There are few 20th Century art deco designs as beautiful as the design of the German Silver (which is a fancy way of saying nickel alloy) prewar National single cone mandolin. This model was made by combining a brass body plated in shiny finish, a maple neck that hosts 8 strings in four courses, and an ebony fingerboard. It plays nicely and sounds quite good. About that worn case – the side latch at the headstock side (on the back) is broken and its other back latch is not far behind – it could break at any time. In the interests of modern science we have provided and installed a replacement cone, as the original cone (which accompanies the instrument, was crushed to death by society’s pliers decades ago. Our shop has brought it back to life.
The tuners are replacements and the original holes remain; there are also two filled holes on the back of the headstock – one above the tuners, centered, and one below, centered. There is a slight air space at the heel of the neck. There is a dented area on the lower bass bottom side of the face, at the edge, which in the past somebody tried to push back out, but not professionally, leaving the metal uneven and with an edge. There is light hand wear on the bass side of the “crosspiece” on the face near the center – this is not serious. The headstock is maple (as is the rest of the neck) and bears the black, gold and red “National Trade Mark” crest decal. The cover plate, below the biscuit bridge, is stamped “Pat. No. 1762617” and “Pat. No. 1741453,” and “U.S.A.” The tailpiece appears original and shows normal light wear. The instrument’s tailpiece is positioned such that the end screw was inserted at a slight angle. The back, top and sides are etched with twin filigree lines. The crème celluloid bordered ebony fingerboard has 12 frets to the body and 18 frets total. The fingerboard width at the nut is just under 1 5/16”. This prewar National nickel-plated, brass-bodied mandolin brings us back to the Great Depression when liquor was technically illegal, when Al Capone, Abe Bernstein and The Purple Gang ruled Chicago and Detroit and The Lindy Hop dominated the dance floor. THIS WAS $3087. IT IS NOW ON SALE!