Preliminary Listing - available for pre-order, pending restoration!
Preliminary photos shown were taken prior to preparation & re-stringing of the c.1969 Mandolin.....the earlier 1964 model is in the more typical Black/Sunburst finish, exactly the same as seen on the Stella H929 Parlor & Tenor Guitars.
Over the last several years now I have sold dozens of Harmony made Stella guitars, amongst many other vintage USA made guitars, but the Harmony Stellas have been the specialisation. They have ranged right through from 1940, when Harmony acquired the Stella name, right through to 1975, when Harmony ceased manufacture in Chicago.....Mainly 6 strings, but 12 strings whenever I could get decent ones, and likewise my other particular favourites the 4 string Tenors.
So now we have a first....the first VTG Stella Mandolin! Don't see them very often over here, but I've now built up a little stock of 5, and this as near mint as you will get example seems like as good a start as there could be.
No Mandolin you can buy new now will come with the vintage character of an All Solid Birch made Stella, which you can buy, in such exceptionally good condition, for a price the equivalent to the cost of a new standard Eastman or Goldtone.
This is an exceptionally pristine vintage Stella Mandolin. The internal ink model number stamp is clearly visible, but the usual corresponding date stamp cannot be seen. Knowing that Harmony produced these Mandolins until at least 1970, and that on their guitars they only started to fit tuner bushings in around 1969, I'm assuming that this Mandolin dates from around that year.
Blue Book extract:-
Model H331 - pear-shaped "Stella Lute-style" body, grained birch top, back, and sides, oval soundhole with white ring rosette, white binding, four-per-side tuners, white pickguard, decorative tailpiece, Red-stained Mahogany finish, mfg. late 1930s-early 1970s.
Overall length is 24"/61cm., width 9.5"/24.2cm., and body depth 5.5cm./2.17" at front, 6.8cm./2.68" rear. Scale length is 13"/330mm. Width of nut is 30mm./1.18".
The condition of this 45+ year old Mandolin is really exceptionally good...as near to mint as you will get....the odd small mark that there is is very minor indeed! However, as I always do, I have had the professional luthier I work with take a look at it, but it is clear that there are no issues with it at all.
It appears that it has hardly been played at all since new....no play wear to the original brass frets, or the dyed Maple fingerboard/The original ebonised floating bridge and chromed tailpiece are like new, as are the four-a-side tuners.
The photos included show the guitar before final cleaning of the fingerboard, minor adjustment to correctly position the original nut, stringing up & setup, but I hope that you will agree that they show that it remains a really handsome and characterful vintage mandolin!
The mandolin has a good 12th. fret action of around 2.25mm./2.5mm. It will be re-strung with a set of Martin Bluegrass strings.
There is no case included, although I do have a couple of original covered fibreboard cases of the type originally with these mandolins. Alternatively, giving notice, I could look into the question of whether it could be possible to locate a Hiscox Liteflite hardshell case. I will be pleased to see if I can marry the guitar to a suitable case, and adjust the invoice. If no case is required, it will be adequately packed/boxed for protection in transit, if posted.