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


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Pre-War ABBOTT ‘MONARCH’ Banjo Uke (c.1927). Made by J. G. Abbott & Co. in London, this is a hard to find and very desirable vintage banjo uke. Light to hold, easy to play, and it produces a great sound. This instrument is in superb condition and comes complete with its original hard shaped case. £3,500. Please contact me for further details.

Pre-War ABBOTT ‘WILL VAN ALLEN’ Banjo Uke (c.1926). This long-scale version of the Will Van Allen and is almost identical to the one played by the late, great, George Formby. Made in London by J. G. Abbott & Co. in London, this is a rare vintage banjo uke that is in remarkable and totally original condition. Original vintage ‘Gibson’ tuning pegs with black thumb grips (often used by Abbott) and an original and intact ‘Will Van Allen’ label on the peghead. Straight neck with no wear to the frets and almost no wear to the ebonised fingerboard. Three position dots inlaid into the fingerboard Fourteen hooks, nuts, and shoes. Flange (decorated with circular cut-outs) attached to the extended resonator by two thumbscrews.  and a good quality calfskin vellum in excellent condition.  This instrument is quite light to hold and easy to play, it produces a very nice sound. It’s in superb condition and comes complete with a 1953 Billy ‘Uke’ Scott Tutor Album for the Ukulele & Ukulele Banjo and a very strong and sturdy lockable hard shaped case with made-to-measure padded blue plush interior lining. £450.

DAVE BARNES ‘ABBOTT MONARCH’ COPY BANJO UKE (2022). Just arrived. This is an absolutely MINT example and completely unblemished, and it is only being offered for sale in order for the owner to offset the cost of purchasing an expensive and rare vintage Gibson banjo uke from the USA. The condition of this banjo uke is simply stunning and it appears never to have been played. It is made of maple with an ebony fingerboard and a mahogany resonator with a maple rim. The word ‘Monarch’ is stamped into the underside of the peghead and just beneath is the serial number ‘1621’ which means that it was the sixteenth (and very last) instrument made by Dave Barnes and it was begun in 2021, although it was sold in 2022 after everything had been allowed to settle in. The original certificate of authenticity comes with the instrument. Friction tuning pegs are fitted and the fingerboard is inlaid with three position dots. There is also a decorative feature in the centre of the resonator. The maker’s name is inlaid into the peghead and it comes complete its Barnes certificate of authenticity. Dave is a real craftsman and he put a huge amount of time and effort into designing and building these banjo ukes, as a result of which they are beautifully made and sound terrific. He has even gone to the trouble of copying the domed hexagonal tension nuts as found on the original pre-war Abbott ‘Monarch’ banjo uke. This uke comes complete with a lockable black plush lined hard shaped case. £2,200.

CARTWRIGHT Banjo Uke (c.2016). Made by Phil Cartwright, this banjo uke is in almost MINT condition and it makes a great sound. Geared tuners. The peghead has the ‘Cartwright’ name on a plated badge at the top and an attractive ‘checkerboard’ pattern in the middle. Straight sixteen fret neck with pristine fingerboard and frets, multiple snowflake and diamond inlays, and cream binding with position dots marked along one side. Fourteen top-tension bolts. Adjustable tailpiece. Flange contains  ‘sailor’s hat’ shaped cut-outs in the style of the pre-war Abbott ‘Monarch’. Bound resonator with attractive inlays around the side and on the back. Slight crazing to the varnish on the back. The plating is in magnificent condition throughout. Comes complete with a ‘Cartwright’ hard shaped case with purple padded lining and an internal pocket (with hinged lid) that contains the tension key. * Please note that the end of the fingerboard is above the level of the calfskin vellum resulting in a higher playing action. This is no problem whatsoever to most players but it can make the instrument slightly less suitable for people wishing to play in the ‘George Formby’ style. The price of this banjo uke has therefore been adjusted in order cover the cost of anyone wishing to have the playing action  lowered. Nevertheless, it is still great value for money. £795.

DALLAS ‘A’ MODEL Banjo Uke (c.1939). This instrument is ideal for a beginner. This is no ordinary ‘A’ Model but one that has been beautifully enhanced, massively improved, and represents great value for money. As an extra bonus it has been gold-plated and looks lovely. It even comes complete with a Cartwright black hard shaped case which is thickly padded and has an internal pocket and lid. £350.

DALLAS ‘C’ MODEL BANJO UKE (c.1945). This banjo uke was the middle instrument in the Dallas range of ‘George Formby’ banjo ukes that were made from 1938 until about 1961. The ‘C’ Model was a popular instrument and is an ideal vintage banjo uke on which to learn to play or to improve your playing. This instrument is in original condition and has never been re-finished, but it’s about to have a good clean! Original tuning pegs with black thumb-grips. Original ‘George Formby’ metal badge at the top of the peghead. Straight neck with no wear to the frets or the fingerboard. The fingerboard is inlaid with multiple pearloid position dots. Fourteen original tension hooks, nuts, shoes, flange, bezel and tailpiece. Original plating in good condition but is currently being cleaned. The neck and resonator have their original and attractive ‘sunburst’ finish, and the instrument still has it’s original hard shaped case with internal pocket and lid.

DALLAS ‘E’ MODEL Banjo Uke (1938). This instrument is another fine example of the rare original ‘E’ model and it is in magnificent original condition with superb gold-plating on the tuning pegs, the frets, and the metalwork. It comes complete with its original hard shaped case. £1,750. Please contact me for further details.

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. £1,100.

JOHN GREY ‘ROY SMECK SUPER’ Banjo Uke (c.1928). Roy Smeck was a famous American musician and entertainer known as ‘The Wizard of the Strings. This instrument was top of the four banjo ukes in ‘Roy Smeck’ range. It’s in fabulous original condition with its original hard shaped case. The case looks as though it has been through a war and it probably has! With the remains of the word ‘ENSA’ (Entertainment National Services Association) written on the lid, the indication is that it was once used by an entertainer of the armed services in World War 2 - but sadly we don’t know who. This banjo uke is completely original and has never been repaired or re-finished. It has a straight neck and no wear to the frets or the fingerboard and the resonator is easily detachable. Pristine condition inside and out. £795.

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. £1,195.

MARKENDALE GIBSON UB-3 COPY Banjo Uke (c.1994). Another lovely banjo uke in MINT original condition. It was made by the late Gordon Markendale who produced fine instruments based upon the designs of the top vintage banjo uke manufacturers of the 1920’s such as Ludwig, Gibson, and Abbott. Markendale quickly developed a reputation for making excellent banjo ukes which not only looked good but also sounded good, and they became very popular amongst players and remain popular today. This Gibson UB-3 copy is all original with a straight neck and no wear to the fifteen frets or to the rosewood fingerboard. Grover tuning pegs. Markendale name at the top of the peghead. Original nut. Snowflake and diamond mother-of-pearl inlays on the peghead and fingerboard. Fingerboard bound in cream ivoroid with four black position dots along one side. Fourteen hooks, nuts, and shoes, and original Grover ‘Nashville’ tailpiece. Very attractive ‘Sunburst’ finish on the neck, the body, and the resonator. The resonator itself is bound with cream ivoroid and has a decorative ring inlaid into it. Comes complete with a good quality black hard shaped case with made-to-measure plush velvet lining and an internal pocket and lid. £1,100.

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!). This banjo uke is quite light and comfy to hold, it plays beautifully and produces a really lovely sound. I have owned several of these banjo ukes and only sold them reluctantly in order to help purchase much more expensive instruments. They are absolutely fantastic value and I can recommend them unreservedly. 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 example comes complete with a period hard shaped case with internal lidded pocket. Tremendous value at £595.



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

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Email: theukuleleman.com@gmail.com

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