home pricelist mandolins bouzoukis publications australian dance music


The Mandolin - history

The Mandolin is the first comprehensively illustrated book that traces the history of this facinating and diverse musical instrument across centuries and continents. With over 450 illustrations, mostly in full colour, the book explores the wide variety of mandolins and mandolin family instruments around the world while telling the stories of who, how, why, and where they have been made.

The Mandolin is a 424 page softcover publication in an 8"x10" size with around 460 colour pictures of mandolins, old advertisments and other illustrations. There are over 100,000 words of text, including an index and a comprehensive bibliography. The girl on the left with the mandolin is the cover image, taken from an old French postcard.

RRP in the US is US$44.95 and it is available from good bookshops everywhere from 12 January 2016. Distribution through Independent Publishers Group/Small Press United in Chicago.

For European purchasers, the best option is Amazon in the US, until we find a European publisher or distribution.

A comment from George Gruhn of Gruhn Guitars in Nashville TN:

"While I am very familiar with major American makers such as Lyon & Healy, Martin, Gibson, the Larson brothers, Epiphone, and D'Angelico, as well as a number of modern builders of bluegrass style mandolins, I found an enormous amount of information in your book regarding historical instruments, the evolution of mandolins and related instruments, and even modern builders which is entirely new to me. I find this to be absolutely fascinating information. After over 50 years of collecting and dealing instruments and establishing a reputation as a knowledgeable dealer, I find it very refreshing to encounter a book which opens new vistas for me."

There is some more information about the book here.

Ebook versions in .epub as well as .mobi, .azw and .azk (for Kindles)are now available for US$15 through PayPal. The ebook version will have all the text and just about all the illustrations of the printed book.

As a preview there are three chapters which can be downloaded as well as the Table of Contents. Chapter 6 on early Neapolitan mandolins, Chapter 8 on the beginnings of the mandolin in America and Chapter 13 on some of the lesser known American mandolin manufactuers.

These are all highly compressed lo-res pdfs and the image quality will be better in the printed book.

Information about my other books is here.


12 December: The copies of The Mandolin pre-ordered through Kickstarter have been posted from Michigan (where Thomson-Shore the printer is located). If US/Canada residents want to pre-order the book Martin Stillion will have a number of copies which will be the first ones available. Official availabilty in bookshops will be mid-January.

Contact info

I can be contacted by email here

by post at
PO Box 365
Jamison ACT 2614

or by phone at 0402 026 962 (within Australia) or from foreign places +61 402 026 962, keeping in mind that Australia is usually several hours behind or ahead of the rest of the world. That number is best to get me in the evenings here and you can find out what that time is in your part of the world by checking here.

The Mandolin - a history now has a Facebook page.

A list of the types of instruments I make and a pricelist is here.

Other things on the website are: