Regal Octofone , c. 1928

Regal  Octofone ,  c. 1928
This item has been sold.
Item # 3231
Prices subject to change without notice.
Regal Octofone, c. 1928, made in Chicago, natural lacquer finish, birch back and sides, spruce top.

One of the more interesting creations to come out of the Chicago-based Regal Company, the Octofone was advertised as "Eight instruments in One". What it really seems to be is a small body double-strung tenor guitar, but Regal claimed "The owner of the Octophone has the advantage of combining eight different instruments in one, namely Tenor Banjo, Tenor Guitar, Mandolin, Mandola, Mandocello, Ukulele, Tiple and Taropatch. These changes are brought about by variations in tuning." This instrument is one of two Octofone models Regal offered in the late 1920's, originally selling for $15.00.

The nicely grained birch body is double bound on the back, single (black) bound around the spruce top, and has a distinctive shape rather like an elongated guitar with both upper bouts cutaway. Trapeze tailpiece is stamped "Bell Brand, Patented, N.M.S. Co.", who are better remembered as the original makers of Black Diamond Strings. The rosette has red, white, and orange wood marquetry and black binding.

The neck is narrow and has a slim slightly tapered headstock stamped PAT. APLD. FOR. with an oval decal on the face reading "OCTOFONE - reg. US pat. Off" and the Regal crown symbol. Obviously Regal was proud of their creation and sternly warning off competitors! The oval soundhole label reads "The Mark of Better Instruments, Made by the Regal Musical Instrument Co., Chicago." with a crown logo. The instrument is currently strung in tenor/mandola tuning and has a surprisingly loud, bright sound suitable for Celtic, stringband, ragtime, or many other styles of play.
Overall length is 33 1/2 in. (85.1 cm.), 10 5/8 in. (27 cm.) width, and 3 1/8 in. (7.9 cm.) in depth at side, taken at the end block. Scale length is 21 in. (533 mm.). Width of nut is 1 3/8 in. (3 mm.).

Some average light playwear (mostly pick dings to the top), but overall a nice and well-preserved example. The bridge appears to be a period replacement. Sounds and plays very well. Excellent Condition.