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Images from the Lillibridge Gallery

NMM 13563.  Mandolin attributed to John D'Angelico, for his uncle, Raphael Ciani, New York, ca. 1921.
Tony & Bonnie Vinatieri Family Trust, 2008.

Front view Bass side view of mandolin Treble side view of mandolin Back view of mandolin

Click on any image on this page to see a larger image

Inscriptions:  Printed on paper label with decorative border: A. GALIANO / RAPHAEL [Masonic compass] CIANI / FABBRICANTE DI / MANDOLINI / E CHITARRE / GARENTITE


NMM 13563. Mandolin attributed to John D'Angelico, for his uncle, Raphael Ciani, New York, ca. 1921

Body:  Stringing:  eight steel strings.  Soundboard:  one-piece spruce, medium grain; slightly bent.  Back:  two-piece maple cut off-the-quarter; medium, horizontal curl; slightly bent; strip of purfling along center joint, slightly to the treble side of center. Ribs:  four-piece maple cut off-the-quarter; medium curl.  Neck:  mahogany, integral with head. Binding: white celluloid on top; white ivoroid on back; three-ply, black-white-black celluloid strip trim on front, back, and ribs. Bridge: ebony; bone saddle with string offsets set into top; ends terminate in separate guitar-pin heads with abalone eyes glued to top. Rosette: two rings of black-white-black-black, four-ply celluloid purfling with space between; soundhole bound on inside with tan-colored ivoroid.  Pick guard: imitation tortoise-shell celluloid with extension on treble side; inlaid with two abalone angels playing a lyre and foliate design; lyre strings made from inlaid white celluloid strips. Tailpiece:  nickel-plated steel in shape of armrest.  Lacquer: clear on front; brown stain on back, ribs and neck.

Views of Body

Front of D'Angelico mandolin Bass side of D'Angelico mandolin Treble side of D'Angelico mandolin Back of D'Angelico mandolin

Lower end of D'Angelico mandolin

Front, Sides, and Back Views of Peghead

Front of peghead Bass side of peghead Treble side of peghead Back of peghead

Head:  mahogany; broken pediment-style with turned, brass ornament; veneered with dark-stained hardwood over light and dark-stained layer (purfling not cut into strips); abalone foliate inlay of identical design to that on NMM 10772, plectrum guitar by John D’Angelico, 1937Tuners: two pairs of nickel-plated steel, inset worm-gear machine tuners with mother-of-pearl heads and nickel-silver plates with engraved and impressed floral designs.

Views of Fretboard and Neck

Fretboard Bass side of neck Back of neck Treble side of neck

Fingerboard: ebony; 20 nickel-silver frets under D and G strings; 20 nickel-silver frets under A-string; 28 nickel-silver frets under E-string, this section of the fingerboard over a spruce extension bridging the soundhole; foliate mother-of-pearl inlay behind 1st, 3rd, 10th and 15th frets; foliate abalone inlay behind 5th, 7th, and 12th frets; single mother-of-pearl dots behind 17th, 20th, 22nd, and 25th frets; mother-of-pearl side dots behind 3rd, 5th, 7th, and 10th frets. Nut: bone.

Neck Heel

Neck heel

Heel cap: dark-stained hardwood; set in from back.

Internal Structure

Linings:  thick spruce in upper bouts; changes to kerfed maple about one inch below corners.  Corner blocks:  dark-stained hardwood, probably maple.  Neck block:  mahogany or Spanish cedar; grain runs parallel to plane of top and back.  End block:  ebony; wide; shallow.  Top braces:  four large spruce braces set into linings, three below soundhole, one above soundhole.  Back braces:  four large spruce braces set into linings; wide maple back graft; upper spruce brace cut down after being set into linings.


Case alone Case with mandolin in it Case without mandolin in it

Case:  Plywood case covered in black, imitation-leather-texture canvas with purple cotton-velour lining, nickel-plated steel and brass hardware, and steel handle.


Measurements:  Total mandolin length:  617 mm (24-5/16″)
Back length:  325 mm (12-13/16″)
Upper bout width, between points:  139 mm (5-15/32″)
Waist width:  134 mm (5-9/32″)
Lower bout width:  255 mm (10″)
Rib height (including edging) at heel:  48 mm (1-29/32″)
Rib height, at waist:  51 mm (2″)
Rib height, at end block:  50 mm (1-31/32″)
Head length:  152 mm (6″)
Head width, top:  66 mm (2-19/32″)
Head width, bottom:  52 mm (2-1/16″)
Neck length (nut to ribs):  149 mm (5-7/8″)
Neck width, nut:  29 mm (1-5/32″)
Neck width, heel:  36 mm (1-7/16″)
Soundhole diameter:  50 by 78 mm (2 by 3″)
Vibrating string length (nut to bridge edge):  high E:  347 mm (13-21/32″); low G:  348 mm (13-11/16″)

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Most recent update: April 24, 2014

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