The artist is known to have switched to lithographs in the 1940s and was someone who always sought out new options for his work. We know how he used pebbles and sand in some of his oil paintings, as well as dabbling with sculpture for a period. There was also large amounts of collage, cutting out wallpaper and even newspaper. It is likely that Braque would have called on the aid of specialists initially, when trying out a new technique such as this in order to save time and achieve good success as quickly as possible. His lithograph prints could now be particularly valuable, with many having been lost or damaged over the years that have passed since. They are also more affordable than original paintings, and so offer those of us with smaller budgets perhaps an opportunity to invest in our favourite artists, that otherwise we would not have had.
The mandolin is an instrument which was proving particularly popular in France during the early 20th century. Picasso would also make use of it in his paintings on occasion, too. Braque himself was actually a skilled musician himself and regularly created still life depictions in his studio or home or his own instruments. In this example we see a particularly quick sketch, where solid forms are only loosely covered with paint. It is likely to have been a pen which created these sharp, dark outlines, with small dabs of oils then creating the colour scheme. The simplicity places it almost in the realms of primitive art, and it feels overall somewhat experimental. For an alternative style, but with similar content, see also Braque's Woman with a Mandolin.