PDA

View Full Version : What should I ask for a Lyon & Healy "American Conservatory" #5016?



jeff_parker_fly_guy
12-30-2009, 10:52 PM
Hi All
I just picked up a beautiful Soprano, Lyon & Healy "American Conservatory", serial number 5016 from a thrift store. When I discovered it there were some old strings on it. I drug my thumb across them ever so lightly and this uke practically sang! Now, I've only been playing about 6 months when I picked up one I had given to my teenager who had disgarded it, but the intonation was all uke and the volume was fantastic. It beat out my Oscar Schmidt electric, like a Harley beats a Moped, bad, and it weighs less than 13 oz, not even a pound!
Anyway, from what I have been able to research I believe it to have been made sometime in the 20s, can anybody confirm this? I have decided that I would look into selling this fine piece, as it's beauty and tone would be wasted on me. I enjoy knowing that if I sat on my Uke I could replace it in a week. If I damaged this I would not forgive myself, first because of the beauty, and second that it is worth a little bit I think. Doesn't the 5016 serial number make it a 5K?
Back to the purpose of my post, what's your opinions on it's value? I have no idea what I should ask for it. I am attaching a few photos I took of it for you to see the condition. It has no cracks, no repairs, no gaps in the seams, it's in excellent condition for a 10 year old Uke and fantastic condition for one almost 100 years old(?). So if you could give me your opinion and any details I would appreciate it!
Thanks

Doug W
12-31-2009, 02:22 AM
You might want to pay a few bucks to get it appraised by a professional. Mandolin Brothers comes to mind
http://www.mandolinbrothers.com/

I am not sure but maybe Elderly Instruments also offers an appraisal service
http://www.elderly.com

Or maybe just keep it and play it! I had a Lyon and Healy Washburn mandolin from the same time period that I sold years ago. Of all the instruments that I've owned and then sold It is the one I wish I still had.

guitharsis
12-31-2009, 02:34 AM
I had a 1915 Gibson A1 mandolin and a vintage Ciani bowlback that I wish I had kept. They're the only ones of all the instruments I've owned and then sold over the years that I wish I still had.

Doug W
12-31-2009, 05:20 AM
I had a 1915 Gibson A1 mandolin
That just hurts!

RevWill
12-31-2009, 05:31 AM
I offer you one hundred dollars right here on the spot.

In all seriousness, in your shoes I would contact Chuck "Frets" Fayne over at Flea Market Music.

jeff_parker_fly_guy
12-31-2009, 07:15 AM
Thanks, for your input! I am not familiar with "Flea Marker Music" Do you have a web address for them? I'll get in touch with them. Thanks again.
I offer you one hundred dollars right here on the spot.

In all seriousness, in your shoes I would contact Chuck "Frets" Fayne over at Flea Market Music.

uke5417
12-31-2009, 07:39 AM
Sell it if you need the money, but it's nice having a uke around that's "better" than you are so when you're learning something and can't quite get it on the regular uke, you pull out the fine instrument ftw. I would guess $400, since you can get an old Martin sop for $500.

Lori
12-31-2009, 07:57 AM
I would keep it for awhile, if I could. Unless you are desperate for the money now, you will get a higher price when the economy is better. And, if you get really good, or even just better at playing the ukulele, you will wish you still had it. From what I understand, a well seasoned older uke has sound properties that new ukes don't have yet. Put it away in a safe place, away from the heat or sunlight, and make sure to check the humidity in it's box or case every few weeks. Maybe get a Herco for it. How much did you pay for it?

–Lori

heyjude
12-31-2009, 08:05 AM
Why not contact Lyon & Healy? They might be able to tell you when it was made.

Jude

jeff_parker_fly_guy
12-31-2009, 10:09 AM
I would keep it for awhile, if I could. Unless you are desperate for the money now, you will get a higher price when the economy is better. And, if you get really good, or even just better at playing the ukulele, you will wish you still had it. From what I understand, a well seasoned older uke has sound properties that new ukes don't have yet. Put it away in a safe place, away from the heat or sunlight, and make sure to check the humidity in it's box or case every few weeks. Maybe get a Herco for it. How much did you pay for it?

–Lori

Hi, Thanks for your input! I paid $100 for this Uke.

Lanark
12-31-2009, 05:30 PM
I see ones like that hit around the $300 mark or so on eBay, if I remember correctly. (which I might not be). But I'll second or third that you made a score and there's really no reason not to keep it. It sounds good. You enjoy playing it and you'll only improve by playing on a nicer instrument. And you'll want to play more because it sounds good.

I would absolutely get a case for it if you don't already have one. And a humidifier for it if you live anyplace that's dry or gets dry. (ie. Minnesota winters here have some pretty low humidity) to keep it free from stress cracks. Then it's protected from your butt and the elements.

itsme
12-31-2009, 05:37 PM
I had a 1915 Gibson A1 mandolin and a vintage Ciani bowlback that I wish I had kept. They're the only ones of all the instruments I've owned and then sold over the years that I wish I still had.
I have a 1917 Gibson A1 mandolin and I'm very glad I've kept it, even if I don't play mando much these days. It's just like owning a piece of history, having something so valuable. :)

I'm sure I could sell it for way more than I paid for it, but short of being homeless, that will never happen.

scottie
12-31-2009, 06:34 PM
I'd keep it if I were you. Definitely, get it appraised but I'd be keepin' it.

nohandles
01-01-2010, 04:04 AM
I would keep it for sure especially right now. I'm liquidating many fine instruments and getting only half or less for them right now. Santa Cruz OOO guitar that was 5300.00 new and the best offer I got was 1500.00 for it- and its in perfect condition. Hold on unless you just need the money.

Pippin
01-01-2010, 11:19 AM
Lyon & Healy ukes are very rare and that one looks to be in excellent condition given the age. I have seen really nice L&H ukes go for as much as $15,000 (not saying that your uke is worth that much). I'd keep it and not sell it unless and until you know its full value and decide that it is too valuable to play.

scottie
01-01-2010, 11:24 AM
If it turns out to be worth a chunk of change and you don't want to play it for whatever reason, make sure you have a decent case and keep it humidified in a safe place.

jgarber
01-29-2010, 05:43 PM
Why not contact Lyon & Healy? They might be able to tell you when it was made.

Jude

Unfortunately, L&H is now a company with amnesia. I have contacted them in the past with questions and they seem to have severed everything from the former giant company with the exception of the harp division.

Oh well...

Pippin
01-30-2010, 03:11 AM
Unfortunately, L&H is now a company with amnesia. I have contacted them in the past with questions and they seem to have severed everything from the former giant company with the exception of the harp division.

Oh well...

Frets is the guy to ask. FMMBB has a section that he oversees. There are a few other people that might give you some idea what it's worth. Mandolin Brothers, another good suggestion. You might sell through them on consignment, or Elderly Instruments. They also sell on consignment occasionally.

RevWill
01-30-2010, 05:54 AM
www.fleamarketmusic.com