SOLD - Kumalae Ukulele - Hawaii 1920's
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Jonah Kumalae was born in 1874 in Honolulu, Hawaii. He came from a family with a background in instrument making, and he learned the art of building stringed instruments from his father, also a luthier. Jonah Kumalae started his own ukulele manufacturing business in the late 1800s.
Kumalae's ukuleles quickly gained popularity due to their superior craftsmanship and excellent sound. He became renowned for his meticulous attention to detail and the use of premium materials in his instruments. Kumalae primarily used Hawaiian Koa wood, known for its beautiful grain patterns and tonal qualities, to construct his ukuleles. This choice of wood contributed to the distinct sound and visual appeal of Kumalae instruments.
During the early 20th century, Kumalae Ukuleles enjoyed significant success, and the brand became synonymous with quality in the ukulele world. The instruments were highly sought after by musicians and collectors alike.
However, Kumalae's success was interrupted by historical events. In the 1920s, the demand for ukuleles declined due to changing musical tastes and the rise of other popular instruments. Additionally, the Great Depression in the 1930s had a severe impact on the music industry, leading to financial difficulties for many instrument manufacturers.
Unfortunately, Kumalae Ukuleles could not withstand these challenges. The company ceased production in the 1930s, marking the end of an era for the brand. Nevertheless, the instruments that were produced during Kumalae's tenure continue to be revered for their craftsmanship and historical significance.
This wonderful specimen is virtually unplayed and in original condition. The Kumalae features immaculate detail around the soundhole and fretboard, along with the beautiful Hawaiian insignia on the headstock. It also shows off a fantastic rope style binding around its top, making this a very attractive ukulele.
The neck is in fine order with no splits, cracks or other issues. The back has one crack as displayed in the photographs that has been repaired. There is also a hairline crack on the bass side of the soundhole. All else appears to be structurally sound, with a straight neck, good frets and after-market tuning pegs are working well.
It tunes up nicely and sounds lovely – just like the soundtrack to gently lapping waves on a Honolulu beach in 1920.
The Kumalae comes in a non-original canvas case.