The Little Wonder is one of Vega’s prewar open-back models. It has a “rolled bead” of brass that acts as a small yet effective variation on a tone ring providing the instrument’s sound more punch and drive. It has 28 brackets, shoes and nuts (the sign reads “no brackets and shoes, no service”) and, guess what, 28 screws and washers. It has the standard Vega internal tensioner device holding the maple wooden dowel firmly to the underside of the heel, and the nickel-plated brass cube at the bottom. Right where that sheath covers the end of the dowel a prior owner named “A. Hagemann” was uncontrollably compelled to write his name, and again in pencil inside the rim at 7 o’clock, and a just a few first few letters on the wood dowel near the tensioner (we guess he got tired). It’s quite possible that some of these paranoid manifestations will clean off. We’ll do our best. The serial number stamped on the wood dowel is repeated on the rim. The stained bottom edge of the back of the rim shows scuffs, and overall the instrument shows normal light indications of use and wear. It retains its “No-Knot, Pat. Nov. 19, 1901” tailpiece, its tubular armrest, its maple and ebony bridge. The fingerboard appears to be stained pearwood and is inlaid with four standard dotmarkers at frets 5, 7, 10 and 12. The pointed and scalloped stained pearwood peghead is blank. Tuners are the original grained ivoroid machines without gears. The back of the two-piece maple neck is bisected by an ebony or pearwood stripe; the heel cap appears stained pearwood or ebony. The nut width is 1 2/16th and the string spaceing is 1 9/16thAll things considered this is a very clean piece. Our workshop will have restored ivoroid binding to the bass side of the fingerboard, cleaned it up, set it up and restrung it for the performance pleasure of its next owner.