead reminiscent of the old Italian mandolins. Playing this one, I can see why Bill Bolick (The Blue Sky Boys) chose the Martin oval hole mandolin.
This particular instrument is all original, except for the Phillips screw securing the carved ebony fingerrest.
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