8/14/2009

c.1925 Oscar Schmidt Stella Banjo Ukulele


Well, this banjo uke is finally proof of what I had thought for a long time: that this style was built in Jersey City, NJ by the folks at Oscar Schmidt. The nice wide and comfortable but sturdy mahogany neck and OS-style banjo hardware was what gave me the idea. This is one of three that I've worked on including an unmarked identical one and another marked Winner that was probably a few years earlier as it sported wood pegs.


This one has a "Stella" stamp on its dowel, indicating its OS heritage.


Good looking openback uke... good balance to its design.


Nice crown headstock.


Original head has yellowed to an attractive aged-in look.


Mahogany neck with nickel-silver frets (unlike the usual brass).


Side.


Pot shined up nicely (this whole thing was pretty grungy before I polished up the hardware).


Back.


Simple rim with clean lines.


Nice "Champion" pegs. These things hold nice and tight compared to the typical bakelite pgs.


Other side.


Detail.


Dowel burn mark.


And a good, practical tailpiece that's easy to load up with strings (as opposed to the Slingerland style ones that are a drag).

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I have a very similar "Sovereign" one, same shape and hardware, clearly same origin. I bought it dirty and just had to clean it and replace the skin. It's simple but very well made, it sounds and feels great ! My tailpiece misses its cover though, so it's scratching my forearm, ouch !
Fran├žois
Some pics : http://harmony.demont.net/myharmonies/francois/banjo_uke_Sovereign_01.jpg
http://harmony.demont.net/myharmonies/francois/banjo_uke_Sovereign_02.jpg
http://harmony.demont.net/myharmonies/francois/banjo_uke_Sovereign_03.jpg
http://harmony.demont.net/myharmonies/francois/banjo_uke_Sovereign_04.jpg