PDA

View Full Version : Very Old Kia Sherman Clay & Co



Gmontema
09-30-2018, 09:01 PM
Hello,
I have the opportunity to purchase a very old Sherman Clay & Co ukulele for less than $1,000. It is the one on the left. 112437. Does anyone know where I could find out if that’s a reasonable price? Thanks for all of the guidance!

Junie Moon
10-01-2018, 12:59 AM
The condition that it's in will determine if the price is fair, of course.

When I was looking for a 1920s Kumalae I watched ebay, Reverb and Elderly for a few months and got a sense of how much ukes like that were going for, relative to their condition. That helped know that the one I eventually found was very fairly priced.

Here's cool repair log of a Sherman Clay/Kumalae fixed by Ron Cook in 2016: http://www.roncookstudios.com/assets/kathleen-armstrong-kumalae-repair-log.pdf

Good luck!

Gmontema
10-01-2018, 08:07 PM
Thanks so much for your thoughts. The uke is in less than perfect condition. Given that there’s not much info out there, I even wonder if the uke could hold string tension. I wish I were a luthier and could evaluate the quality of the build. Now, after more searching, I’m even beginning to think that it was quality like Martin and Kamaka, then maybe there would be more out there. Anyway, thanks again for your thoughts!

Gmontema
10-01-2018, 08:20 PM
By the way, I really enjoyed that Ron Cook narrative. Whomever purchased that uke should consider themselves quite lucky. Thanks for sharing that great read!

Junie Moon
10-02-2018, 05:18 AM
Thanks so much for your thoughts. The uke is in less than perfect condition. Given that there’s not much info out there, I even wonder if the uke could hold string tension. I wish I were a luthier and could evaluate the quality of the build. Now, after more searching, I’m even beginning to think that it was quality like Martin and Kamaka, then maybe there would be more out there. Anyway, thanks again for your thoughts!

I hear you. When I started looking online for a 1920s Hawaiian-made uke I didn't know anything. I saw some "steals" but didn't have the know-how to evaluate if the ukes were playable or fixable. I asked questions, but did not get useful answers, if I got any answers at all. Some had lousy or too few photos. Some of the ukes I was watching on ebay two months ago are still there.

I paid $400 for the 1920s koa Hawaiian uke I got from Elderly. It was sold "as-is". It had a 2 small stable cracks. They said the set up and frets needed work, but I find it completely playable and lovely just as it is. I think I paid a very fair price and am thrilled w/the condition of the uke.

For $1000 I'd expect the Sherman Clay to be in excellent condition for its age. Not pristine, like new or never played; but not beat up or worn out, or in need of anything except new strings.

I felt a lot more secure buying from Elderly than from ebay or Reverb. (If I knew what I was doing, buying from ebay or Reverb would have been fine.)

I'm fewer than two years into this uke thang, and wouldn't wow anyone w/my playing, so I'm hardly an expert on ukes or the market.

I would love to see more and better pictures of the Sherman Clay, and to hear how it all turns out for you.

P.S. The Ron Cook logs: the prices he mentions for resale value of the restored Kumalaes seem astonishingly low. A completely restored Kumalae for $300?! Where can I get one? ;)