Lyon & Healy Style C
Lyon & Healy Style C, No. 1623, ca. 1923–25. $1,750.
Here's a nice example of the entry-level carved-top acoustic mandolin from Lyon & Healy of Chicago. This one conforms to the catalog description from 1923–24 in having a plain Waverly cloud tailpiece rather than the earlier fancy lyre tailpiece. But it's still an all-original Lyon & Healy in excellent condition Serial no. 1623 is written on the label and also stamped inside on the treble rim.
     It has the 11-12-18 patent date on the pickguard, and the art deco headstock typical of Style B and Style C mandolins from the early 1920s. It also has the later 13-inch "classical" scale length, introduced in 1921. The tone is dry yet sweet, typical of Lyon & Healys and just what you're looking for if you want to play classical and Italian popular music. This mandolin would be ideal for use in a mandolin orchestra. Everything is original, including the hardshell case, although the handle is a replacement. Some scratches and fretwear, but otherwise no signs of damage or repair; what may look like a top crack in the photos is just a wide grain line (the spruce tree must have had a really wet year). It is set up with ultralight-gauge flatwound strings, and plays easily with comfortable action.
     Spruce top; birdseye maple back and sides; mahogany neck; ebony bridge; vulcanized fiber pickguard and neck center strip. White/black binding on back, top, and soundhole, with black/white/black soundhole ring. 13-inch scale extended fretboard with 24 frets. Binding on fretboard extension has pulled away slightly. See more photos, call 425/772-0231, or for more information. $1,750 plus shipping. 48-hour approval period.