View Full Version : Name that vintage ukulele

08-10-2014, 03:31 PM
My 90 year old neighbor brought this soprano uke down from his attic. Says it was purchased ca. 1936 or 1937. Any advice on how to identify the maker, and assess its value?


08-10-2014, 04:09 PM
My money is on Manuel Nunes. See photo at http://www.gansz.org/HawaiianWeb/Hawaiian2.htm

08-10-2014, 04:41 PM
We need a photo of the back if you please, especially of the part where the neck joins the body.

08-10-2014, 05:23 PM
Richter Chicago.

08-10-2014, 05:26 PM

You might be able to spot. The name richter stamped on the back brace inside the uke.

08-10-2014, 05:26 PM
Here's the back


08-10-2014, 05:37 PM
There is an R in a circle stamped on the brace inside the uke where the neck joins. I think the R has an M and a C inside it.

08-10-2014, 05:43 PM
Richter Manufacturing Co. Has it got any cracks at all?

08-10-2014, 05:50 PM
Looks like it might have two hairline cracks, each about 3/4 inch long, near the bridge under the G string. Otherwise, seems in really good shape. Should I do anything special to preserve it? It just came out of an attic that it has been stored in for probably forty or fifty years.

08-10-2014, 06:03 PM
I agree, definitely a Richter, American made. Unfortunately, they are not that valuable or collectable, but It might sound Ok if it has a good set up.

08-10-2014, 06:04 PM
Hard to say, depends on what you are after - I would send it to a Luthier that loves to play and restore vintage instruments. Jake Wildwood or Aaron Keim come to mind.

08-10-2014, 06:57 PM
Here is a sound sample of a Richter:


08-11-2014, 01:56 AM
I am actually relieved that it is not valuable. My neighbor insisted I take it for free, and if it was in fact worth a great deal of money, I would have sold it and given him the money. I'd really just like to play it and not have to worry about damaging something of great value. I would welcome any additional tips about how to keep it in good shape. I plan to get a hard case and humidifier for it.

08-11-2014, 02:20 AM
Nice score. Great neighbor. I'm sure he'd love to have you play some songs for him. It's something I'd never let go. It sounds like it's worth a little TLC as long as it's done right.

Here's one that Antebellum Instruments talks about: http://antebelluminstruments.blogspot.com/2009/02/c1920-richter-soprano-ukulele.html

08-11-2014, 03:03 AM
Nice find!!! String it up and play it! Martin flourocarbons would sound great, or maybe Worth CL's for less tension. As long as the cracks are stable, I wouldn't worry about humidifying, since it's been in an attic for 50 years it actually might cause it to warp.

08-11-2014, 03:03 AM

08-11-2014, 04:47 AM
Uh . . . Yup!