Hey UG!

Last weekend, I inherited this string instrument from my grandfather.
I have never seen it before, nor has anyone told me its name.

Okay, here come the hard facts:
It's a standard mandoline scale, but instead of being 8-stringed it's 12-stringed (the higher octave is doubled: c-c'-c').

Judging from the string tension, it is either tuned to F (F-C-G-D), E (E-B-F#-C#), or maybe G (standard mandoline tuning).

As far as I know the "teardrop" shape is pretty common, but I've never seen this kind of ornamentation.
It has a twangy, bright relatively loud sound.
According to the "tag" Peter Renk (instrument maker around 1920) manufactured it in Leipzig, Germany.

Lots of the finish are coming of, and the strings feel really dull. A total overhaul is more than necesary.

Have you ever seen anything similar?
Any feedback is greatly appreciated.

Looks like a baliset to me.
Everyone is entitled to an opinion.

Feel free to express yours so I can make an informed judgement about how stupid you are.
At first I thought a bouzouki.. But it's not.

A modified/custom mandoline?
Last edited by AmirT at Feb 28, 2012,
I brought it to my local music retailer who told me it is called a Mandriola/Tricordia.

It is a quite rare instrument, strings are available at 30€ (40$)/set though.

Overhauling the finish would cost 700€+ (920§+). Does anybody have any tips/tutorials on how to do it myself?
Last edited by Saitenstechen at Mar 19, 2012,
If the damage is purely cosmetic and doesn't compromise structural integrity or affect playability, then just leave it as is. I think it's got character.
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That finish looks fine to me. Absolutely do not try to refinish it yourself. That is how valuable old instruments are destroyed or severely devalued.

If you really think it needs a refinish, take it to a luthier (not your local guitar shop) and ask what needs to be repaired. Don't walk in and tell them you need a refin. Some shops will work on the "customer is always right" basis and charge you a lot of money to do something they shouldn't have done in the first place.