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Fred Koch
02-12-2015, 01:55 PM
I just restrung an old soprano Gretsch ukulele for an old friend who said the uke belonged to his grandfather. There's no head stock name but there is a Gretsch stamp (not sticker) inside. Plus it has this plastic-like fingerboard and head stock inlay...

I would like to help my pal figure out how old it is. 76033

Any thoughts would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks!

Inksplosive AL
02-12-2015, 03:46 PM
Since you did welcome any thoughts.

I think its absolutely gorgeous, and wonder what the heck a string winder is doing in the picture.

~peace~

spongeuke
02-12-2015, 04:11 PM
Nice factory custom. The tuners are probably original, they might give you a better guess. This is the first Gretch I've seen with a stamp on the inside. The early ones, before the chevron Decal, had a stamp on the back of the head.

philpot
02-12-2015, 04:26 PM
All I can say is that's a beautiful uke. I'm sure someone on here will know something about it.

igorthebarbarian
02-12-2015, 06:21 PM
I would guess 50's or 60's based on plastic - also check out Jake's site and search around there for clues... this one is wood fretboard though the headstock design is similar:
http://antebelluminstruments.blogspot.com/2014/12/1930s-gretsch-super-standard-39-koa.html

river_driver
02-13-2015, 03:12 AM
That's not a molded plastic fingerboard like you find on '50's Harmonys. That is a pearloid celluloid overlay - aka "mother of toilet seat". I put it in the 1930's. MOTS was very popular then.

Absolutely stunning!

Fred Koch
02-13-2015, 03:34 AM
That's not a molded plastic fingerboard like you find on '50's Harmonys. That is a pearloid celluloid overlay - aka "mother of toilet seat". I put it in the 1930's. MOTS was very popular then.

Absolutely stunning!

Thanks! Reading through the site I saw mention of MOTS and now I know what it means. Knowing the age of my friend, putting it from the 30's makes sense since it was his grandfather's. The case is unique, too. Must be original - it opens from the bottom and uses an old style boot buckle to close it. Thanks again.

Inksplosive AL
02-13-2015, 06:31 AM
More pictures to drool over please.

~AL~

Inksplosive AL
02-13-2015, 06:36 AM
That's not a molded plastic fingerboard like you find on '50's Harmonys. That is a pearloid celluloid overlay - aka "mother of toilet seat". I put it in the 1930's. MOTS was very popular then.

Absolutely stunning!

*Play Jeopardy wah wah wah*

Always the ragging on the poor little Harmony ukuleles. Sorry but MOT is MOT unless you call it Pyralin.

"Answer:
Your ukulele was made by the Harmony Company of Chicago, sometime in the 1930s. The label inside used to read "Supertone". Supertone was a brand name of the Sears Company. Sears actually owned Harmony at the time, and Harmony made many different musical instruments that were sold through Sears and elsewhere. The material on the fretboard is Pyralin - known to collectors today as "mother of toilet seat". Harmony made mostly inexpensive instruments, but yours is a better than average Harmony."

http://www.ukulele.org/?Vintage_Ukulele_Q_%26amp%3B_A

river_driver
02-13-2015, 08:05 AM
Al, I'm not sure what your point is. Pyralin was just a DuPont brand name for nitrocellulose plastic, i.e. "celluloid". The pearloid coloration makes it MOTS.

And I'm not sure where you get that I'm "ragging on the poor little Harmonys." Igor guessed the Gretsch was a '50's vintage because Harmony produced the plastic fingerboard models then, I was just pointing out the difference.

I'm pretty vocal about being a fan of Harmony, especially the Silvertone-branded ukes Harmony produced. Hell, when my 71 year old mother decided she wanted to learn the uke, I gave her a plastic fretboard Harmony!

I do agree with you though, I would also like to see more pics of this Gretsch!

gaspar
02-13-2015, 09:58 AM
Hi! What you got there is a rare Gretsch American "Rose model" from 1930īs. Gretsch did make excellent ukuleles. Every Gretsch American I had were beautiful sounding ukes.
Here is 1930īs Gretsch Catalog showing some of the production models.

http://i60.tinypic.com/av0fmh.png

Inksplosive AL
02-13-2015, 04:56 PM
Al, I'm not sure what your point is. Pyralin was just a DuPont brand name for nitrocellulose plastic, i.e. "celluloid". The pearloid coloration makes it MOTS.

And I'm not sure where you get that I'm "ragging on the poor little Harmonys." Igor guessed the Gretsch was a '50's vintage because Harmony produced the plastic fingerboard models then, I was just pointing out the difference.

I'm pretty vocal about being a fan of Harmony, especially the Silvertone-branded ukes Harmony produced. Hell, when my 71 year old mother decided she wanted to learn the uke, I gave her a plastic fretboard Harmony!

I do agree with you though, I would also like to see more pics of this Gretsch!

Hah foolish me, very little sleep my boxers been ill on and off since November at times needing to be carried outside shes back up to 75 lbs though. I misread your reply I myself do not look at old Harmony ukuleles with plastic fretboards and was remembering seeing others like this with real MOT. Guess they are older. http://antebelluminstruments.blogspot.com/2011/09/c1930-harmony-made-rotary-ukulele.html

I not only want to see more pictures I want it! But I'll be satisfied with more pictures, case also please. Its cold out snow all over the place and we need cheering up. ;)

Man those prices look insane to today's dollar value. Funny nothings changed except what we feel a piece of paper is worth.

Fred Koch
02-14-2015, 08:16 AM
Thanks for all your insight and interest. Here it is:7610676107761087610976110

Fred Koch
02-14-2015, 08:18 AM
And five more photos... Thanks again! 76111761127611376114

Mr. Jake Wildwood
02-14-2015, 10:19 AM
Your Gretsch is amazingly clean and it's definitely mid-30s in date. Early Gretsch ukes were pretty clunky but by the time these models were around (1930-1940ish) they'd spruced them up and made them definite contenders that're maybe just a short rung below a general Martin or nicer Gibson in build.

river_driver
02-15-2015, 07:50 AM
Fred - thanks for the extra pics! She is a dandy!

Jake - your expertise is always appreciated! I've learned tons from your Antebellum Instruments website. Definitely one of the brightest spots on the web.

Al - no sweat, we've all been there. Sorry to hear your dog is ailing, I'm a sucker for dogs myself. The combination of a sick dog and that miserable weather you guys have been having up there in the northeast can't be fun. Sounds like she's on the mend though?

Gaspar - very cool ad, thanks for sharing. Hey, weren't you looking for a Regal Jungle Uke a while back? Did you find one? I've seen a couple turn up on ebay but the prices have been stupid and the conditions poor.