Over 45 years of Experience and Expertise with Ukuleles and Banjo Ukes


FOR SALE - BANJO UKES





 CLICK on any BLUE TEXT ITEM TITLE to access an AUTOMATIC PHOTO DISPLAY

 with CONTROL BUTTONS in the lower left-hand corner.




VEHICLE NUMBER PLATE ‘843 UKE’ FOR SALE.

* Please phone me for further details on 01691 828850 or email me at theukuleleman.com@gmail.com.


BANJO UKE: FORMERLY OWNED BY GEORGE FORMBY AND DISPLAYED IN THE ‘CHINESE ROOM’ OF HIS HOME ‘BERYLDENE’, MAINS LANE, LITTLE SINGLETON. (DETAILS BELOW).

*** The photos were provided by the current owner and the details of this banjo uke are fully verified ***


This instrument comes with FULL PROVENANCE including an an original signed, dated, and very detailed letter from the former owner telling of how he and his family got to know George Formby in the late 1930’s, and in this letter he writes about how he came to own this instrument. Then a young boy aged about 9 or 10 years old, he was frequently asked by George Formby to walk his dog around the fields close to his home ‘Beryldene’ in Mains Lane, Little Singleton (near Poulton-le-Fylde). In the 1940’s George Formby was in the process of preparing ‘Beryldene’ for sale prior to moving house in 1945, and as he had no particular need for this instrument in his new property he gave it to the young boy as present, as well as a ‘thank you’ for walking his dog.


This banjo uke was specially made for George Formby by George Houghton & Sons in Birmingham, who in 1936, had collaborated extensively with Formby in order to design, evaluate, and produce a range of banjo ukes that bore his name on the peghead as well as his stencilled signature (in pencil) on the vellum. This range of instruments were first sold in 1938 and are usually referred to as ‘Dallas’ banjo ukes because they were advertised and distributed by a company called John E. Dallas & Son, whose name appears on all of the advertising material. It is believed that George Formby asked Houghton’s to design and make a one-off banjo uke for him to hang on the wall in in his newly decorated ‘Chinese Room’ on the first floor of ‘Beryldene’. This instrument is a ‘Melody Uke’ (made by George Houghton & Sons) which is black in colour and beautifully decorated on the back of the resonator with a raised and stunningly painted oriental scene over what appears to be a base of gold lacquer. This process is known as ‘Japanning’ and would have been extremely expensive to have done. For many years the Birmingham & Wolverhampton areas were the centre of this particular industry and this process.


The sale of this instrument presents a very rare opportunity for someone to purchase a genuine and fully verified George Formby owned banjo uke together with its full provenance.


* Please phone me for further details on 01691 828850 or email me at theukuleleman.com@gmail.com.


SELECTION OF VINTAGE BANJO UKES. A very good friend of mine has a number of nice vintage banjo ukes that are in need of some TLC to bring them back to their best. These instruments are definitely restorable and are nowhere near being ‘basket cases’. They include a J. R. Stewart ‘Le Domino’ (c.1927) and a William Lange. This is an ideal opportunity for someone to restore some fine instruments and they can be sold either individually or collectively. Please contact me for further details on 01691 828850 or email me at theukuleleman.com@gmail.com.


(Made by J. G. ABBOTT & Co.) ‘WILL VAN ALLEN’ Banjo Uke (c.1926). (The photos and the details below were provided by the owner). Made by J. G. Abbott & Co. under the name ‘Will Van Allen - New Revelation’ and sold to the music shop in Charing Cross Road, London, run by two well-known entertainers and banjo players William Dodds and Olly Oakley. This is a long-scale instrument and it shares same pot and neck as the large resonator model. Original tuning pegs. Original transfer label on the headstock. Fourteen hooks, nuts and shoes. Star-shaped convex resonator on the back with a central button. Comes with a gig bag. £395.


BEDDOES ‘NEW CONCERT’ GIBSON UB-2 STYLE Banjo Uke (c.1978). This is a great banjo uke that was made by a very well-respected maker. Light to hold, easy to play and with a great playing action, this is a fine looking and gorgeous sounding Ron Beddoes ‘New Concert’ banjo uke and this one is a slightly later example of his bottom-tension design made loosely in the style of a Gibson UB-2. Straight neck and no wear to the frets or the fingerboard. Modern replacement tuning pegs. Plated ‘NC’ (New Concert) metal logo on peghead. Original nut. Spliced neck. Sixteen-fret ebony fingerboard bound along each side and inlaid with multiple mother-of-pearl dots. Fourteen bottom-tension hooks and shoes shoes around the pot. Tailpiece fixed to the body therefore it will always remain in the same position. Old vellum in great condition. Gibson UB-2/3 style resonator with binding around the outside edge. Modern lockable hard shaped case with black exterior and grey internal plush velvet padded lining with internal pocket and lid (lock key inside), into which this banjo uke fits perfectly. £950.


CARTWRIGHT BANJO UKE (GIBSON UB-2/3 STYLE) (c.1995). * Please Note: The price of this excellent banjo uke has taken account the likely cost of having the neck stain removed and the area re-finished. Lovely banjo uke with original hard shaped case. Straight neck and no wear whatsoever to the fifteen frets or to the ebony fingerboard. ‘Cartwright’ label on the top of the inlaid peghead which is fitted with ‘Gotoh’ 4-to-1 geared tuning pegs with attractive pearloid buttons. Delightful ‘Gibson’ style pearloid inlays in the ivoroid bound fingerboard. Seven and three-quarter inch diameter pot fitted with fourteen tension hooks that fit neatly into the recessed bezel. Useful adjustable tailpiece. Flat ‘disc’ resonator with ivoroid binding around the edge and with a particularly attractive pattern on the back. Comes complete with its original ‘Cartwright’ black hard shaped case with a leather handle, plush maroon padded lining and an internal pocket and lid. This is a really lovely example of a ‘Cartwright’ banjo uke and it  produces a great sound. £575.   


*** COMING SOON: DALLAS ‘E’ MODEL BANJO UKE (c.1939). Original gold-plated version including gold-plated geared tuning pegs and gold-plated frets. Serial No. 1031. Original large ‘George Form by’ etched mother-of-pearl scroll inlay on the peghead. Comes complete in its original made-to-measure black hard shaped case with internal pocket and padded brown plush velvet interior lining. Full details and Photos to follow as soon as possible.


GIBSON UB-1 Banjo Uke (c.1928). Made by the famous Gibson company in their factory at Kalamazoo, Michigan, U.S.A., this could be an ideal little banjo uke for a youngster or a beginner. With its 6 inch (8.4 cms) diameter pot it is light to hold and easy to play and this one comes with a hard case. Small ‘disc’ resonator. Rosewood fingerboard with pearl dot markers. Original Grover patent friction pegs. ‘The Gibson’ logo. For full details Email: philip.alexander@johnalveyturner.co.uk or Phone: 07986 285584.


GIBSON UB-2 Banjo Uke (c.1927). With a re-finish of real quality this Gibson is in great condition. The bonus is that it has all of its correct original fittings, with the original vintage Grover tuning pegs (in perfect original condition) inside the pocket of the Grafton hard shaped case. Even the fitted tuning pegs are of high quality. This Gibson produces a stunning sound and it has a straight neck with pristine frets and playing positions on the fingerboard - which is inlaid with three mother-of-pearl position dots. It still has the original ‘The Gibson’ (in silver) at the top of the peghead, fourteen original flatted tension hooks, nuts and shoes, as well as the original ‘Nashville’ tailpiece, and it’s fitted with an Eddie Uttley non-tip maple bridge. The finish on the resonator does show some signs of minor crazing but as you can tell from the photographs it is not readily apparent. It comes complete with a lockable black ‘Grafton’ hard shaped case with plush grey padded lining. £1,475.


GIBSON UB-2 (c.1927  ). (The photographs of the Gibson were provided by the owner). If you want an absolute bargain now’s your chance! Over the decades Gibson banjo ukes have earned a well-deserved reputation for being well-made out of high quality materials, for being light and easy to hold and play, and for making a lovely sound. As a result of the/se qualities they have become a very popular vintage banjo uke. This particular example has its original parts except for the replacement Grover ‘Waverly’ tuning pegs which are of identical design to the originals except or the word ‘Waverly’ on the metal barrel. This Gibson has been nicely re-finished and it comes complete with its original hard shaped case. A pristine original example of an identical instrument will fetch £1,500 to £1,550 but this Gibson is a real bargain and is on offer for just £990.

 

*** 10% BLACK FRIDAY DISCOUNT  ON THE PRICE OF THE GIBSON ADVERTISED BELOW ***


‘Big Resonator’ GIBSON UB-3 Banjo Uke (c.1927). Hard to find and highly desirable ‘Big Resonator’ Gibson UB-3, which has the extended resonator and the diamond-shaped holes in the flange. ‘Big Resonator’ Gibson UB-3’s are more powerful than the standard ‘flat back resonator’ types and have always been popular with professional entertainers and musicians including George Formby (who owned three of them), Tessie O’Shea, Alan Randall, and Andy Eastwood. With the exception of the vellum the strings and the bridge this banjo uke is completely original inside and out - including its very rare Gibson black hard shaped case with pale blue lined and padded interior and an internal pocket with the Gibson diamond-shaped logo embossed onto the top of the pocket lid. This banjo uke can be seen in the top photograph on page 166 of my book ‘All About The Banjo Uke’. Made of North American maple this banjo uke has an arrow straight neck with light wear to the first three frets and some very light wear to the first two playing positions of the rosewood fingerboard. Original Grover friction tuning pegs. ‘The Gibson’ in silver at the top of the peghead. ‘Snowflake and diamond’ mother-of-pearl decoration inlaid into the middle of the peghead with multiple mother-of-pearl position dots inlaid into the fifteen-fret fingerboard. Original Gibson nut. Original nickel-plating all in excellent condition. All the cream-coloured ivoroid binding is original and un-blemished. Some lightening of the original staining under the neck, but this is not wear down to the bare wood because the original finish remains intact above it. Desirable laminated pot construction. Original nickel-plated metal flange with fifteen diamond-shaped holes. Original Grover tailpiece. Resonator has the less common (but original) three-point thumbscrew mounting to the flange. This instrument has never been re-finished and is a fantastic example of its type. Wonderful playing action and fabulous sound. £3,000. SOLD


JOHN GREY ‘ROY SMECK’ SUPER MODEL Banjo Uke (c.1933). (Roy Smeck was a brilliant musician from the U.S.A. known as ‘The Wizard of the Strings’). This banjo uke is the top-of-the-range of the four ‘Roy Smeck’ banjo ukes (and only the third example that I have ever seen). It is beautifully made, highly polished figured Australian maple veneered body with an extended resonator and ivoroid binding around the edges. One piece all metal patterned flange extending to the resonator. Aluminium under-hoop with extra heavy straining bezel and eight hooks and nuts. Pressure bar tailpiece with hinged string cover. Five layer sycamore and ebony spliced walnut neck with two layer ebony faced seventeen-fret fingerboard with ivoroid binding. Fingerboard inlaid with multiple mother-of-pearl decorations. Original ‘Ebonite’ buttoned friction tuning pegs. All metal parts heavily chrome-plated. Original metal badge on top of peghead. This banjo uke is in immaculate original condition as is its fantastic original luxury hard shaped case with internal pocket, and all lined in beautiful padded cobalt blue velvet. It still has its superb original and top quality ‘Jos B. Rogers Jnr.’ calfskin vellum complete with ‘Roy Smeck’ pencilled autograph. Brilliant value for money. £850.


LUDWIG ‘DISPLAY MODEL’ BANJO UKE (1927). £8,000. SOLD


LUDWIG ‘WENDELL HALL PROFESSIONAL’ Banjo Uke (c.1927). In beautiful condition for its 94 years. Made of American Walnut throughout. Straight neck and almost no wear to the frets and fingerboard. Sixteen-fret ebony fingerboard with four inlaid mother-of-pearl position dots. Original tuning pegs. Replacement ‘Wendell Hall Professional’ transfer on a beautifully re-finished peghead. Original nickel-plating in great condition and original  removable armrest and tailpiece. Sixteen original top-tension bolts. Original transfer around the side of the resonator still complete and in great condition. Original ‘Wendell Hall’ paper label still attached to the inside of the resonator. Original ‘Ludwig’ top quality calfskin vellum in fantastic condition for its age (stamped on the back). Original cream coloured ivoroid binding around the side of the resonator. Lovely playing action and great sound. Complete with modern lockable hard shaped case with plush black velvet padded lining and internal pocket (containing the keys) with lid. £1,850.


LUDWIG WENDELL HALL PROFESSIONAL Banjo Uke (c.1927). This banjo uke has been beautifully restored and comes with a very attractive ‘sunburst’ finish on the back of the resonator and the back of the neck. Made of American Walnut throughout. Straight neck and no wear to frets and just a few small in-filled areas on the first few playing positions. Sixteen-fret ebony fingerboard with four inlaid mother-of-pearl position dots. Original period vintage ‘Grover’ friction tuning pegs. Original ‘Wendell Hall Professional’ transfer on peghead. Original nickel-plating in great condition with original removable armrest and tailpiece. Sixteen original top-tension bolts. Part of the original ‘Wendell Hall’ paper label is still attached to the inside of the resonator. Great calfskin vellum. Original cream ivoroid binding around the bottom side of the resonator. The last owner only parted with it in order to buy an even higher grade instrument. Great playing action and wonderful sound. Comes complete with modern lockable hard shaped case with plush black padded lining and an internal pocket (containing the key) with lid. £1,775.


MARKENDALE GIBSON UB-3 COPY Banjo Uke (1992). Complete with its original Certificate of Manufacture signed and dated by Gordon Markendale, the serial number ‘002’ shows that this banjo uke was only the second one of this style that he ever made. This is a great sounding example in absolutely stunning MINT original condition, with a straight neck and no faults whatsoever! The ‘snowflake and diamond’ inlays and the ‘sunburst’ finish are both extremely attractive, but an extra bonus is that this instrument comes complete with a superb lockable, made-to-measure, plush lined hard shaped case, with internal padding and pocket with lid. Only a few of these lovely cases were imported from the USA by Dave Barnes and were sold by him and Eddy Uttley for £150 each. They sold like hot cakes! This banjo uke and case are both in pristine condition. £1,575.


MUSIMA Banjo Uke (c.2015). This Musima banjo uke is light-years better than a brand new one because it has been professionally modified to make it great to play - and the bonus is that it makes an excellent sound. This banjo uke is especially suitable for either a beginner who wants an inexpensive instrument on which to learn to play the banjo uke, or for a person who wants quite a good sounding banjo uke which is easy to play and cheap to buy. The original high neck setting has been lowered to make it very easy to play, especially in ‘Formby’ style. This banjo uke is in MINT condition. It has its original tuning pegs, a straight neck and no wear to the frets or the fingerboard. The hinged tailpiece cover is beautifully engraved with a ‘Fleur-de-Lys’ and the awful original bridge has been consigned to the dustbin and replaced with an ‘Eddie Uttley’ non-tip bridge. It comes complete with a ‘TGI’ black hard shaped case with a lovely green padded interior and an internal pocket. An absolute bargain at £125.


OSCAR SCHMIDT Banjo Uke (c.1928). Oscar Schmidt was a German immigrant to the U.S.A. By the mid 1920s  he was producing a wide variety of musical instruments in four factories in Germany and three in the U.S.A.  This particular example is absolutely ideal for either a beginner or someone wanting to improve their basic playing. The seven and a half inch diameter pot makes it easy to hold and play and it has a perfect playing action. Made of good quality materials it makes a lovely sound. Straight neck and no wear to the frets or the fingerboard. Twelve original tension hooks, nuts and shoes. Original tailpiece. Three pearloid position dots on the fingerboard. Spliced neck with replacement tuning pegs. Pot and resonator both with two decorative double lined inlays. Comes complete with black gig bag. Great value at £495.


RON SPIERS ‘SUPREME’ Banjo Uke (1986). This is a superb original example of one of Ron Spiers top banjo ukes. It’s a lovely instrument and is ideal  for someone wanting a better instrument on which to improve their playing. Before moving to live near Bath, engineer Ron Spiers lived near Ruislip (Middlesex) and he knew banjo uke maker Ron Beddoes who lived nearby. When Ron Beddoes decided to finish making banjo ukes due to ill health, Ron Spiers bought his tools and equipment and started to design and make banjo ukes of his own - very much in a similar style to the very popular ‘New Concert’ banjo ukes that Ron Beddoes had successfully made. These instruments were always beautifully made and this example is in gorgeous condition. Straight (spliced) neck and no wear to the frets or the fingerboard. Modern replacement tuning pegs. Ebonised peghead with original ‘R. S. Supreme’ plated oval badge in the middle. Sixteen-fret ebony fingerboard inlaid with multiple mother-of-pearl position dots. Plated metal flange with thirty decorative circular holes. Sixteen top-tension bolts. ‘Ludwig’ style plated scalloped bezel. Original plated tailpiece. Three neat knurled threaded and plated resonator securing bolts. Maple neck and resonator, with attractive wooden inlay pattern on the back of the resonator, ivoroid binding around the bottom edge of the resonator, and an attractive ‘Ludwig’ style patterned inlaid wooden strip all the way around the side. This banjo uke comes complete with a ‘Cartwright’ black hard shaped case with deep red internal padded lining, and an internal pocket with padded lid containing two small purple velvet bags containing two spare ebony-tipped bridges and a top-tension key for adjusting the vellum. £1,450.


STROMBERG-VOISINET Banjo Uke (c.1930). These banjo ukes were made to an extremely high standard in Chicago U.S.A. and this instrument is similar to the one shown on page 218 of my book (but with no pyralin - or ‘mother of toilet seat’ as the Americans liked to call it!). Apart from the replaced tuning pegs,bridge, and strings (and possibly the vellum) this instrument is in totally original condition inside and out. Mahogany neck, pot and resonator. Attractively spliced neck. Inlaid decorative strip around the pot and attractive decoration on the back of the resonator. Pristine ebonised fingerboard (Pearwood?) with fifteen pristine frets and four mother-of-pearl position dots. Arrow straight neck. The high quality calfskin vellum is old but probably not the original one, nevertheless it is a cracker! Nice wide fingerboard. Attractive cut-outs on top of the engraved metal flange which runs around the top and side of the resonator. Cream ivoroid binding around the bottom edge of the resonator. Sixteen flatted hooks, nuts, shoes and a ‘Nashville’ tailpiece all from the same supplier used by the famous ‘Gibson’ company. This banjo uke is comfy to hold, it plays beautifully and it produces a lovely sound. It comes complete with a period hard shaped case with internal lidded pocket. Tremendous value at £750.


WINDSOR ‘WHIRLE’ No.7 Banjo Uke (1929). This banjo uke is an absolute belter! ‘Windsor’ banjo ukes can be very average at best, but this one is great sounding and in MINT condition with its original case. Straight neck with no wear to the frets and barely any wear to the fingerboard. Original friction tuning pegs. Beautiful shaped and constructed headstock on top of which is the original ‘The Whirle’ metal badge together with eight attractive mother-of-peal decorative inlaid position markers. Original cream nut. Sixteen-fret ebony fingerboard inlaid with multiple mother of pearl dot and clover leaf position markers. Beautiful spliced maple neck with triple banded decoration. Attractive birds-eye maple pot and resonator. Original bezel. Ten original bottom-tension hooks, nuts and shoes. Original armrest. Original and very attractive ‘Windsor’ shaped tailpiece. Original plated metal flange decorated with nine circular holes. Two original threaded resonator mounts. Decorative black binding around the bottom edge of the resonator. All metal parts with their beautiful nickel-plating in truly fantastic condition for its age. Internal tone-ring. Comes complete with its original black hard shaped case with internal pocket and red brushed cotton lining. Absolutely gorgeous inside and out, light to hold and play, and best  of all it produces a fabulous sound. £1,200.


 * Before the ‘Windsor’ company was bombed out of existence in December 1940 during a German air raid they had been the most prolific producers of musical instruments that this country has ever seen. Many of their cheapest models were rather poor in terms of materials, construction, playability, and sound, but their top models were often excellent, and this was certainly true of their banjo ukes - although their system of numbering was completely shambolic! The banjo uke models were numbered 1 to 10. Easy? Not quite! The 1, the 2, and the 2a were variations on the same model, and the 5 and 5a were variations on a different model. The 10 was the cheapest and the next four dearer ones (in order) were the 5, the 5a, the 9, and the 4. The number 3 was made to an old fashioned ‘zither banjo’ design but was quite expensive, and the 9 was a copy of an early ‘Keech’ model ‘A’. The third best banjo uke was the 1, the second best was the 7, and best of all was the 6. What a nightmare!!!


HOME


NEXT PAGE


For meaning of ABBREVIATIONS click HERE

For information about SALES POLICY click HERE

For CUSTOMER COMMENTS click HERE



Website founded in 2001


John Croft, Glan Tanat, Llanyblodwel, Oswestry, Shropshire, SY10 8NQ, England.

Tel: (+44) 01691 828850

Email: theukuleleman.com@gmail.com

Supplier to the Stars