9/05/2014

c.1935 Martin 1C Concert Ukulele




This concert-sized gem is up for sale via a friend of mine and boy it sure is clean: I seldom see these old Martin concerts without at least a bunch of strumming wear on the upper bout. Dating is harder on these guys since serial numbers were simply not used and we must date by build style and features. This looks like it could be a late 20s Martin save that it has tortoise binding (rather than rosewood) which places it at least around 1935 and probably closer to 1940. 

It's crack-free, plays perfectly (I set it up at the nut for the owner a few years ago and that was all it needed), and has that unmistakable confident sweet chime one expects from a nice concert instrument. These certainly aren't getting easier to find, either.


Solid mahogany throughout... plus an ebony saddle and rosewood fretboard. It's 100% original and the specs are standard Martin concert in flavor: 14 7/8" scale and 1 5/16" nut. 

The neck profile is shallow and D-shaped and ultra-fast especially for someone who likes closed-position chords.



The micro dots are always classy...


Out of the sunlight the finish is a deep Dutch cocoa brown.




The back shows a few light scuffs but otherwise the finish looks like it could've just been sitting on a rack in the music store "as new" for a few years.

Update: Yes, French uke forum members, there are light scratches here... but if you've ever handled an old Martin you know that a simple swipe with a fingernail will get you that light colored scratching. It has to do with the super-thin finish. Someone who wants to hide these little scuffs needs only polish the instrument up (which I have not done).













There's not much to say: it's a Martin and it does what it should and quite well.

6 comments:

Trey said...

Does it have bar frets? Such a rich color? Beautiful.

Jake Wildwood said...

Nada on the bar frets. & yes, gorgeous!

Anonymous said...

Does this beauty come with a case?

Jake Wildwood said...

Unfortunately, no, but if you bully the owner enough perhaps she'll relent and include one. :)

Glenn Fincher said...

Still got this one for sale, Jake? It might make a good partner for my 20's 0 that you worked on for me a while back.

Jake Wildwood said...

Yup, it is, Glenn! Please get in touch with me via email or phone and I can talk to you about it. Best, Jake