Weissenborn Style 1 Soprano Ukulele , c. 1925

Weissenborn  Style 1 Soprano Ukulele ,  c. 1925
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Item # 11536
Prices subject to change without notice.
Weissenborn Style 1 Model Soprano Ukulele, c. 1925, made in Los Angeles, natural laquer re- finish, koa wood body and neck, black rigid foam case.

Herman Weissenborn's name is associated primarily with the 1920s hollow-neck Hawaiian guitars that bear his stamp, but his small Los Angeles firm built standard Spanish guitars and ukuleles as well, though in much smaller numbers. Around 1923 Weissenberg organized a large workshop for the production of all these instruments and Hawaiian style bands could be fully equipped with Hermann's creations, if they so desired. Even so the unique hollow-neck Hawaiian guitars were always the best sellers and the ukuleles are quite rare today.

This Weissenborn ukulele is simple but distinctive, with several bespoke stylistic touches. The body and neck are koa with a nice grain figure to the top and back. The headstock has a subtle half moon shape along the top edge and is elegant if less ornate than many. The fingerboard has two small straight-line celluloid position markings on the bass side, a totally unique element. The soundhole usually had a white plastic ring insert, which is missing from many including this one. The bridge is a very simple design with no saddle, the strings riding in slots then taking off from the front edge. Weissenborn's familiar stamp is visible beneath the soundhole.

The clean lines and lack of ornament on this uke give it a surprisingly modern look for being around 100 years old. The tuners are period friction pegs with white composite buttons. This uke was professionally refinished probably long ago; it is a good job, with a very thin skin and the instrument still plays very well with a lively sound and plenty of volume.
Overall length is 20 in. (50.8 cm.), 6 1/4 in. (15.9 cm.) wide at lower bout, and 2 7/16 in. (6.2 cm.) in depth at side, taken at the end block. Scale length is 13 1/4 in. (337 mm.). Width of nut is 1 1/4 in. (32 mm.).

This nearly 100 year old uke has no cracks or visible repairs, which is fairly rare on Weissenborn instruments originally made out of minimally seasoned koa fresh from the islands. As noted is has been completely refinished, a professional job likely some time ago. This very thin finish does not seem to have impeded the tone at all. We believe this is missing an original plastic soundhole ring insert, although this is so common some may have actually been built without it. The soundhole appears slightly oversize, so we believe that there was one fitted originally. The period composite button tuners appear original, although Weissenborn usually used black buttons. Despite not being fully original this is an excellent value, a fine playing uke with a very strong tone. Restored to Excellent Condition.