This is a super rare vintage ukulele, especially in the UK. It is a Martin Style 3k soprano from 1923 – 27. We can date it accurately by the use of bar frets, grover tuners and decorations on the fretboard. Most importantly this one is crack free and completely structurally sound. Not many of these were made and to find one still in such great condition is very unusual.
Martin found it hard to keep up with the demand for koa ukuleles in the 1920s and often were forced to use straight grained and not so attractive koa. This one, though features really beautful curly koa which shimmers in the light. It also has another rare feature – a one pice top and back.
It plays like a dream with a warm open tone with just the hint of brightness in the upper register that you get with koa.
As you would expect from a 100 year old instrument there are dings and dents and I have tried hard to photograph them (see last photo especially.) There is also some dipping and bellying as you find in all Martins of this. But there are no cracks at all and the orgiginal finish in in great condition.
An absolute heirloom and collectors item but also a players uke – it plays great and sounds beautiful.