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).


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


Simple rim with clean lines.

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

Other side.


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 !
Some pics : http://harmony.demont.net/myharmonies/francois/banjo_uke_Sovereign_01.jpg