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 `Uke Talk
 Value and year of Kumalae style 1 or A
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Basil Henriques
Lokahi

United Kingdom
225 Posts

Posted - 12/17/2008 :  09:13:15 AM  Show Profile  Visit Basil Henriques's Homepage
This Ukulele has just come into my possession, can anyone enlighten me as to the value and provenance please.?

Inside there is a pencil inscription that is a lower case letter "a" followed by 2-15 and ??. In its case there are four ribbons, Red Gold Green and Lilac, with writing, From Rex 1925, From Annie 1925 and From Tinker 1925, What is the significance of these presentational ribbons ?

It has no visible scratches or cracks and no fretwear, it appears that it was used as an ornament for most of its life and was only played occasionally.

BTW it's unbelievably light just 206 grammes.





























Edited by - Basil Henriques on 12/17/2008 09:19:47 AM

Basil Henriques
Lokahi

United Kingdom
225 Posts

Posted - 12/18/2008 :  01:19:05 AM  Show Profile  Visit Basil Henriques's Homepage
I forgot to say It measures 21"x6"x2 1/4" or 525mm X 150mm x 70mm
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markwitz
`Olu`olu

USA
827 Posts

Posted - 12/18/2008 :  04:24:07 AM  Show Profile
Did a google search for Kumalae Ukulele and got the following.

http://www.ukulele.org/?Inductees:2002-2003:Jonah_Kumalae

http://www.geocities.com/~ukulele/hawaiian.html


"Sounds" like you have a good one. What kind of bar will you use with it?

"The music of the Hawaiians, the most fascinating in the world, is still in my ears and
haunts me sleeping and waking."
Mark Twain
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Mark
Ha`aha`a

USA
1628 Posts

Posted - 12/18/2008 :  08:16:55 AM  Show Profile  Visit Mark's Homepage
What a sweet uke!

I'd bet the ribbons are simply what they appear-- ribbons from the people who gave the uke as a gift.

How'd you get it?

quote:
What kind of bar will you use with it?


Shouldn't that be, "What kind of bar will you play it in?"

Let's get out of these wet clothes and into a dry martini....
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markwitz
`Olu`olu

USA
827 Posts

Posted - 12/18/2008 :  12:23:04 PM  Show Profile
quote:
Originally posted by Mark



quote:
What kind of bar will you use with it?


Shouldn't that be, "What kind of bar will you play it in?"





LOL. For Basil, I bet both "bars" will do.

"The music of the Hawaiians, the most fascinating in the world, is still in my ears and
haunts me sleeping and waking."
Mark Twain

Edited by - markwitz on 12/18/2008 12:23:34 PM
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Basil Henriques
Lokahi

United Kingdom
225 Posts

Posted - 12/18/2008 :  1:48:22 PM  Show Profile  Visit Basil Henriques's Homepage
quote:
Originally posted by Mark

What a sweet uke!

I'd bet the ribbons are simply what they appear-- ribbons from the people who gave the uke as a gift.

How'd you get it?

quote:
What kind of bar will you use with it?


Shouldn't that be, "What kind of bar will you play it in?"

Let's get out of these wet clothes and into a dry martini....



The Uke was offered to me at an unreal price, just so it would be played and have a caring home and good companions..

As for the bar, my particular slant on it would be, eventually either way at an acute angle (eventually)
The date on the ribbons puzzles me somewhat, as the general consensus by "Aficionados" over here, is that it's pre 1920.. but then again what would all these UK George Fornby wannabes know anyway !

I forgot to mention that the body depth is tapered, 2 1/2" at the bottom bout and 2" at the top bout ! and the tuning pegs are NOT Koa and there's a spare one in the case..


Edited by - Basil Henriques on 12/18/2008 1:59:27 PM
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Trev
Lokahi

United Kingdom
265 Posts

Posted - 12/19/2008 :  01:48:55 AM  Show Profile
It's entirely possible that a uke made before 1920 could still be given as a gift in 1925.

It looks an absolute beauty there Basil, and a piece of History as well.
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wcerto
Ahonui

USA
5052 Posts

Posted - 12/19/2008 :  04:00:01 AM  Show Profile
Very nice looking instrument. Gotta be a lot of history there.

But I really, really like the quilt!

Me ke aloha
Malama pono,
Wanda
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cpatch
Ahonui

USA
2187 Posts

Posted - 12/19/2008 :  04:46:09 AM  Show Profile  Visit cpatch's Homepage  Send cpatch an AOL message
quote:
Originally posted by Basil Henriques

The date on the ribbons puzzles me somewhat, as the general consensus by "Aficionados" over here, is that it's pre 1920.. but then again what would all these UK George Fornby wannabes know anyway !

What leads them to this conclusion?

Craig
My goal is to be able to play as well as people think I can.
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Basil Henriques
Lokahi

United Kingdom
225 Posts

Posted - 12/19/2008 :  12:38:31 PM  Show Profile  Visit Basil Henriques's Homepage
Craig, to answer your question,
Primarily its size and shape and,there is more to the story, it would now appear that it's possible Jonah Kumalae signed this particular Uke and it was made in the year of the PPIE (1915) and its provenance is what made it an acceptable present later in its life. I'm led to believe that there aren't that many from that year, signed, albeit a J in a circle, but that's Jonahs mark..
The model is designated by the letter "a" and _ 2-15- plus his mark within a zero or O, sets that year.
OK So it's not as ornate as the later Style B C etc, but it's one of the first..







Read this :- Click Here

Jonah put the Gold Award emblem on all of his ukuleles after that with the exception of those he made for other companies.

More about the Gold Award status :-
The juries for the PPIE consisted of almost 500 men and women from all over the world. People who were chosen as experts in all areas of science, art, and commerce. The International Award System was separate and independent from all other branches of the Exposition government. They wanted to make sure that there were no signs of impropriety, and went out of their way to keep the judging system separate.

Using an elaborate set of rules and a point system, there were six classes of awards:
Grand Prize (Best of Class)
Medal of Honor (95-100 points)
Gold Medal (85-94 points)
Silver Medal (75-84 points)
Bronze Medal (60-74 points)
Honorable Mention (without medal)


Edited by - Basil Henriques on 12/19/2008 12:41:22 PM
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Basil Henriques
Lokahi

United Kingdom
225 Posts

Posted - 12/19/2008 :  12:58:32 PM  Show Profile  Visit Basil Henriques's Homepage
Further, Craig, I've since discussed this Ukulele with various people within the BMG fraternity and they all concur that the lack of symmetry in the headstock is also and indication of pre 1920




Edited by - Basil Henriques on 12/19/2008 12:59:30 PM
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Basil Henriques
Lokahi

United Kingdom
225 Posts

Posted - 12/19/2008 :  1:03:09 PM  Show Profile  Visit Basil Henriques's Homepage
Wanda, the quilt is something Pat (My Wife and guitarist with our group) made. she used to do lots of quilting, even made quilt covered jewellery boxes and cushion covers etc. I'll send you some pics if you wish. BTW ALL hand sewn, no machine stitching ANYWHERE..

Edited by - Basil Henriques on 12/21/2008 09:23:15 AM
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wcerto
Ahonui

USA
5052 Posts

Posted - 12/19/2008 :  3:27:00 PM  Show Profile
Geez, Basil. No machine stitching? What a labor of love. Beautiful work. I'd love to see more pictures. wcerto @ adelphia.net.

Thank you!

Me ke aloha
Malama pono,
Wanda
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Basil Henriques
Lokahi

United Kingdom
225 Posts

Posted - 12/20/2008 :  04:26:02 AM  Show Profile  Visit Basil Henriques's Homepage
Wanda,"Mele Kalikimaka me ka Hau'oli Makahiki Hou"
That piece of quilting is just a section of a MUCH bigger quilt Pat made called "Log Cabin" maybe you're familiar with the name and style.
I'm just off to a gig so I'll take some pics in the daylight tomorrow and post them.
BTW Isn't researching old instruments fun, like genealogy?, I'm NOT trying to make the uke anymore than it is, but to know its history WOULD make me feel good and maybe the uke would feel good that I know ! What really fascinates me is the letter J in a circle and the non symmetrical headstock, almost like a home-made one..
BAsil

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Podagee57
Lokahi

USA
280 Posts

Posted - 12/21/2008 :  11:55:38 AM  Show Profile  Visit Podagee57's Homepage
What I'm now curious about is the opening line to the song Hawaii '78 on the tuning head. There must be a history in that phrase that I must now research. Maybe the song should be titled Hawaii 1915.

Great find Basil, thanks for sharing it with us.

What? You mean high "E" is the TOP string. No way dude! That changes everything!
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Ben
Lokahi

USA
120 Posts

Posted - 12/21/2008 :  1:19:39 PM  Show Profile
quote:
Originally posted by Podagee57

What I'm now curious about is the opening line to the song Hawaii '78 on the tuning head. There must be a history in that phrase that I must now research. Maybe the song should be titled Hawaii 1915.

Great find Basil, thanks for sharing it with us.


Here's one site that might help you:

http://www.netstate.com/states/mottoes/hi_motto.htm

Mālama pono
Ben
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