The resonator mandolin was developed in parallel with the resonator guitar by John Dopyera at National. A resonator mandolin is generally somewhat louder than a standard wooden mandolin, and has a different tone quality and distinctive appearance.
Though resonator guitars are often played flat in the lap steel guitar style, resonator mandolins are almost exclusively played in the conventional manner.
This mandolin belonged to Peter Lippincott, an Arkansas Living Treasure Award recipient, musician, dance caller and potter. Peter Lippincott is a singer/songwriter based in Fort Smith, AR. In addition to his own songs he performs the work of other songwriters and a wide range of traditional American material on a range of instruments.
Peter plays guitar and mandolin as well as other stringed instruments. His singing is perhaps his greatest musical strength with a rich and versatile vocal timbre; he has returned to the song writing he began as a young man, now creating new music reflective of the experiences of maturity. He is recording a CD of his original songs.
He was playing this mandolin at the time he wrote the fiddle tune "Snake River Reel" which he composed on mandolin. If you check it out on YouTube you will see that it is being played all over the world. He also wrote a contra dance of the same name which has been danced widely and published in the New England Folk Festival Association book of Dances at about the same time.