Gibson UB-4 Banjo Ukulele (1927)
Gibson UB-4 Model Banjo Ukulele (1927), made in Kalamazoo, Michigan, serial # 8818-15, brown lacquer finish, maple resonator, neck and rim, rosewood fingerboard, black hard shell case. Item # 7492
This model UB-4 is a full flange and resonator Gibson banjo-uke from the 1920's-basically a miniature tenor banjo-which is quite a rare find. Banjo ukuleles were quite popular in this era, but most were amateur grade-a full professional models like this was far from common. The UB-4 was introduced in 1926 and features fancy shaped pearl inlay in the bound rosewood fingerboard while the headstock has a pearl inlaid "The Gibson" logo. The bound-back resonator is fitted to a diamond pattern flange; all hardware is nickel plated. The Grover friction tuners are fitted with ivoroid buttons. Most Gibson banjo-ukes have no serial number-this actually has a standard Gibson FON stamped into the rim and chalked in the resonator, as was the practice at the time. In 1927 the model UB-5 was identical to this style 4 except for gold-plated hardware, and examples of both models were built in this batch. This is a great "professional grade" Gibson banjo-uke from the '20's-perfect for the George Formby sound and an excellent piece for any application requiring the best of banjo-ukes!
Overall length is 22 1/2 in. (57.2 cm.), 8 in. (20.3 cm.) diameter head, and 3 1/4 in. (8.2 cm.) in depth at side. Scale length is 13 1/2 in. (343 mm.). Very nice original condition; all original finish and hardware except an old but not period head and bridge. Relatively clean overall-there is some play wear; there is some scuffing and dings to the resonator back, a spot of wear on the top side of the heel and the plating to the hoop and hooks shows some noticeable loss due to corrosion. A fabulous playing and sounding instrument, as loud a banjo-uke as we have ever heard! Included a modern mandolin HSC that is a functional but inexact fit. Excellent - Condition.
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