Gretsch American Soprano Ukulele , c. 1935

Gretsch  American Soprano Ukulele ,  c. 1935
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Item # 11025
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Gretsch American Model Soprano Ukulele, c. 1935, made in Brooklyn, NY, natural mahogany finish, mahogany body and neck, rosewood fingerboard, black chipboard case.

This "Gretsch American" ukulele is a modest representative of the Brooklyn company's first serious self-branded line, which arrived in the 1930s. It wouldn't be until the 1950's that Gretsch would really get into the guitar business in a majorly successful way, but this mid-30's line was a solid first step. This fairly modest but well-made ukulele was the bottom of the "Gretsch American" line, but is still a solidly professional grade instrument.

Like many period ukuleles it is closely patterned after the ubiquitous Martin style 0 with a wide-waisted body, all mahogany construction and clean lines. The only decoration is a 5-ply soundhole ring; inside the body is a neat metallic "Gretsch American USA" tag. The logo is stamped on the back of the headstock as well. The tuners are the same deluxe Grover "barrel" patent pegs with celluloid buttons found on period Martins and Gibsons.

This is a very nicely made and good-sounding 1930's uke, fully professional quality if not quite the equal of a Martin; but then again really nothing was. It is a good sounding, very playable period ukulele and a really neat piece of Gretsch (and Brooklyn) history.
 
Overall length is 20 3/8 in. (51.8 cm.), 6 3/8 in. (16.2 cm.) wide at lower bout, and 2 1/4 in. (5.7 cm.) in depth at side, taken at the end block. Scale length is 13 1/4 in. (337 mm.). Width of nut is 1 3/8 in. (35 mm.).

This uke is very clean and all original showing few signs of use since the depression era. There are a few small dings and dents but no repairs, alterations or even notable play wear; this is as close to perfect as 1930s instruments usually get well into the 21st century. It plays and sounds lovely and resets in the original chipboard case with a period felt pick included. Excellent + Condition.