View Full Version : Vintage Uke-lin on Ebay...

04-18-2011, 10:45 AM
I see these all the time on Ebay. Combination Ukelele and Violin. You bow some strings and strum and pluck the others.

Sounds just like someone bowing, strumming, and plucking a ukulele all at the same time.

Would make an interesting conversation piece. Most likely topic of conversation? Why anyone would choose to manufacture such an instrument.

In any event, this one does come with a bow which is usually missing and honestly, I don't know if that is a good or bad thing.:cool:


04-18-2011, 12:58 PM
It looks a lot like a piece of wall art I've got, called a "Violin-Uke".

My sister gave it to me years ago, as a conversation piece. It is missing the bow, but that's okay because I never wanted to play it.

Apparently, both the ukulin and violin-uke are versions of a fretless zither. The ukelin was a product of the Oscar Schmidt company, and the Violin-uke a product of the Marx Company.


Andy Spence, of the Old Songs Festival of Music and Dance told me that these instruments were sold by Door-to-Door salesmen in the 30s, who could play the things, gave a quick lesson, and after they left, most of the purchasers couldn't do anything else with them, so they became wall art or attic/closet dust collectors.

(Sorry, didn't mean to hijack the thread, just saw something that I knew something about, for a change.)


04-18-2011, 01:06 PM
There were quite a large number of bizarre zither-derived instruments manufacturered in the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. Most of them were pretty nonsensical; as in, any musician looks at the configuration and says, "why?" They show up pretty commonly in antique shops, usually with signs proclaiming how rare they are and with price tags to match. I guess antique shops were the eBay of pre-internet life. :)