Mouna-Loa Style 444 Soprano Ukulele , c. 1921

 Mouna-Loa Style 444 Soprano Ukulele ,  c. 1921
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Item # 11595
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Mouna-Loa Style 444 Model Soprano Ukulele, c. 1921, made in Chicago, natural varnish finish, mahogany body and neck, rosewood fingerboard, black gig bag case.

Mouna-Loa was one of the many trademarks registered by Lyon & Healy early in the 20th century; unsurprisingly this Hawaiian-derived brand was mostly used for ukuleles. This instrument is a well made mid-grade uke, built of good grade mahogany flamey enough on the back to resemble actual Hawaiian Koa wood. The wood looks to have been quickly worked (there are some unfilled pore spots in the grain); this and the Champion banjo style tuners fitted suggest this was made in the first uke craze period just after WWI.

The early-pattern narrow waisted body is neatly trimmed in multiple celluloid binding with a dark outer layer, the fairly slim neck has a more guitar-like soft "V" profile. There is a nice "Mouna-Loa Brand" label under the soundhole proclaiming "Guaranteed Workmanship and Material". This is a good playing and sounding instrument, a nice example of an early "mainland" ukulele with a richer and more authentic tone than many later "catalog" ukes.
Overall length is 20 1/2 in. (52.1 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.).

Overall this is a fairly clean uke showing light general wear. The neck was reattached at some point, solidly but with some visible glue residue around the edges. The finish is all original with some scuffs, dings and dents but little heavier wear. The binding has shrunken just a bit at the base of the body and there is a small glue mark there from some attempt to get it to stop doing so. The uke is a good player with a comfortable low action and a very sweet but well-defined tone. Excellent - Condition.