The story of this uke - 1927 martin uke.
Noel Coward , (yes, the playwright, composer, director, actor and singer,etc..) actually returned a tennis ball with this thing . thus the repair job on the back . the owner did a fix job on it that looks like clear glue , or a generous amount of varnish , maybe saddle glue . the pics look worse than it actually is it is solid and encased .. besides a few hair line cracks that stem from the glue job. and does not effect the sound quality .. the owner played this at events in this condition up until his death about 30 years ago. Sounds great , this thing rings louder than any of my cbgs.
Now about the date .. this is actually a 1927 model . style “o” . I know the logo should be stamped in the back and not on the front ..(that usually means its 1930s .”)
But this was a special mail order model .(they used a front logo for the paper ad.) this explains the front logo , and the ebony nut and black keys with nickel plate pegs . (1927)
This uke comes with a letter from the owner’s son . Documenting the story .. here are some excerpts .
( “”My father bought the uke by mail order in 1927, for the princely sum of four pounds and ten shillings, which took him months to save. At the time, he was a member of a small combo calling themselves the "Palm Beach Boys", a name that they probably derived from the Raleigh 'Palm Beach', a popular bicycle of the day. They played at weddings, funerals, company socials, , etc., and at one stage even scored a gig at the London Palladium, the highlight of their short career. On the same bill were Django Reinhardt , Stefan Grappelli, and the Quintet of the Hot Club de France. Guess who got the standing ovation.
One occasion almost resulted in the demise of the Uke.
Noel Coward was staying at the Princess, hotel in Bermuda , as he often did.
(where My father managed to talk a guy called Billy Butlin into giving him a job managing)
There were a number of dining rooms in the hotel, one of them being situated adjacent to the croquet courts. It was a small 'breakfast room' where senior staff mostly ate, and Noel C. was invited to use it in order to have a little privacy early in the day, as he was public property in the evenings. He was standing next to the upright piano in the corner when a tennis ball bounced through the open window. The Uke was on top of the piano after the previous evening's revelries, and without hesitation, Coward grabbed it and batted the ball back through the window, much to the detriment of the instrument.””…)
(the buyer can read the rest of the story..)
Anyway ,- comes with its original case that has a broken leather handle , rusty hardware , one hinge is disconnected but still there , it still closes and opens with care . , no key for the lock ,, but is “unlocked “ ,
I am open to * reasonable* offers on her . message me if you are interested ;-)
Video / more pics can be seen here
since i can't play one of these things to save my life , and the fact my computer mic sucks,
here's is a small sample just showing the scales and frets are good etc.. and it rings pretty good too.
it really has a nice sound , this recording with the computer mic probably does not give it justice .
but i cant jack in direct like i do my cbgs .