View Full Version : Lyon&Healy Washburn vintage concert - Informations

06-03-2019, 09:37 AM
hello guys,

I hope you can help. I get an old Lyon&Healy Washburn ukulele. I think it is in concert size. It has no cracks and only a few dings at the headstock. A very nice and clean instrument I think.
It is hard to get any informations about this lovely instrument here in germany. So can you please give some information what age it is, maybe what model number? What about the washburn brand? Lyon and Healy is also known here for good guitars. What about the ukes of this brand?
Are there many build or was this more a special top of the line instrument in earlier times?
Maybe I want to sell it, but I have no Idea about a fair price of it. I want a vintage Martin tenor uke and they are so expensive.
Thanks a lot!118658118659118660118661118662

06-03-2019, 09:59 AM
I had a similar “what is this” question about a different vintage uke, and another member shared this awesome database: http://database.ukulelecorner.co.uk/klm/lyon--healy

From the entry, it sounds like the golden oak leaves, diamond logo on headstock and Washburn name were used on the top of the line instruments produced by Lyon & Healy.

Something tells me that, as a less known brand than say Martin or Kamaka, that there aren’t many of these instruments that have survived, and even fewer in the condition yours is in. And based on the photos, yours looks to be in excellent condition! A real piece of ukulele history. Sorry I can’t inform a good asking price, but perhaps someone else might be able to.

If it were me, I don’t think I would sell. But then again, I’m a big romantic when it comes to imagining the life of older objects.

06-03-2019, 01:49 PM
Of course there was another one for sale! Looks like they valued theirs at $999 USD, and while it is a different model it should give you a good starting place if you decide to sell yours.

Here’s the eBay link to the one I just found: https://www.ebay.com/itm/Rare-1925-Washburn-TUA-Tenor-Concert-Ukulele-original-case-Lyon-Healy/372657958392

06-03-2019, 06:15 PM
Keep it! You'd have to pay about $1k to get one that nice used, and it wouldn't have an awesome history.

06-04-2019, 04:18 AM
I’m a big fan of Lyon & Healy / Washburn Brand ukes and have researched them. I have 3 or 4. There is a wonderful book called “Washburn Prewar Instrument Styles” by Hubert Pleijsier that covers all known info about their guitars, mandolin, banjos, and ukes made between 1883-1940. The serial # on the back of the headstock, inside stamp, the inlay and color of the tuner buttons are all good indicators of the year made. If you look inside there will be a four digit stamp starting with 53 that tells the model #( I’m guessing it says 5317)
Is you neck 3 piece laminated with a dark strip going down the middle or solid wood? Also, what are the dimensions of the bouts and overall length? I can do some more research for you with that info.
Your uke does not have the original bridge pins: the originals were tiny and made out of bone, as is the saddle. Yours is also missing the raised celluloid ring inside the sound hole...that’s pretty common as they broke easily. Otherwise looks all original and in good shape. They all had solid tops and laminated back and sides, any any of them with the gold leaf are their higher end instruments.
They are all fine quality ukuleles that play and sound wonderful and are well worth having set-up by a good luthier. I’m guessing yours is a mid-late 1930’s vintage...as far as what it’s worth....??? Given the issues I pointed out you won’t get top dollar. I’d keep it.
Hope this helps!

06-04-2019, 04:54 AM
It's a 5350 model, and very nice and pristine one. I remember ukulelezaza demoing one a while ago. The longer scale and larger body mean it can handle a lower tuning. I would have to check the catalogs, but seem to remember that it's late 1920s or early 1930s. There was also a book by John Teagle on Washburn, but it's more of a picture book and quite chaotic, also taking in the cheaper Washburn developments of the 1970s-2000s, which have little to do with the Original company and instruments. Washburn was the first to coin the term 'concert' for a larger size ukulele, at the introduction this exact model, suggesting it would be loud enough for just that purpose!

Freundliche Grûssen aus Brügge!

06-08-2019, 05:49 AM
thanks a lot for you informations.
The uke is 63cm overall lenght. The mensur is 40cm. So it is between concert and tenor, right?
The number inside is "1 5350"
Are you sure with the non original bridge pins?

06-08-2019, 09:27 AM
Positive about the bridge pins...they were smaller and all white without the dot. The 5350 had the same appointments as the 5317, just bigger. There is a picture from an old catalog in the book I mentioned on page 222. They called it a tenor and also refer to it as a “grand symphony” model.

06-09-2019, 01:20 PM
That is a treasure and you will likely never find another. You may get a good amount but I doubt you would be able to pick one up for what you sell yours for!! It’s also extremely clean! If I had one in that shape I would hang on to it! Way more rare than a Martin tenor and the builds (and sound) on those old Washburn’s are fantastic.

Doug W
06-10-2019, 05:41 AM
I have bought and sold many instruments in my life. The only instrument I now wish I had kept was a 1927 lyon and Healy mandolin. If you need the money for other priorities, sell it. Otherwise hang on to it and pass it along to family members when you make the big journey.

06-10-2019, 05:55 AM
FYI: I just noticed there is a 5350 for sale on eBay. Opening bid is just over 400 no bids yet. You can look at the pics and see the raised sound hole and it has some of the original small bridge pins.


06-10-2019, 05:58 AM
Oops...it ended this morning $422. You can still check out the pics.