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View Full Version : Cool old Washburn concert/tenor



Tigershark
06-17-2015, 11:17 AM
This is a cool 1920's Washburn on ebay. It's probably closer in size to what we consider a concert today. It looks like there's an added strap button like a guitar, and the raised celluloid soundhole ring is missing.

Definitely a rare model, you don't see too many of these in this size. I'm too lazy to get my Washburn book to figure out what the model number is but I think it's 5350 :)

http://www.ebay.com/itm/1930s-Washburn-Lyon-Healy-Tenor-Rare-Gold-Leaf-/151717546725

80750

river_driver
06-17-2015, 11:26 AM
In the description it says it's a model 7708 tenor, but if the stamp on the end of the headstock is an indication, it's a model 1213 (I'm at work & my Washburn book is at home, so I can't check either).

Regardless, it is a beauty. Nice condition. The wear is from honest play, not abuse or neglect.

For what it's worth, Washburn has issued a repop of this uke: http://www.washburn.com/products/ukes/WU5318.html
The new one just doesn't do it for me.

Tigershark
06-20-2015, 04:00 AM
Thanks River.

I always find the Washburn model numbers confusing, they changed them over time and it's just wacky. The TUA stamp on the headstock could be a model designation as well.

You're right, the reissue is based on this model. I haven't tried any of the new ones. I am a big fan of the vintage Washburns, and surprised there wasn't more interest in seeing this one. They are extremeley well made and have a unique style compared to Martin. They sound great too.

river_driver
06-21-2015, 11:20 AM
According to Hubert Pleijsier's book:
(1) the 1213 on the end of the headstock is a serial number
(2) the 7708, IF it's stamped on the neck block, is a batch number
(3) the TUA stamp on the headstock dates it to 1922-25
and
(4) I still am not sure of the model number, though it seems ukulele model numbers at that time were four digits, starting with 5 (i.e., 5XXX).

I was in a music shop on Saturday (Larry's Music in Wooster, Ohio) that, amazingly enough, had the new Washburn uke line. I played them. They were basic Asian import ukuleles. Not bad, but nothing remarkable. Ounce-for-ounce comparable to the Oscar Schmidt line that is half the price.

WhenDogsSing
06-21-2015, 11:54 AM
That looks like a Lyon & Healey instrument that I used to have with the gold leaf ornamentation and bridge shape. Mine was a Lyon & Healey camp uke. If I can find an old photo of it, I'll post it.

Ukejenny
06-21-2015, 03:48 PM
Looks very nice.

Tigershark
06-22-2015, 10:56 AM
Nobody bid on it, I'm really surprised. Even with the issues, that's a great price.

Nickie
06-22-2015, 05:02 PM
Congrats! Love the gold leaf design. And the pin bridge.....nice!

river_driver
06-23-2015, 11:47 AM
According to Hubert Pleijsier's book:
(1) the 1213 on the end of the headstock is a serial number
(2) the 7708, IF it's stamped on the neck block, is a batch number
(3) the TUA stamp on the headstock dates it to 1922-25
and
(4) I still am not sure of the model number, though it seems ukulele model numbers at that time were four digits, starting with 5 (i.e., 5XXX).

After further reading, I'm convinced it's either a model 710 or 711 - although the gold leaf decalomania is not mentioned in the factory spec for those models.

Tigershark
06-30-2015, 08:08 AM
Here is a picture from the 1930 Tonk Brothers catalog that lists this as a 5350 model. The numbers changed over time so others may be correct as well.

81130

river_driver
06-30-2015, 08:25 AM
This one sure is a head scratcher, isn't it?

My original thought that it was a 5XXX model was based on either this page or a similar page. But Pleijsier is pretty clear that the 5XXX numbers didn't start until after 1928, the serial number stamped on the end of the headstock puts it between 1922-28, and the TUA stamp places it between 1922-25.

Tiger, I think you're spot on that these ukes are built to the same spec, just produced a few years apart and given different model numbers. I think L&H was going through some changes with regard to ownership at the time, which may be part of the reason for the change in model numbers.

(Incidentally, I love these threads of the "vintage uke, what is it?" type. I wish there were more of them!)

Tigershark
06-30-2015, 10:23 AM
I hope so too, I have a real passion for vintage ukuleles and I hope we can have fun discussing them and maybe getting some new folks interested and involved in the party.

Washburns are a great value in the vintage ukulele world. They have unique designs, wonderful heritage, and great craftsmanship. I've got a few of them and I love to play them...

Eyeguy
07-06-2015, 02:36 PM
I need another uke like I need a hole in the headstock, but after this little sweetie didn't sell a second time I just had to rescue it. I'd been doing so good too.

river_driver
07-06-2015, 02:45 PM
I need another uke like I need a hole in the headstock, but after this little sweetie didn't sell a second time I just had to rescue it. I'd been doing so good too.

What luck! This one has a hole in the headstock!