Nicola Turturro Soprano Ukulele (1920s)

Nicola Turturro  Soprano Ukulele  (1920s)
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Item # 9617
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Nicola Turturro Soprano Ukulele (1920s), made in Brooklyn, NY, natural mahogany finish, mahogany body and neck, vintage gig bag case.

This mid 1920's all-mahogany soprano ukulele was made by Brooklyn-based luthier Nicola Turturro who built many interesting instruments in that period. Turturro is mostly remembered for more fanciful creations including elaborate harp-mandolins, the "Peanut Uke" with a shell-like back and the amazing "Turnover" double-sided ukulele/mandolin which remains practically unique. He sold instruments out of his Brooklyn shop but they were also marketed by several New York jobbers.

This soprano uke is rather conventional in design but nicely made and quite good sounding, if not quite up to the Martin level of workmanship. It has a dark-finished tight grained mahogany body, black/white binding on body and soundhole and a mahogany neck with no separate fingerboard. This one bears Turturro's own stamp on the back of the peghead but similar ukes can also be found marked "Bruno NY" and "Miami", distributed by Henry Stadlmair in New York. This is a lightly built, very good sounding and playing original 1920's uke and a cool piece of Brooklyn history.
Overall length is 20 3/4 in. (52.7 cm.), 6 1/2 in. (16.5 cm.) wide at lower bout, and 2 in. (5.1 cm.) in depth at side, taken at the end block. Scale length is 13 1/2 in. (343 mm.). Width of nut is 1 3/8 in. (35 mm.).

This uke shows some general wear and minor repair but plays and sounds great. The very thin varnish finish has numerous scrapes, dings and dents but no heavy areas of play wear. There is a small repaired grain crack on the back center, and what looks like a very old repaired crack off the treble side of the bridge. The tuners are modern friction pegs, but otherwise the uke remains as Nicola Turturro built it nearly 100 years ago. It plays and sounds excellent and is one of the few ukes from this (or any) era that approaches the Martin level of tone quality. Very Good + Condition.