Dating antique vega mandolin
Date stamps are another matter entirely, and I've not heard of one other than Trevor's (rather nice) cylinderback, which he has up for sale at present.I don't have the info at hand just now, but the date was 1913, and about 5 yrs before the serial number would indicate from the list. (although absent other info, I'd favor the date stamp.) I just saw Trevor's mention of a date stamp and thought I'd ask him about the serial number as a possible test for the serial number list.The old Fairbanks numbering system was applied to the mandolins that Vega made after 1904.Prior to that, there's no evidence I'm aware of that Vega had any numbering system for their mandolins.Jim was one of the owners of the Music Emporium and has had a lot of Fairbanks/Vega banjos pass through his hands.
That kind of information evaporates over time, as the receipts tend to get separated from the instruments.Of course, the cylinder-back mandolins were designed and developed by David L.Day, who came to Vega form Fairbanks in 1904 as part of the Vega acquisition.I'm home now, and have found Trevor's kind reply to me.The number he reads from the headstock is 38xxx, a 1920-ish number from "the list." [I'd originally entered the full number, but redacted a bit in case of some broader sensitivity or of an error on my part.