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View Full Version : Leonardo Nunes uke - help please



ichadwick
06-26-2009, 01:38 AM
A local chap picked up a Leonadro Nunes uke recently and brought it to show me. He wants to sell it.

Needs some restoration - top is coming off in a couple of places. A few small cracks and a place where a small crack was restored in the past.

One peg head has been replaced with a slightly larger head, and one is cracked and in need of replacement (looks like bakelite). Some gummy stuff (looks like duct tape residue) on the back needs careful cleaning (by a pro.) But overall, intact and probably playable with little work. 12 frets, soprano scale, slightly humped back. Looks like French finish and possibly solid koa.

All the fret wires are intact. Nut and bridge intact.

He offered it to me but we have no idea what a fair price is. It does require some minor restoration, but nothing serious from what I saw (although I would have the top reglued in one spot before it gets tuned to pitch) . I might be able to get photos and post them if anyone wants to see.

Any ideas? These things sell for big bucks on eBay, but this one is plain - no rosette, no rope binding, nothing on the headstock. Just a label inside saying it was made by Nunes in Hawaii for Kohler & someone in San Francisco.

Comments? Suggestions? Reasonable price?

kailua
06-26-2009, 03:58 AM
I have no idea what this is worth. My first instinct is to give Mike of MGM a call.:confused: Maybe some of the UU luthiers could shed some light?
Good luck!

ambrose
06-26-2009, 05:42 AM
Check with Chuck Frayne on Flea Market. I bought a '20's Kumalae for $180CDN which has numerous repaired cracks. Unless it's very rare and worth thousands it's probably worth a few hundred. ALso Jake Wildwood in Vermont does nice repairs and is very reasonably priced.

hoosierhiver
06-26-2009, 05:46 AM
Elderly instruments is often mentioned for repairs, or maybe ask Kamaka if they are interested in repairing it.

ichadwick
06-26-2009, 07:29 AM
I'm not really a collector of vintage instruments, so for me it holds less attraction than a new uke I will actually play. But for the right price, I could be swayed. It's funny - I wouldn't have given it much of a look before I got the Ohana soprano. Now a soprano is more interesting to me - albeit still not as mucha s a tenor.

bbycrts
06-26-2009, 07:51 AM
Personally, I would start by asking MGM if he could give a rough value...

Lanark
06-27-2009, 04:19 AM
If I recall my Ebay spectating correctly, Leonardo Nunes ukes aren't really super valuable. I think they end up in the $300-$400 range. Sounds like this one might fall in the lower end with the condition.

There's a bit more of premium on his father Manuel Nunes' ukes which stems more from his historical significance than the instruments themselves. The collectibility of either is going to more likely be in them as rare examples from early makers rather than as players anyway.

Pippin
06-27-2009, 04:42 AM
A local chap picked up a Leonadro Nunes uke recently and brought it to show me. He wants to sell it.

Needs some restoration - top is coming off in a couple of places. A few small cracks and a place where a small crack was restored in the past.

One peg head has been replaced with a slightly larger head, and one is cracked and in need of replacement (looks like bakelite). Some gummy stuff (looks like duct tape residue) on the back needs careful cleaning (by a pro.) But overall, intact and probably playable with little work. 12 frets, soprano scale, slightly humped back. Looks like French finish and possibly solid koa.

All the fret wires are intact. Nut and bridge intact.

He offered it to me but we have no idea what a fair price is. It does require some minor restoration, but nothing serious from what I saw (although I would have the top reglued in one spot before it gets tuned to pitch) . I might be able to get photos and post them if anyone wants to see.

Any ideas? These things sell for big bucks on eBay, but this one is plain - no rosette, no rope binding, nothing on the headstock. Just a label inside saying it was made by Nunes in Hawaii for Kohler & someone in San Francisco.

Comments? Suggestions? Reasonable price?

Check with Frets at FMM to get the best idea of value. He is the guru in collectible ukes. Oh, I see someone already mentioned him by name.

uke5417
06-27-2009, 06:18 AM
I buy and fix up busted ukes all the time, but do it so I can have more ukes to play and loan out, rather than as any sort of a collector. I've picked up a Kamaka, a Regal and a Favilla, each for under $35. I pay as low a price as I think the seller will let it go for and am not afraid to insult somone at a flea market by offering $5 for a nice uke with the neck hanging off or the sides split. On more than one occasion, they've said OK. A bit of gluing and screwing around later, and I've another player in the arsenal.