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Anyone got any ideas on what this is. There is no marks on it but it is old. The back is constructed of strips of Brazilian rosewood and the neck is mahogany with the top being carved spruce. Bought it as at challenge to restore, but now I'm having second thoughts.







 

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A twelve-string mandolin, or 'mandriola'.

http://www.massmedia.com/~mikeb/mando/gallery/12-string_mandolin.jpg

I had one identical to this, except it was an eight-string. The twelve string is tuned the same, except that there are triplet strings.

It looks like yours has an eight-string tailpiece on it. The vintage might be not as old as you may think. The basic "potato beetle" design is a common cheap instrument. As far as mandos go, they are kinda gutless when strung up. They have a sweet, but weak, tone.
 
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