Museum: Ukuleles & Other

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1920's Martin Style 1 Soprano

No serial #. The Ukulele craze was is full bloom by the mid 1920's, and C.F. Martin & Co. were building so many of the 4 string little instruments that they didn't even bother serial numbering them! The instrument's popularity arose after its showcasing at the 1915 San Francisco World's Fair, and within ten years had taken America pretty much by storm. The ukulele turned the then-flailing C.F. Martin & Co back on its financial feet, setting the stage for the company's golden era which followed.

The Style 1 featured an all-mahogany body with a rosewood bound top and simple rosette; rosewood 12 fret fingerboard, and Martin & Co stamp on the back of the headstock. This example was equipped with metal/plastic patent tuning pegs (which have since been replaced with higher-quality modern versions), bar frets, and ebony nut, which indicates a production date of sometime between 1927 and 1933.

The instrument is in excellent, nearly crack-free condition. Apart from the replaced tuning machines (the originals are in the pocket of the original hardshell case), the instrument's only issues are a pair of tiny hairline cracks on the back by the waist, and a back-brace that's half as thick as it should be. It appears that the brace split in two along its length and the upper part has been lost to time. The brace just looks like a thinner than normal back brace, and it's well glued. It doesn't seem to have any impact on the ukulele. It's a lively, warm, open, and resonant little soprano -- and we like it a lot.

Set up, and in perfect working order.

With original hardshell case

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