Update 2015: This uke has been in the care of my friend Susie since posting originally in 2010, but now she's letting some goodies go. I've updated the pics, sound clip, and some of the info accordingly. There's also a nice as-new hard case with this guy.
Yes, another 1950s Harmony baritone uke. Love em. This one, my guess, is a really early one. Wood quality is high, tone is nice, playability (now) is fantastic, and it's simply just a joy to tuck under the arm and play on the couch. This one has had a fret dress, impact-crack repair on the back, saddle shave, cleaning, and setup.
Oh -- and new tuner pegs. The originals were a bit worse for wear... though the uke itself is in pretty grand shape aside from the aforementioned small back crack repair. Finish looks good, with a very deep brown... mahogany... color. Looks great with the old tortoise binding and minimalist inlaid rosette.
Bone nut and saddle, original.
Rosewood fretboard with faux-MOP dots. Neck profile is very shallow and quick.
The finish on this bari is different from later Harmony ones... even later 50s ones... it's thinner and classier with a bit more shine and less murky "three dimensionality" to the grain.
Update: It's almost impossible to see in the pics but I filled in a tiny hairline dryness crack at the treble side of the bridge on the top.
The top is more lightly braced than the 1960s models, and has some pretty grain to it. Note the random finger-wear to the top around the soundhole.
Nice finish and nice mahogany, huh? Harmony certainly had good wood in stock and this recalls 30s/40s instruments more than the later 50s/60s uke lineup.
Neck set is good to go.
I love the way the old tortoise binding looks against the 'hog.
A strap button was added at some point in the last couple years.
An as-new Stagg-style tweed hard case (good quality, sturdy, great looks) is included with the uke.