Harmony H35/H835 "Batwing" electric, U.S. made.
Here's an example of an important mandolin model in the history of popular music. Blues legends Yank Rachell and (to a lesser extent) Carl Martin, as well as Led Zeppelin's John Paul Jones, used the Harmony H35 (later renamed H835) as a stage mandolin during their careers. You still see them today in the hands of pro musicians.
     The looks of the H35 have, in my humble opinion, never been beaten. The block inlays, modified F-holes, exaggerated bass point, even the lovely gold foil pickup cover, all add up to a classic package. The original DeArmond pickup is loud enough to rattle the windows. Its tone is perhaps best described as "raw" ... listen to Rachell's Chicago Style album if you want to know what I mean. But for certain styles of music there's nothing better or more authentic.
     Also colloquially known as the "Batwing," the H35 may appear to be an acoustic/electric, but it isn't really: if you took off the top you'd see that everything north of the pickup is a solid block of wood, which tends to dampen the acoustic sound, but improves sustain and helps control feedback from the pickup. Best to think of the H35 as "semi-hollow." Tone and volume knobs, adjustable bridge, bolt-on neck.
     Batwings have been very popular instruments at Emando.com. I've taken to giving them names to keep them all straight.
  1. Lavinia. S-69. $950. This H35 has a lot number of 8902 and is labeled S-69 MADE IN U.S.A., meaning it was built in the second half of 1969. It has only minor playing wear and is in very good shape overall. A strap button has been added at the tailpiece.
         In all other respects, Lavinia offers everything you could want in a Batwing. It's fully original apart from the added strap button at the tailpiece, and has what I think is the coolest combination of Batwing features: a truss rod, the die-cut 3-ply vinyl headplate with the cut-out Harmony logo, and the matching logo on the pickguard. Plus it's from '69. Woodstock, Summer of Soul, the moon landing—they're all right here in this mandolin.
         Original chipboard case included. Add a strap, see more photos, call 425/772-0231, or for more information. $950 plus shipping.

  2. Margriet. F-70. $875. This H35 is labeled F-70 MADE IN U.S.A., meaning it was built in the first half of 1970. It has seen some use and is in reasonable condition apart from minor finish wear on the treble point and more extensive finish wear on the bass horn. A strap button has been added at the bass horn, and the original bridge has been replaced with a compensated ebony Gibson-style 2-piece adjustable one.
         Margriet has the desirable truss rod, die-cut 3-ply vinyl headplate with the cut-out Harmony logo, and matching logo on the pickguard.
         Gig bag included. Add a strap, see more photos, call 425/772-0231, or for more information. $875 plus shipping.