View Full Version : Determining age of a Favilla Baritone

Patrick Madsen
02-26-2013, 08:33 AM
Just received the Favilla Baritone I won on Ebay. Pretty good shape that I can see as I just got it 10 minutes ago. Really needs a good shine and perhaps the saddle lowered a bit. Whoever had it before put on a steel 1st and 4th string. Loosened that up first off.

There's no label in the soundhole nor serial number. Does this make it a pre '53. From the looks, there doesn't appear to have ever had a label in the s/h.

Will take photos of before and after.

02-26-2013, 01:45 PM
Well...at least you're not asking to date it... :)

Seriously, congrats but we need pictures, man, pictures! Although...if it's recent off eBay I've probably seen it... :)


Patrick Madsen
02-26-2013, 03:18 PM
Will put them up. Man, it sure cleaned up nice, the action is high so will lower the saddle abit.. Not sure whether to wait and put on the Cuatro C key strings I ordered or in a G tuning. Or, put the martin in the Cuatro, Oh the dilemma! Looking at earlier threads and the internet; Tom Favilla says that labels and serial numbers came in '53 making it a '52 or older.

02-26-2013, 05:45 PM
Hey Pat; Sounds like you are having fun. Eager to see that old bari. If you like I will make you a Buffalo bone saddle when I get back. Nut too if you want it. Wonder how it will compare with your Martin.

Patrick Madsen
02-26-2013, 07:20 PM
It's just a tad heavier and the neck just a bit thicker thsn the Martin but it sure has that dark reddish Mahogany patina. First photo is before sprucing it up, 2nd is after,name plate is bright and flawless, no label or serial number makes it a '52 or older. The case is in pretty rough shape, but a bit of glue, Mean Green and polish and it should really look good.

I put a line of CA glue on a thin, deep scratch or crack on the side. A quick rub with 0000 steel wool and it's barley noticable. Other than that I don't see or hear any crcks or loose braces.

I felt kind of sorry for it when I opened the case. Had what looked like the old Diamond Back 1st and 4th steel strings and was just grungy and very dirty. So much so the old vintage patina barely shown thru, Thought I made a big mistake but after, it took on a whole new look. Almost like it knew it was going to be played again.

you're the best Brian, I really appreciate your offer of a new saddle and nut. It'll make a big difference. Will post a photo when I get the strings on and a sound file. Think I'll put the Cuatro C strings on that's coming from Southcoast. I read that the old jazz guys used it alot bazk in the day.


02-26-2013, 09:28 PM
Looks good. Congrats. How does it sound?

Appalachian picker
02-27-2013, 02:50 AM
Congrats on a great score! That's a beautiful instrument. I love the grain of the wood and just the whole feel of how the age of the bartione speaks back to a different place and time. It's like the ukuelele has soul, personality and a certain kind of character that I find lacking in many modern mass produced instruments. Looking at it makes me wonder where it's been and imagine the people that might might have strummed the strings.
It looks like the logo isn't just a sticker, but is actually embossed (?) or stamped into the headstock..???

Can't wait to hear a sound sample!
Very very nice!

02-27-2013, 05:03 AM
Another beauty! Congrats and happy strumming.

02-27-2013, 05:32 AM
Pat, you're gonna love this instrument. Perfect compliment to the Martin. Tom Favilla answers emails and I'm sure would help you with the dating. He's helped me twice. There's a website dedicated to favilla instruments and I'll post link later. Enjoy!

02-27-2013, 07:07 AM
Yep, that's one I almost bid on. Glad somebody here got it and super happy it cleaned up so nicely!