View Full Version : Found: Antique Slingerland Maybell "May Bell" Banjo Ukulele Need Exp.'ed help.

09-06-2015, 05:31 PM
I found a 1920's model in a place near me.
I didn't get a photo though.

My immediate feeling: Holy moly this thing is smooth. The neck was smaller than I am used to and the action seemed to be very manageable.
It was rough though; a players instrument. Obvious strumming marks and patina on the face. Discoloration and dents and marks on the resonator back. Signs of age on the head stock and tuners.
Everything but the strings looks original.
No noticeable 'bling' but it still had some 'curb appeal'. And a good polish and cleaning would do wonders for it.

It looked and sounded something like this one I found on Youtube:


If you saw this uke in a music store, how much would you pay for it? With the understanding that you are familiar with the brand or the current market in vintage banjo ukes.
Thanks for your input, I want to go back next week with a reasonable offer and know that I am not over-paying for an instrument. Or if it is over my budget I will just leave if for someone else.

Captain Simian
09-06-2015, 06:34 PM
That's very similar to the one I just picked up about a month ago. Mine doesn't have a resonator though. Don't think it originally came with one. I paid $90 for mine and it didn't have a bridge or strings. Offer them $100 but I wouldn't go more than $125. I'm basing my opinion without seeing it.

Here's my banjo uke:


09-07-2015, 05:09 AM
Thanks for your input. That sounds reasonable.
I might return in a few days to get some photos. I would like it if I can get it for a good price.

Captain Simian
09-07-2015, 10:39 AM
Definitely snap a picture or two of it. I'm curious to see what it is exactly.

09-07-2015, 04:50 PM
Definitely snap a picture or two of it. I'm curious to see what it is exactly.

OK, I can get back to the store in a few days. He had some other used ukes but my wife and little one were in the car and I was just there to buy a set of strings for a soprano and just happened to a have glanced over and saw the MayBell there.
Here is an example of the head stock logo if this will help with dating it.
This is just a photo I found on the internet that is representative of the logo.

http://ancientpoint.com/imgs/a/g/r/a/k/antique_slingerland_maybell_banjo_ukulele_with_bir dseye_maple_chicago_c___1920__s_7_lgw.jpg

I will PM you when I post photos of the instrument.