3/06/2011

c.1920 Wurlitzer Soprano Ukulele


Here's a real pretty little soprano uke, c.1920, probably originally with wood or celluloid violin style pegs, all solid mahogany, with rosewood/maple binding and sweet looks! It was sold by Wurlitzer, though... I'm really unsure of the maker on this one but my guess might be one of the bigger Chicago jobbers -- except that the build quality is more precise than most of the Chicago builders and some of the features are "off" from typical Harmony, Regal, Stromberg-Voisinet, or Lyon & Healy designs.

Frets are bar-style brass, headstock is a fun spiky old-fashioned Hawaiian style (think Dias, etc.), it has nice rope inlay around the soundhole, and as stated, the rosewood/maple binding on the top edge is a very nice touch vs. the typical celluloid.



Tuners are parts-bin c.1920 bakelite-buttoned pegs. The originals were missing but these look great.


Cute black dot markers.



Really nice golden-brown mahogany with some fun curly grain here and there.


Simple fret-saddle bridge. I had to reglue the bridge, even though it had been reglued before, because someone had glued it at an improper angle. You can see a little scuffing left from the first reglue.

I also glued up a number of hairline cracks on top & back.



A really old repair appears to be some fabric glued onto the back over the old Wurlitzer label to help reinforce an area that took a small hit and had a couple of cracks.



This has a dovetailed neck join which is pretty nice.



In general -- nice 'hog throughout.




Check out the bent back... it's very obvious on this instrument compared to a lot of '20s ukes, which tend to only have a small recurve at the heel.



End block area.

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