C. F. Martin Style 3M Soprano Ukulele (1947)

C. F. Martin  Style 3M Soprano Ukulele  (1947)
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Item # 12279
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C. F. Martin Style 3M Model Soprano Ukulele (1947), made in Nazareth, PA, dark mahogany lacquer finish, mahogany body and neck, rosewood fingerboard, original black chipboard case.

This is a truly superb example of a just-post WWII Martin Style 3, the company's then top of the line ukulele. All koa and pearl ukes had been discontinued after 1942, leaving the mahogany Style 3 as the fanciest model remaining. In 1947 the list price was $32, raised to $35 the next year. This made it a fairly expensive instrument for the time, but it was in the late '40s the best professional grade ukulele in the world.

This 3M has a mix of features specific to just this just-postwar period. It still has the old celluloid ornament at the base of the body and the multiple celluloid center stripe down the fingerboard, but dots have replaced diamonds for the fingerboard inlay. It is also fretted with the last of the bar frets in Martin's inventory, tang frets finally appearing on ukes the next year or so. It is equipped with white-button Champion style tuners that are not often seen on this period Style 3s but appear original. As with all Style 3's the body is 7-ply bound front and 3-ply back; the nut and saddle are bone.

This is a really superb sounding and playing postwar Martin uke, about as nice as they come complete with the original heavy chipboard case. A decal on the back of the headstock indicates it was originally sold by Bergstrom Music in Honolulu, Martin's dealer in the islands so although apparently not much used it does have an authentic Hawaiian Island pedigree!
 
Overall length is 21 in. (53.3 cm.), 6 1/2 in. (16.5 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 1/2 in. (343 mm.). Width of nut is 1 7/16 in. (36 mm.).

This is a very clean uke overall; it shows a few minor scuffs, scratches and dings and some light general handling wear but really does not appear much used. There are no repairs or alterations, and this is a superb playing and sounding instrument, easily one of the nicest postwar Martin ukes we have seen. Overall Excellent + Condition.