Sold 1920s Martin style 3

Buyer pays
US / North East


Well-known member
Jul 11, 2023
Reaction score
For trade. My 1920s era Martin style 3.

I've only been the owner of this ukulele for a short while. It is in really amazing condition for an instrument of this vintage. There are no repairs, no cracks, the finish is in great shape, it stays in tune, and plays amazingly. Aside from normal wear and a couple of minor dings from its years of service, this uke is amazing. I also have a very old case that it was in when purchased (not in the photos). The case contained a very old song book and a handful of very old strings that I've left alone because they are also a pretty cool piece of history.

I've decided to explore a trade. I find myself gravitating away from playing it for a couple of reasons. I think I may have discovered I'm not a vintage instrument guy. I'm not sure how to explain this one in more detail other than that it's just a gut feeling. And second, I'm a little afraid to use this uke. It has such a long history and is in such great shape. I would never feel good about myself if it became damaged on my watch. Oddly, I don't feel that way with modern instruments of the same monetary value. I'm sure there is something interesting to say about my psychology in there.

I'm really lusting after a Tim Laughlin soprano, which I'm sure will make many laugh since they are copies of this very uke! Who knows why the brain works the way it does? Based on other listings on Reverb and Ebay I feel the value of this style 3 is in-line with a Laughlin soprano, it's possibly worth even a little more. So I feel like it would be a fair trade. Please correct me on this if I'm wrong. I know Laughlins are also pretty rare, so this offer may not be fruitful. But I'd like to put it out there anyway. Who knows. Someone may come across this post a year from now and contact me. Here's hoping.

EDIT: I’ve decided to cast a wider net. Im interested in hearing about other sopranos that people may have as well. For example I’ve never played a Ken Timms and have always wanted to. Im drooling over his spruce top one that’s on auction right now on the ukulele site. But Im open to hearing about any others that you feel would make a fair trade.

Also, if this offer of a trade comes up dry. I may convert this listing to "For sale/trade" in the future. But I'd like to try for a trade first. Thanks for looking!

Screen Shot 2023-09-14 at 8.12.37 AM.pngScreen Shot 2023-09-14 at 8.13.33 AM.pngScreen Shot 2023-09-14 at 8.12.45 AM.pngScreen Shot 2023-09-14 at 8.12.52 AM.pngScreen Shot 2023-09-14 at 8.13.00 AM.pngScreen Shot 2023-09-14 at 8.13.09 AM.pngScreen Shot 2023-09-14 at 8.13.17 AM.pngScreen Shot 2023-09-14 at 8.13.25 AM.png
Last edited:
Hi Smallchwebacca,
There is a member of this forum who may have what you are looking for- he has a Laughlin that I almost traded for recently. I've alerted him of the thread, so hopefully you'll be hearing from him.

If he decides he's not interested, I have a couple possibilities.
I have accrued way too many ukes and that includes 7 Laughlins (which I plan to whittle drown to four).
Love the style 3. Last week I missed an unbelievable deal on one :cry: (I made a recent post about it). Unfortunately I don't have a Laughlin to trade.

Good luck with the transaction. I hope you find a good one
::walks in spots the type 3, blushes, looks away, and looks back twice, about to introduce myself/make a move, but ultimately clams up and leaves the room, heart thumping::
I've decided to convert this post to be for sale/trade.

I've attempted to assess the market for this exact ukulele. I've come across a handful of listings with prices that vary quite a bit. Many of them are in worse condition than the one I am selling. I feel like the asking price of $XXX is very fair given what I have seen online and the general great condition this uke is in. It's a real dream to play so I hope it can find a new loving home. Please dont hesitate if you have any questions.
Last edited:
I should also clarify. I'm open to some form of combination trade + purchase. I'm happy to discuss options with anyone interested.
There are two style 3’s from this period mahogany and koa and it seems to me you are looking at modern koa style’s and comparing to old mahogany 3’s which are rather different. I think most of Tim’s style 3’s are koa but as I don’t own one I am not certain I think he made both koa and mahogany style 3 copies, I am sure others know a lot about his instruments. I own many Martin early ukuleles and several are in incredible condition and as I don’t have the fear of playing them, I find that odd. They don’t bite and they like being played. You might reconsider playing what you have as the ones in nice shape are much more difficult to find and the Martin ukuleles from this period sound just great And they are fun to play as others here will surely agree. Your asking is right about tip top of marketplace. I have a similar one that is not nearly as pristine and if I decided to sell it would be about half your asking. Of course I go by what I have invested and not by prices I see others asking, many 3M have been sitting at high prices for a long time while the 3K’s are not often seen as they get grabbed up. The 3K’s are what most want as fewer were made and koa from the period can be beautiful. Just for fun here is a style 2 from 1917 that gets a lot of love but stays in great shape. Also a dark mahogany one.IMG_4379.jpegIMG_4384.jpeg
Last edited:
What a beauty. I recently acquired my first vintage Martin; a 60’s Style 0. I really love the sound and have been playing it more than all my other ukes combined. That may change over time but I think I will always love it. But yours us such a beauty, stunning to my eye. It’s out of my budget unfortch. It has got me wondering if I should try to find a vintage Martin tenor and concert. Too bad I didn’t get in on the game years ago when they were affordable.
I know someone out there must be interested. This is a fantastic uke. Still open the trades or purchase.
For anyone interested in more photos of this gorgeous instrument.

A dream instrument!
Top Bottom