While workers at the C F Martin Guitar Company in Nazareth, PA were toiling away at their benches producing good quality A-style mandolins in the 1950s, the folks at Favilla in New York City sat back and unabashedly copied the Martin oval soundhole, flat back, “bent” top style nearly verbatim. We have never seen so close an imitation of the basic Martin mandolin as you see here. It is amazing. It has a highly figured Brazilian rosewood headplate (Martins are usually pretty plain), a Brazilian rosewood unbound fingerboard displaying 7 small ivoroid dots in 5 positions. Unlike a Martin, this is a slightly longer neck, joining the body at the 11th fret, and a 13 ½” scale (the Martin scale is 13”). It has the Martin Style -18 features including the four ply bordered top in black-white-black-white purfling, with a maching soundhole rosette except that the rosette is 5 ply.
This mandolin features a lovely Dalmatian-flavor tortoise shell celluloid pickguard – mostly in yellows but with tawny red and brown highlights; it has an ebony bridge with a bone saddle, and a 6-scalloped standard slide-down tailpiece cover. The sides are bordered in black celluloid; there is no back stripe; more than half the instrument is solid and extremely fine looking mahogany including the sides, back, and back of neck; there are some normal signs of use and wear including light scratches, scuffs, string changing marks, but on the whole it’s in extremely clean condition. Most importantly, it plays easily, sounds just fine, has a greater utility value than most of this design because of the 11 frets to the body and longer scale, and the carrying case is charming and in extremely clean condition. We like this, you’ll like it also.