Restoration process of a Donatus Filano from the year 1766

The pages below show the sequence of an elaborate restoration of an early Donatus Filano Neapolitan mandolin from 1766.

In preparation for the restoration I discuss with the owner of the instrument its future use and purpose. For a collector or a museum, the preservation of a historical object has foremost priority. In such a case only those repairs are undertaken which prevent the decay of the instrument and preserve it as close as possible to the original condition. An active mandolin player however would prefer to have the instrument in a condition suitable for extensive playing. His priority would then be the function, playability and then the preservation of the instrument. As in the case of this Filano, it should sound as close as possible to the original of the 18th century, be easy to play, and be reliable for performing on stage. For that purpose some compromises had to be made, between the preservation of the original condition and the required functionality.

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Instrument after the restauration process

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