Unlabelled Venetian Style Arch Top Mandolin, made by Kay (1950s)

 Unlabelled Venetian Style Arch Top Mandolin, made by Kay  (1950s)
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$750.00 + shipping
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Item # 11734
Prices subject to change without notice.
Unlabelled Venetian Style Model Arch Top Mandolin, made by Kay (1950s), made in Chicago, serial # L9296-340, red sunburst lacquer finish, laminated maple body, spruce top; maple neck with rosewood fingerboard, original brown chipboard case.

This is one of Kay's medium-fancy mandolins from the 1950s, built on the company's own unique asymmetrical "Venetian" body shape, a Kay trademark since the early 1930s. This example has no headstock logo (and no sign one was ever there) so was originally built for sale by a catalog jobber. Like nearly all Kay products it is made of laminated maple, in this case with a pressed spruce top. The top is dressed up with checkerboard trim and an engraved and painted white celluloid pickguard; the finish is a reddish sunburst lacquer overall. The neck is comparatively plain with a bound, dot inlaid rosewood fingerboard. While not likely to challenge anyone's F-5 on its own terms this is a good playing and very sharp looking mandolin, exceptionally well preserved.
 
Overall length is 27 in. (68.6 cm.), 10 in. (25.4 cm.) wide at lower bout, and 2 3/8 in. (6 cm.) in depth, measured at side of rim. Scale length is 14 in. (356 mm.). Width of nut is 1 1/4 in. (32 mm.).

This mandolin is very clean, all original and just about as nice as these come. The finish has some VERY small checks, dings and dents but really pretty minimal wear for 60 or more years on Earth. The neck has been neatly reset and straightened and the instrument plays very well. This is a nice example of Kay's better work and comes in the original brown chipboard case with a few old '70s Gibson strings thrown in for good luck! Excellent Condition.