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View Full Version : Might be selling this one of a kind? Frederick Gosparlin custom Uke



sdcook
04-22-2013, 06:43 AM
So I picked this up at our local antique fair in Long Beach CA, it was so unique I just had to get it. This is apparently made by Frederick Gosparlin hence the stamp and Pat ??? as shown in the photos. Frederick Gosparlin was a master violin maker and had many patents registered by him. Obviously this is a custom and possibly a one of a kind, it is just a fine piece. This might be for sale later as soon as I find more infor so any help is much appreciated. I have included many photos for your viewing enjoyment. Thanks Steve

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sdcook
04-22-2013, 06:45 AM
5215752158521595216052161

JB in Alabama
04-22-2013, 06:53 AM
Cool! There must be 3 months of detailing on this one!

sdcook
04-22-2013, 02:16 PM
Lots of views but no comments?????

Kayak Jim
04-22-2013, 02:39 PM
Yes, very unique. Those who don't care for the rope on Mainlands should play this one for a few months.

Any idea of the age? When was he producing violins?

sdcook
04-22-2013, 03:01 PM
He was alive from 1891 to 1978 , I am assuming this is from the 1930-40 era

rpfrogner
04-22-2013, 03:45 PM
It is certainly very ornate. Were his violins this ornate as well?

Ahnko Honu
04-22-2013, 03:55 PM
WOW... What a work of art! Too pretty for my tastes. I prefer the dirt-farmer's daughter over the princess.

vanflynn
04-22-2013, 04:10 PM
A sound bite and a price might help.

OldePhart
04-23-2013, 03:46 AM
Lots of views but no comments?????

Momma told me, "if you can't find something nice to say..." ;)

Let's just say I wish you luck with the sale and leave it at that...

John

JamieFromOntario
04-23-2013, 04:20 AM
AH, my eyes! I've been blinded!

sdcook
04-23-2013, 05:10 AM
Momma told me, "if you can't find something nice to say..." ;)

Let's just say I wish you luck with the sale and leave it at that...

John

Probably since you other post is insulting, always one in every group!

Stevelele
04-23-2013, 05:37 AM
well, I've certainly never seen anything like it, that's for sure.

RyanMFT
04-23-2013, 06:07 AM
Actually, I think it is pretty cool. It seems to me that a lot of time went into creating it.

I wonder what the holes in the back of the bridge are there for?

BlueLatitude
04-23-2013, 06:18 AM
I wonder if it was plainer originally and someone painted it later. It is very unusual. Wonder how it sounds.

OldePhart
04-23-2013, 06:47 AM
Probably since you other post is insulting, always one in every group!

Not sure which other post you might be talking about - there are about 6500 of them to choose from... If you read a few of them you might find out I'm not really a bad guy. :)

Seriously, though, the first time I checked this thread I was repulsed by the uke but had no intention of saying anything about it. But, then you seemed to be demanding that people comment...

I guess what I should have known was that you were really demanding that people compliment this thing...

John

WhenDogsSing
04-23-2013, 07:43 AM
I can't tell where the saddle is on the bridge. It appears as though the strings come out of the string pin holes and over the bridge edge...???

WhenDogsSing
04-23-2013, 07:47 AM
I'm going to try to answer my own question. I believe the rear holes are intended to anchor the strings and the holes currently being used for that use are actually holes for individual saddles. Each could be adjusted for proper intonation. Just a guess, what do you all think?

bonesigh
04-23-2013, 07:57 AM
I quite like it actually and wouldn't mind owning it if the price weren't too "pricey" (:

RyanMFT
04-23-2013, 08:09 AM
I'm going to try to answer my own question. I believe the rear holes are intended to anchor the strings and the holes currently being used for that use are actually holes for individual saddles. Each could be adjusted for proper intonation. Just a guess, what do you all think?

I am trying to figure it out too. It seems clear that at one point, the strings were anchored in the holes at the back of the bridge as there are indentations where the strings went over the edge above the hole. However, I can't see how some sort of bridge would have sat where the bridge pins are now......but who knows what modifications may have been made over its life.

Kayak Jim
04-23-2013, 10:33 AM
Not sure this post should be in Marketplace as the OP just seems to be looking for comments and this isn't an item for sale.

RichM
04-23-2013, 10:58 AM
I am trying to figure it out too. It seems clear that at one point, the strings were anchored in the holes at the back of the bridge as there are indentations where the strings went over the edge above the hole. However, I can't see how some sort of bridge would have sat where the bridge pins are now......but who knows what modifications may have been made over its life.

Apparently there is a raised ridge around the bridge and that appears to be operating as the saddle. Not sure if it was designed that way or not. The bridge pins appear to be an afterthought, so I'm wondering if they were added later-- or perhaps the builder wanted to give you a couple of choices as to how to string your uke.

PhilUSAFRet
04-23-2013, 01:01 PM
Have you run those pics through the Ukulele Hall of Fame? Very ornate......a special wall hanger that you could play once in a while.

http://www.ukulele.org/

Hippie Dribble
04-23-2013, 01:18 PM
Have you run those pics through the Ukulele Hall of Fame? Very ornate......a special wall hanger that you could play once in a while.

http://www.ukulele.org/

yes, or send them through to Chuck Fayne on 'Collectors Uke Yak' for his appraisal:
https://www.fleamarketmusic.com/uke-yak/default.asp

Markr1
04-23-2013, 01:54 PM
This is the best response to this thread yet. I was checking out the thread and all the posts but that never entered my mind or apparently no one else's. If anyone would know Chuck would. Good one Jon.

strumsilly
04-23-2013, 02:20 PM
interesting. important questions to be answered are, how does it play and sound?

OldePhart
04-23-2013, 02:47 PM
interesting. important questions to be answered are, how does it play and sound?

That was kind of my reaction. I looked at that bridge the first time through the thread. Others have mentioned it since. Unless the uke was actually designed for the strings to use the...trim...along the front edge of the bridge as a saddle, which seems extremely unlikely, the intonation up the neck has to be pretty horrible the way it is set right now. I would guess it is several cents off by the first fret and only gets worse from there.

Honestly, I think this might be an old (or maybe not even that old) uke that somebody had a little fun with much later. I believe the earliest metal flake paints didn't become available until the 50's ("metallic" paint came out around the late 20's or early 30's - but I think metal flake was much later) - and that's what appears to have been used for the gold paint. Also, would a builder do something this...okay, I'll be kind, ornate...and then carelessly stamp his mark tilted and on the top of the soundboard?! Would a real instrument maker stamp the top of a soundboard after an instrument was finished? (The bottom of the "T" in "Pat" appears to be impressed on the binding/purfling as well as the soundboard itself.) What happened to the "Pend" in "Pat. Pend?" (it should either say "Pat. Pend[.|ing]" or "Pat. #" where #is the registration number of a granted patent.

It looks like whoever did the work was reasonably skilled at inlay and marquetry...but I can't say that we share the same tastes or opinion of what makes something visually appealing. It's not just that the end result is...again, I'll be kind...lavish but there is no real continuity across the design. It's like whoever did this threw every technique they knew at the instrument without any consideration for how one bit would "fit" with the others.

Honestly, I think it's kind of sad...there might have been a really nice little vintage uke under all of that.

John

Cornfield
04-23-2013, 02:49 PM
yes, or send them through to Chuck Fayne on 'Collectors Uke Yak' for his appraisal:
https://www.fleamarketmusic.com/uke-yak/default.asp
:agree:

Chuck helped out a lot on an unusual uke I got last year/

blue_knight_usa
04-23-2013, 03:49 PM
Very interesting that he had a Patent in 1929 on his bridge which of course is long expired but interesting it's on file...stuff I research ;-) http://www.freepatentsonline.com/1783117.pdf
He also moved to Okee Wisconsin and opened a repair shop after leaving Chicago in 1942. There is an article about that in the Wisconsin archives. Said he left the world of building instruments and went into instrument "repair" which makes me wonder if this instrument is actually from pieces of another instrument put together or modified? Certainly an interesting piece.

It would be great for the owner to post a YouTube of him playing it and demonstrating the intonation up and down the neck. Even if it's off, it would be interesting to hear how it sounds.

OldePhart
04-24-2013, 04:55 AM
That patent implies that there was probably a "floating" saddle on top of the bridge of the uke similar to a mandolin. That could have been pretty cool because it would have allowed intonation to be adjusted. I'm guessing it got lost at some point and the subsequent owner didn't realize something was missing. With the strings tied at the back they would have gone over the trim around the bridge at both the front and back, making them flat where they would squirm and buzz, so somebody "fixed" it by drilling holes in the top of the bridge and moving the pegs up there, so the string only went across the front part of the bridge trim.

And...yeah...that would make for pretty terrible intonation. Not too hard to fix though if one wanted to fab. a new saddle.

John

bborzell
04-24-2013, 04:56 AM
If the original question was intended to solicit reactions regarding the esthetics of the instrument, then I would need to say that there ain't much in the way of floating boats here on my end.

That said, I can appreciate certain elements of the instrument in that some reflect a significant level of effort and no small amount of skill. However, my overall reaction is that the uke was either; 1) built by a committee of folks who not only didn't speak to each other, but probably never shared the same space at the same point in time, or 2) was built by someone with some respectable degree of skill but who was also hampered by editing deficiencies.

I'm not a fan of ornate for the sake of being ornate. When it comes to wood stringed instruments, I prefer to let the wood do the talking. I like wood bindings and other details that emphasize the natural nature, if you will, of a wood inatrument. The more non wood things that get added on, the less interested I become. Metal flake paint on anything other than cars, bicycles or motorcycles is just wrong, in my view. I don't like gold lame' tuck and roll car seats either.

igorthebarbarian
04-25-2013, 06:18 PM
That is pretty cool. It looks like a Mainland but if someone bedazzled it (in a good way). And/or I kind of get a Day of The Dead/Dia de los Muertos vibe from it. Regardless, pretty unique and awesome. Thanks for sharing

srpompon
05-20-2013, 03:29 PM
u***s( 1438) US $676.60 May-20-13 18:27:16 PD

mandinga-diablo( 526) US $666.60 May-20-13 18:27:20 PDT


ufff... game over...u**s congratulations!!

brigcom
05-22-2013, 12:39 PM
Hey, I'm curious what strings you have on your Perriera tenor. i have the concert (cedar top) and that thing is loud. I've had Aquila, D'Adds, Fremont Blacklines, and it's still too bright and loud for me. Any suggestions?

Thanks,

John


If the original question was intended to solicit reactions regarding the esthetics of the instrument, then I would need to say that there ain't much in the way of floating boats here on my end.

That said, I can appreciate certain elements of the instrument in that some reflect a significant level of effort and no small amount of skill. However, my overall reaction is that the uke was either; 1) built by a committee of folks who not only didn't speak to each other, but probably never shared the same space at the same point in time, or 2) was built by someone with some respectable degree of skill but who was also hampered by editing deficiencies.

I'm not a fan of ornate for the sake of being ornate. When it comes to wood stringed instruments, I prefer to let the wood do the talking. I like wood bindings and other details that emphasize the natural nature, if you will, of a wood inatrument. The more non wood things that get added on, the less interested I become. Metal flake paint on anything other than cars, bicycles or motorcycles is just wrong, in my view. I don't like gold lame' tuck and roll car seats either.

DPO
05-22-2013, 02:08 PM
Am I the only one who has absolutely no idea what you wrote :D
Meant for srpompon. Sorry.

srpompon
05-22-2013, 03:28 PM
Am I the only one who has absolutely no idea what you wrote :D
Meant for srpompon. Sorry.

Yesterday this uke apear in ebay... my max bid = 666 u$s but any w the name u***s win the uke for 676 u$s 8-)

Terib
07-10-2015, 04:34 PM
Just an update for anyone interested. I have acquired this uke from a gentleman in Mt Horeb. Legendary Ukuleles. Frederick Gosparlin was / is my great grandfather. It's funny that I happened to find it by chance. Wasn't looking for it and didn't even know it existed. was just browsing unique ukes on the web since I just recently began learning the uke. It has been verified that the "Gosparlin" stamp on the instrument is his stamp. I have another article of his that has this same stamp. a perfect match. It's strange how thing come full circle sometimes.

morris3640
07-10-2015, 06:16 PM
So do you know the age of the uke and the playability of this instrument. Congrats on your discovery

bonesigh
07-10-2015, 06:35 PM
That's pretty cool Terib (: Back where it should be!

Django
07-11-2015, 03:52 AM
That seems like a very odd location to stamp a name and patent information. There was a time when you had to have a working model that went along with your patent. You can look up his name in Google Patents. This may be a prototype that was produced for a patent. Generally, there is patent information along with PAT, but if it is for a model, there would be no information yet. Just throwing out a possibility. Cool instrument, but not to my taste. Sometimes things are unique for a reason.

the.ronin
07-11-2015, 05:48 AM
Just an update for anyone interested. I have acquired this uke from a gentleman in Mt Horeb. Legendary Ukuleles. Frederick Gosparlin was / is my great grandfather. It's funny that I happened to find it by chance. Wasn't looking for it and didn't even know it existed. was just browsing unique ukes on the web since I just recently began learning the uke. It has been verified that the "Gosparlin" stamp on the instrument is his stamp. I have another article of his that has this same stamp. a perfect match. It's strange how thing come full circle sometimes.
That is the coolest thing ever!! To be clear, did you find it and sell it to the original poster of this thread or you found this thread and the original poster is Legendary Ukuleles? Either way, cool story.

Terib
07-15-2015, 03:36 PM
That is the coolest thing ever!! To be clear, did you find it and sell it to the original poster of this thread or you found this thread and the original poster is Legendary Ukuleles? Either way, cool story.

I first came across it on Lardy's ukulele database. Lardy directed me to legendary ukulele's. I never had the ukulele before now and didn't know it existed. I'm just happy to have come across it. I guess it was meant to be with me.