Y'Ke Ke Royal Hawaiian Soprano Ukulele , c. 1925

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Item # 11022
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Y'Ke Ke Royal Hawaiian Model Soprano Ukulele, c. 1925, made in Hawaii, natural varnish finish, koa wood body and neck, original tan canvas case.

This plain but elegant "Genuine Hawaiian Ukulele" looks to date to the mid-1920s with the slightly wider waisted body that had come into use by then. It is made entirely of Koa in the native Hawaiian style and branded "Y'KeKe" and "Royal Hawaiian" on the headstock with a large and colorful label under the soundhole. "Made in Hawaii" is prominently noted on both that label and the subtly surfboard-shaped headstock decal; This uke was likely originally sold out of the Royal Hawaiian Hotel as a souvenir but is a high quality instrument, actually more neatly made than many island instruments.
 
Overall length is 21 in. (53.3 cm.), 6 1/4 in. (15.9 cm.) wide at lower bout, and 2 1/2 in. (6.4 cm.) in depth at side, taken at the end block. Scale length is 13 3/8 in. (340 mm.). Width of nut is 1 7/16 in. (36 mm.).

This uke is in excellent condition for a nearly 100 year old piece; there is one slightly roughly sealed back crack but otherwise no repairs. There is a noticeable chip off the top corner of the headstock. It appears all original except the mainland style friction pegs that were probably fitted when it was new in place of wooden violin style tuners.

The finish has some minor wear and checking and the decal and labels show some loss but this is a really nice sounding playable uke with a lower action than many Hawaiian-made instruments. As with most koa ukes the sound is excellent and this is still a lovely souvenir of the early era of the Ukulele, as well as an excellent player's instrument. It is still housed in the original canvas case. Excellent Condition.