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View Full Version : Found: Two antique ukes for dirt cheap



dhoenisch
05-27-2014, 03:28 AM
Good morning all. I haven't posted here in a while, but I picked up two antique ukes yesterday at Guitar Center, of all places, and thought I'd share them with you.

First up is a 1920's/1930's Supertone soprano, made by Harmony of Chicago. This uke is actually in good condition. The breaks and separations are all clean and when pressed together, are almost unnoticeable. No wood is missing, and it's actually in rather good condition. The Supertone and Quality labels are both intact as well as the tuning machines are still in existence, and appear to be the original ones (judging by the other two 1930 Harmony ukes I own with similar tuners).

I will be repairing this uke, using nothing but hot hide glue. Out of the two, this one might be my keeper.

http://i118.photobucket.com/albums/o92/dhoenisch/100_0146_zpsfdff2a08.jpg

http://i118.photobucket.com/albums/o92/dhoenisch/100_0147_zps8f0cbd16.jpg

http://i118.photobucket.com/albums/o92/dhoenisch/100_0149_zpse3624586.jpg

http://i118.photobucket.com/albums/o92/dhoenisch/100_0148_zpsa4f24189.jpg

dhoenisch
05-27-2014, 03:33 AM
The next one is a 1942 Regal WWII Victory soprano made in Chicago, IL. This one is a little rougher. It has been broken, just like the first one, but was repaired with wood glue. It's not a bad repair in some spots, but in other spots, it was done incorrectly, so I will be taking it apart and re-gluing it with Hot Hide Glue. It is also missing a chunk of wood that needs to be replaced. The paint is in decent shape, and with the exception of touching up the new wood, the paint will remain as is. Tuners appear original and are all there. The headstock logo is a bit rough, but you can tell what it is. Also, the nut was replaced with a sliver of wood. That will be replaced and painted to match the rest of the uke.

This will be for sale once I repair it.

http://i118.photobucket.com/albums/o92/dhoenisch/100_0158_zpse93040b5.jpg

http://i118.photobucket.com/albums/o92/dhoenisch/100_0159_zpse3bf23bc.jpg

http://i118.photobucket.com/albums/o92/dhoenisch/100_0160_zps073adf9e.jpg

http://i118.photobucket.com/albums/o92/dhoenisch/100_0163_zpsa4134b06.jpg

Icelander53
05-27-2014, 03:45 AM
You kids and your crazy hobbies.

I prefer my pet rocks.

I think that repairing them is a very fun and useful skill to have. I'll be waiting to see how they turn out.

Lori
05-27-2014, 05:12 AM
Wow, nice finds! Would love to see a close up of the painted outdoor scene.

–Lori

Dane
05-27-2014, 05:15 AM
Neat find!

dhoenisch
05-27-2014, 05:25 AM
Wow, nice finds! Would love to see a close up of the painted outdoor scene.

–Lori

Ask and you shall receive
http://i118.photobucket.com/albums/o92/dhoenisch/canoe_zps534dc921.jpg

Dan

David Newton
05-27-2014, 07:03 AM
Neat finds.

I wouldn't do anything to the Victory Uke, it is worth more as a dusty WWII collectable than as a playable uke.

river_driver
05-27-2014, 07:12 AM
Awesome finds! I never find cool stuff like this!

(Bonus points for the GC employee who realized these had value, and didn't just turn them away becasue they were broken!)

The nut on the Regal Victory might actually be original - can't tell from the picture - but I don't think the tuners are. These were a wartime product, and with metals deemed critical for the war effort, these were all wood - the original tuners should have been simple wooden friction pegs. Also, if you look under the paint, I think the frets are supposed to be maple, not brass.

river_driver
05-27-2014, 07:15 AM
Check out this old ad for the Regal Victory in the December 1942 Popular Mechanics:
http://books.google.com/books?id=7tYDAAAAMBAJ&pg=PP52&lpg=PP52&dq=regal+victory+ukulele&source=bl&ots=tNUh_fwknD&sig=ECDpTZA3icY8Y8Ruol2xli4eoC8&hl=en&sa=X&ei=P8WEU5LvFsWtyAS2r4K4Bg&ved=0CCAQ6AEwAQ#v=onepage&q=regal%20victory%20ukulele&f=false

Here's one that Elderly had that was all original. You can see the wooden pegs, and the wooden frets in the closeups.
http://www.elderly.com/vintage/items/180U-834.htm

Ukejenny
05-27-2014, 08:11 AM
Cool stuff - enjoy tinkering! I'm looking forward to the after pics!

dhoenisch
05-27-2014, 08:27 AM
The nut on the Regal Victory might actually be original - can't tell from the picture - but I don't think the tuners are. These were a wartime product, and with metals deemed critical for the war effort, these were all wood - the original tuners should have been simple wooden friction pegs. Also, if you look under the paint, I think the frets are supposed to be maple, not brass.

Here are close-ups of the frets.
http://i118.photobucket.com/albums/o92/dhoenisch/frets_zps63b34d82.jpg
http://i118.photobucket.com/albums/o92/dhoenisch/frets2_zps5166a1a7.jpg
They are clearly brass. I've also seen the headstock both ways, with the wooden pegs, and the friction pegs. I thought it should have wooden pegs too, but I don't see evidence of it. When I dig into it some more, I'll know better.

dhoenisch
05-27-2014, 08:31 AM
Actually, I wonder if mine is post-war. The headstock logo design is slightly different. I went on the 1942 year because of that ad, but they may have kept producing them after 1945.
http://i118.photobucket.com/albums/o92/dhoenisch/100_0161_zps28d5a352.jpg
Dan

river_driver
05-27-2014, 11:59 AM
Huh! Those are brass frets under there! With brass frets then, I would expect those to be the original tuners as well.

I was under the impression that they only made a small production run of these fairly early in the war. I wonder if maybe, rather than post-war, this was one of the first, made with parts that were left over in the factory before the shortages hit?

Keep us posted on what you find out! I like this uke on so many different levels...with the exception of the gaping hole in the side, of course.

Cheers!

river_driver
05-27-2014, 12:13 PM
I was under the impression that they only made a small production run of these fairly early in the war. I wonder if maybe, rather than post-war, this was one of the first, made with parts that were left over in the factory before the shortages hit?

NVM...I see that yours has a later Regal logo. It's a mystery!

trowacat
05-27-2014, 01:45 PM
Those look ancient! It's a shame they weren't taken better care of. The cracks in them are massive. Good luck repairing, I'm sure you won't run into too much trouble!

Lori
05-27-2014, 05:55 PM
Thanks for the photos!! Very fun to look at.

–Lori

Teek
05-27-2014, 10:00 PM
I am so glad you saved those! People think OMG throw it out. But they are great history and they are fixable. I love the Regal!

I picked up one with the same type of damage last week, I also have found attic finds for sale but even though I am always hoping I have yet to find one in a thrift or a pawn shop.

iamesperambient
05-27-2014, 10:19 PM
Good morning all. I haven't posted here in a while, but I picked up two antique ukes yesterday at Guitar Center, of all places, and thought I'd share them with you.

First up is a 1920's/1930's Supertone soprano, made by Harmony of Chicago. This uke is actually in good condition. The breaks and separations are all clean and when pressed together, are almost unnoticeable. No wood is missing, and it's actually in rather good condition. The Supertone and Quality labels are both intact as well as the tuning machines are still in existence, and appear to be the original ones (judging by the other two 1930 Harmony ukes I own with similar tuners).

I will be repairing this uke, using nothing but hot hide glue. Out of the two, this one might be my keeper.

http://i118.photobucket.com/albums/o92/dhoenisch/100_0146_zpsfdff2a08.jpg

http://i118.photobucket.com/albums/o92/dhoenisch/100_0147_zps8f0cbd16.jpg

http://i118.photobucket.com/albums/o92/dhoenisch/100_0149_zpse3624586.jpg

http://i118.photobucket.com/albums/o92/dhoenisch/100_0148_zpsa4f24189.jpg

Nice it's cool your are able to buy fixer upers and make them nice,
I however would have no clue what to do in terms of fixing something like this.
Looking forward to the finished results on the harmony one the other one however
looks more like something they would hang up a TGI friday's (no disrespect) just might
be better as a wall decoration.