2/18/2011

c.1925 Unmarked (Flamed) Maple Banjo Ukulele


This is a super-cute, sweet-toned banjo uke with great volume and slick playability. Its neck is also tough enough that you have the option of equipping it with either gut/nylon/synthetic strings or steel strings (which were popular back in the 20s/30s on banjo ukes).

While it's unmarked, it bears much resemblance to other makers' banjo ukes of the time in that it has no tonering, a 3-ply maple rim, and maple neck. Where it differs is the rosewood fretboard, obviously custom-style headstock and decorative dot inlay on the headstock, and the 5-piece, flamed maple/rosewood (or mahogany?) neck.

Oh, and also, good quality heavier-than-usual hardware with nice (non-hex) shoes.


Nice original skin head. Showing some wear but with plenty of time left to go.


Nickel-silver frets. I've dressed them and filed their edges. Smooth, quick action. MOP dots on the board.


Interesting headstock cut with inlaid cream/ivoroid dots. The tuners are period but are from my parts box and are a nice upgrade vs the originals. The original tuner buttons had deteriorated quite badly.


Gorgeous flamed maple neck with a great and cozy profile. Nice and wide (side to side) like a uke but with lots of strength.


Cleaned up nice... that maple and original finish just glows.


Here you can see that fancy flamed maple.


Tuner buttons are newer parts-bin buttons and are pearly-looking.



Shim-style neck brace.


Stamp on reverse of head.


Apparently this was "re-gifted" in 1954. The build is entirely 20s/30s, though, for sure.



Simple maple pot.



I like the tension-hoop-as-tailpiece design. Makes for a nice clean tie/knot-off that doesn't add weight or more parts that can loosen up and make buzzing.


A purty uke! Forgot to mention that the bridge is a period Grover Non-Tip from my bin, the strings are Aquila Nylguts, and that some of the frets aren't set into the board perfectly perpendicular, but it plays pretty well in tune nonetheless. Nylon/nylgut is thankfully forgiving in that respect.

2 comments:

bazmaz said...

I think thats a beauty - particularly the headstock and neck

Baz
http://gotaukulele.blogspot.com/

Antebellum Instruments said...

For sure, it's classy!