View Full Version : Please help me identify this antique ukulele!

11-12-2017, 09:07 AM
I bought this as my first ukulele (pics here) (https://imgur.com/a/epHj2), thought it would be neat to have an older one as my first. It was from the estate of a gentleman who collected high end instruments. I was told he bought it "decades ago", maybe in Hawaii, and that it was handmade and that he considered it to be of very good quality. Unfortunately, there is no markings or labels aside from a mark embossed into the wood inside that says "Made in USA", and remnants of glue where there would normally be a label. There is also engraved into the headstock by hand the initials "R.D.R." but aside from that I am at a loss! Please help me learn more about this ukulele!

11-12-2017, 10:13 AM
Not sure if this is any help, but looks a lot like this one.

11-12-2017, 10:28 AM
You could try flipping through the photos here (http://www.ukulele.org/?Reference_Desk:Vintage_Ukuleles), although you may just come up with "unlabelled Hawaiian style ukulele" as a result. I'm no expert, but on first glance it reminds me of mainland-made "Hawaiian style" ukes of the early part of the last century, made by companies such as Harmony - but that's just a wild guess.

11-12-2017, 10:43 AM
Thanks to both of you. It does look a lot like the schierson bros one in that first link. The headstock seems to be the unique feature that may help narrow it down. Out of curiosity, any ideas on what it may be worth?

11-12-2017, 10:48 AM
hard to say what it may or may not be worth until it has a positive ID. Then, condition comes to play. Your does have some condition issues. The bridge broke off at some point and screwed back on, and a crack in the sound board. But depending on what it is, those condition issues may hurt a lot, or maybe not at all.. Just hard to tell without knowing for sure what it is. If those initials on the back can be linked to someone important or famous, it could be priceless. You see the price on the one I linked, so that it may be worth looking into.

Chopped Liver
11-12-2017, 12:22 PM
Could the initials be that of the previous owner?

11-12-2017, 12:30 PM
Could the initials be that of the previous owner?

Yes I imagine that's the case, they are very faint and look like they were scratched in a long time ago!

11-12-2017, 03:26 PM
I don't know who built it, it looks pretty cool.
But I wish I could slap the s-- outta whomever put that screw in it....