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Thread: Dias Ukulele

  1. #1
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    Default Dias Ukulele

    I was watching a rerun of Antiques Roadshow earlier today. A woman brought in an Augusto Dias ukulele that had belonged to her mother. The mom had lived in Hawaii, the ukulele was built in 1895 and was appraised for 15k.

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    I hadn't heard of it so I quickly googled Augusto Dias ukulele. Would this be where that round shaped headstock originates?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Dohle View Post
    I hadn't heard of it so I quickly googled Augusto Dias ukulele. Would this be where that round shaped headstock originates?
    Could be but not sure. Dias was one of the 3 individuals who set up shop making ukuleles after arriving in Hawaii in 1878 or 79. Jose Do Espirito Santo and Manuel Nunes were the other two. Nunes mentored Sam Kamaka who eventually set up his own business. Sam Jr and Fred Kamaka eventually took over Kamaka after their father passed away. Sam and and Fred are still living and are well into their 90's. I saw Sam Jr about a year ago at an event in Kaneohe with his son Chris. Sam walks with a walker but is doing well, he got up to sing a number with Chris, Herb Ohta Jr and Bryan Tolentino. I believe Fred still gets to the Kamaka shop most days to greet customers and people who tour the facility.

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    Quote Originally Posted by peanuts56 View Post
    I was watching a rerun of Antiques Roadshow earlier today. A woman brought in an Augusto Dias ukulele that had belonged to her mother. The mom had lived in Hawaii, the ukulele was built in 1895 and was appraised for 15k.
    Now all she has to do is find a seller who will prove that "expert" right.

    From Shawn Yacavone -
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8UO6VKaMBc4

    The Roadshow appraisal -
    https://video.westtnpbs.org/video/ap...a-1895-0rstvb/
    Last edited by Jerryc41; 10-20-2020 at 02:19 AM.
    Too many ukes, but I can't stop buying!
    https://www.catskillukulelegroup.com/

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jerryc41 View Post
    Now all she has to do is find a seller who will prove that "expert" right.

    From Shawn Yacavone -
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8UO6VKaMBc4

    The Roadshow appraisal -
    https://video.westtnpbs.org/video/ap...a-1895-0rstvb/
    So true Jerry. One of the instrument appraisers they use is a Hawaii guy. His name is David Bonsey and he's based out of NYC now. His father was an Episcopal priest and served at the church in Honolulu that my wife grew up attending.
    I think this guy that evaluated the Dias Uke is from Gryphon Strings in California. I was impressed that he pronounced it correctly.
    I checked out the youtube link you provided. Lot's of vintage instruments there. I love Herb Jr's playing, he's so relaxed when he plays. I sat a few feet away from him last November at a restaurant he was playing at. No wasted motion or tension in his playing.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jerryc41 View Post
    Now all she has to do is find a seller who will prove that "expert" right.
    Yeah, the video with Herb Otha, Jr. has a slightly older, and far, far better condition Dias... And even that was slipping out of tune while he was playing it.

    I'd go with an appraisal from only two places for a Made In Hawaii ukulele of that vintage: Sandor Nagyszalanczy, or the Bishop Museum.

    I'm sure there are many others who could give a close-to-accurate or accurate appraisal, but I don't know any of them in my neck of the woods.

    Plus, that Dias on the Roadshow (three years ago - did she find a buyer?) needs way too much work to be safely playable, to me. I'd rather have something I can play.


    -Kurt
    Banjo Ukes: Southern Cross, Firefly, Stella
    Sopranos: Donaldson, Timms, Moku, Waterman, Bugsgear, Outdoor, Waverly Street, Harmony
    Concerts:Cocobolo #460 &#412, Ohana CK450QEL, CK-65D, Rosewood Vita, Mahogany Vita,
    Donaldson Custom, Epi Les Paul, National Triolian Reso, Republic
    Tenors: Kala KA-KTG-CY, KoAloha Sceptre, Fluke, Cordoba 20TM
    Bass: Fluke Timber

    Am I done?

    ...Maybe?...

    My YouTube Channel

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    Quote Originally Posted by ksiegel View Post
    I'd rather have something I can play.
    -Kurt
    I'd rather have the 15K.
    Too many ukes, but I can't stop buying!
    https://www.catskillukulelegroup.com/

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jerryc41 View Post
    I'd rather have the 15K.
    With which you would buy a bunch of ukuleles you could play...
    Banjo Ukes: Southern Cross, Firefly, Stella
    Sopranos: Donaldson, Timms, Moku, Waterman, Bugsgear, Outdoor, Waverly Street, Harmony
    Concerts:Cocobolo #460 &#412, Ohana CK450QEL, CK-65D, Rosewood Vita, Mahogany Vita,
    Donaldson Custom, Epi Les Paul, National Triolian Reso, Republic
    Tenors: Kala KA-KTG-CY, KoAloha Sceptre, Fluke, Cordoba 20TM
    Bass: Fluke Timber

    Am I done?

    ...Maybe?...

    My YouTube Channel

  9. #9
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    I'd like to be able to afford a 15k wall hanger.
    Kamaka HF3, Tenor
    Martin S1, Soprano
    Ko'olau C1, Concert
    Flight TUS-35

  10. #10
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    Aloha,

    I’m the lady on the Antiques Roadshow with the Dias ukulele. Mom and I donated it to the Bishop Museum who appraised it for the same value. All’s well that ends well.

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