1917 Lyon and Healy Style A Professional Carved top Mandolin

(Serial No. 97) Has a solid spruce top, dark stained back and sides finish, maple back and sides, mahogany neck with ebony fingerboard, period black hard shell case. These elaborate and beautifully made mandolins were the only really serious competition Gibson ever faced in the high-end carved top 8-string market. Lyon & Healy launched this line in a blaze of publicity in the late 1910's and they were built (both under that brand and subsequently "Washburn") well into the depression years. Using the finest materials and a thoroughly original design, Lyon & Healy created a timeless classic in the Style A. The violin scroll headstock is immediately distinctive, but the 2-point body, shaped pickguard, pull-out leg rest and clamp tailpiece cover are all signature features. The sound of these instruments is more delicate and lighter than most Gibsons, with a nicely rounded top end and less "bark". They have been considered since the 1920's to be the best instruments ever made for classical mandolin playing, but have not been much known or used by old-time or bluegrass musicians. We are always impressed by both the sound and craftsmanship of the Lyon & Healy mandolins, and Style A-the top of the line model -is an extremely fine instrument worthy of any player's or collector's attention. Overall length is 25 in. (63.5 cm.), 9 3/4 in. (24.8 cm.) width, and 1 13/16 in. (4.6 cm.) in depth, measured at side of rim. Scale length is 13 3/4 in. (350 mm.). Width of nut is 1 1/16 in. (27 mm.). This mandolin is an excellent player and fairly clean overall, but does have some old restoration work visible. The headstock has a very well done repair on the rear just below the tuning pegs, completely solid but noticeable, with fairly light touch up. This is typical of the L&H scoll headstock mandolins - the back of the headstock rested directly on the bottom of the case. If you accidently dropped the case, you stood a good chance of cracking the peghead. Most of the Style A mandolins I have seen have a crack at the peghead. The screw-on headplate shows a repaired crack as well. There is some fairly noticeable shirt button wear to the back of the mandolin. The rest of the mandolin is fairly clean except for a couple of random dings. It has been expertly set up with by luthier Marty Beeson. It has very good action and sound - an excellent example of what is considered by many the finest mandolin of its type ever built.

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