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View Full Version : potentially interesting find on Etsy



janeray1940
01-26-2011, 02:28 PM
Any idea what it is?
http://www.etsy.com/listing/66729523/vintage-1950s-ukulele-with-case-tiki-bar

They say 1950s, I'm thinking older. I don't need a project (although I do like that case a lot!) so I thought I'd pass it along...

mm stan
01-26-2011, 03:17 PM
Aloha Janeray1940,
Nice, it looks well made and in the mid 50's would be my guess.....for the price, it's nice.....well worth it to me Thanks for sharing.......MM Stan..
That may just be the hidden gem of the week here!!:):)

Hippie Dribble
01-26-2011, 03:32 PM
Thanks Jane... VERY tempted (especially at that price and with a gorgeous original ol' case) Hmm....who's gonna blink first I wonder!!! :)

janeray1940
01-27-2011, 04:35 AM
That was fast! Somebody went for it - anybody here by any chance?

RyanMFT
01-27-2011, 04:44 AM
Wow, I would have bought it.....looks much older than 50's to me. Wish I had seen it earlier!

Tudorp
01-27-2011, 04:51 AM
I was trying to. But, sold..

Chris Tarman
01-27-2011, 02:25 PM
I have a similar uke with a VERY similar case. I think mine is '20s or '30s. Mine has a different headstock, and fancier binding, but the label is similar (although not exact). Mine is a "Mouna-Loa" brand, whatever that was.197541975519756

janeray1940
01-27-2011, 02:32 PM
I have a similar uke with a VERY similar case. I think mine is '20s or '30s. Mine has a different headstock, and fancier binding, but the label is similar (although not exact). Mine is a "Mouna-Loa" brand, whatever that was.197541975519756

Nice! Love those headstocks.

I thought the Etsy one might be 1920s or 1930s also. I still wonder who snapped it up...

Hippie Dribble
01-27-2011, 02:39 PM
That was fast! Somebody went for it - anybody here by any chance?

stan, are you out there bruddah? ...anyone seen stan today??? :uhoh::)

Teek
01-27-2011, 08:16 PM
It's an "Ukulele Manufacturing Company of Honolulu" ukulele. I have one a little nicer than this. This is potentially circa teens to late 1920's, probably no later. It's a variant on mine with that 3 ring rosette, mine has only one very thin line of inlaid lighter colored wood for the rosette, so it may be later 20s rather than teens, but it's still from the first era of big popularity on the mainland. Mine also has an ebony nut.

One piece koa top and back, with an arched back, Hawaiian heel, very thin neck, frets set directly in the neck, with very narrow silver bar frets. VERY nicely built and light as a feather with big sound. Not much is known about the company.

No I didn't buy it! ;D One's enough, and I just saw the thread.

janeray1940
01-28-2011, 05:18 AM
It's an "Ukulele Manufacturing Company of Honolulu" ukulele. I have one a little nicer than this. This is potentially circa teens to late 1920's, probably no later. It's a variant on mine with that 3 ring rosette, mine has only one very thin line of inlaid lighter colored wood for the rosette, so it may be later 20s rather than teens, but it's still from the first era of big popularity on the mainland. Mine also has an ebony nut.

One piece koa top and back, with an arched back, Hawaiian heel, very thin neck, frets set directly in the neck, with very narrow silver bar frets. VERY nicely built and light as a feather with big sound. Not much is known about the company.

No I didn't buy it! ;D One's enough, and I just saw the thread.

Thanks for the info! I thought it looked like it might be koa, and much older than the seller stated. Now I'm starting to have a bit of non-buyer's-remorse!

Between this one and the $20 Kamaka pineapple - yup, you read that right - that came and went on Craigslist yesterday in less time than it took me to text the seller, I suppose this is "the one that got away" week for me :)

gvelasco
11-23-2016, 10:35 AM
I have one of these too. Mine is structurally sound. It has some cracks in the top and back, but they seem to be stable. The finish has been mostly sanded off (!), but it was not refinished. I think it was one of their cheaper models because the finish that it had was an opaque black finish. It's the same short scale. It has the exact same body and head stock shape. It has the wooden friction pegs. It has an ebony nut. It has the same bridge design, arched back, thin neck, Hawaiian heel, frets mounted in neck, and of course, label. I tune mine in D.

I'm surprised that after all of this time and research we still don't know anything about this company.

There's a little more information about them here:

http://www.ukulele.org/?Vintage_Ukulele_Q_%26amp%3B_A:2008_Q%26amp%3BA%0A Archive


Date: July 1, 2008

Question:
I got this at a yard sale and I was impressed by the good tone, playability and quality of the wood. It is clearly quite old with the cloth case and friction fit wood tuning pegs. The label inside says "Ukulele Mfg. Co. Honolulu" and is applied over another label. I haven't tried to get underneath the label as I don't want to injure the upper label although it is loose on one corner. It has some damage to 2 cm. of the binding and a few cracks in the top but the back and sides are in very good shape. Do you have any clues as to age and maker? Thanks.

Answer:
That is an interesting ukulele you sent photos of - I actually happen to have a nearly identical ukulele. The Ukulele Manufacturing Company of Honolulu is a mystery. Extensive research in Honolulu directories of the late 1800s through the 1930s has found no evidence of such a company in Hawaii. Also, their ukuleles don't have many of the usual characteristics of Hawaiian-made instruments of the time period.

My personal opinion is that these ukuleles were made on the mainland, and passed off as "Hawaiian-made". They are nicely made and are made from Hawaiian koa-wood, but I don't think they were made in Hawaii. I would guess these were made in the teens or the early 1920s at the latest. I am very curious about the 2nd label you mention in your ukulele - this could help solve the mystery. So if you ever do pull back that top label, please let us know what it says underneath!