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.
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).