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Ukulele Market

       The instrument below is offered for sale by a private individual, and is the responsibility of its owner.

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Vintage custom Martin ukulele

I imported this uke from the USA in 2011 from an estate sale, and there is an interesting story behind it. The man who owned it worked at the Martin factory in Nazareth, Pennsylvania in the 1930s-40s, and apparently employees were allowed to make instruments for themselves but were not allowed to brand them as Martin. He wanted a ukulele with a wider fretboard and so he made this instrument. It also features a slightly larger bridge with bone saddle as opposed to ebony. There is a crack next to the soundhole that has been repaired and a couple of other hairline cracks that are repaired and stable. It has been refinished at some point in nitrocellulose lacquer. The fingerboard is rosewood with bar frets, which would suggest it was made before 1942 but I am no Martin expert. The body and neck are made from mahogany with WBWBW purfling around the sound hole. Tuners are vintage grover.
Unfortunately it comes without provenance, and I have no evidence to back up the story or prove that it came from the Martin factory.

I have done some research and the story about employees making their own unbranded instruments seems to be true. In any case it is most certainly an old and lovely sounding soprano ukulele. Comes with modern fitted case.

Martin ukulele - front

Martin ukulele - back

Martin ukulele - in case

Martin ukulele - close-up

Withdrawn from sale

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