3/15/2012

c.1925 Lyon & Healy "Mauna Loa" Soprano Ukulele


This thing is rare as all heck and the only one I've seen like it! It's a solid-mahogany soprano uke, made/sold under Lyon & Healy's "Mauna Loa" brand and dates to the late 1920s. The catch? It's sort of like a hybrid of the very desirable "Shrine uke" in styling, a Camp Uke in neck shape/feel and a standard "Washburn" level uke in terms of tone.

I've never seen the green binding on a uke that wasn't a Shrine uke and it's cool to see it on this dark, solid mahogany model with a traditional body shape. The green is on both the top and back edges, used as dots in the rosewood fretboard, and also as a nut and saddle. Not bad!


Nice simple rosette coupled with way-cool green.


Here's the Mauna Loa stamp in the headstock.


Way cool rosewood board with extra-cool dots! Brass frets have been dressed/leveled.



I had to cut down and reglue this original "smile" bridge. Thankfully, it was made of mahogany, so after alterations and a thin coat of finish it looks as-original.



No cracks on this uke!




These are original tuners with brass shafts and coffee-colored tuner buttons.


The neck and heel shape is more reminiscent of Camp Ukes and the like than the higher-model Washburn ukes this one resembles more visually.




She's a beaut!

Bonnie (my wifey) seems darn attached to this, so I'm not sure it'll be leaving the nest just yet, but feel free to hound me for it. Heh heh.

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