SOLD - Vintage Kamaka Pineapple Ukulele – Hawaii 1930
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Kamaka Hawaii was established in 1916 in the Territory of Hawaii, and is a family-owned and operated business to this day. The Kamaka family has been dedicated to building skilfully handcrafted ukuleles for nearly a century. The heritage of ukulele making at Kamaka Hawaii is preserved by second and third generation Hawaiian luthiers, as well as the many talented craftsmen at the Kakaako factory in Honolulu.
Shortly after the turn of the century, Samuel Kaialiilii Kamaka began crafting koa ukuleles from the basement of his Kaimuki, Hawaii home.
In 1916, he formed his one-man shop, Kamaka Ukulele and Guitar Works," and soon established a solid reputation for making only the highest quality ukuleles.
In 1921, Kamaka Ukulele established a shop at 1814 South King Street. In the mid-20s, Sam Kamaka laid out a pattern for a new oval-shaped ukulele body. His friends remarked that it looked like a pineapple, so one of Sam's artist friends painted the front to duplicate the tropical fruit.
A few years later in 1928, Sam Kamaka patented the design. Thus began the original Pineapple Ukulele, which produced a resonant, mellow sound distinct from the traditional figure-eight. The Pineapple Ukulele became an instant success worldwide, and continues to be Kamaka's signature ukulele to this day.
Kamaka ukuleles are world-renown, and possess a lasting, rich tone that is quite unique.
They begin as rough Hawaiian koa lumber, and are meticulously hand built into exquisite musical instruments enjoyed by ukulele players and audiences across the globe. The Kamaka name is synonymous with superior Hawaiian craftsmanship, and Kamaka ukuleles are world-class instruments enjoyed by everyone from elementary school beginners to professional musicians.
We believe this one dates to 1930, and was likely bought from the Kamaka shop in Honolulu by Mr Clive Lunn who was the uncle of the owner of this uke, and whose name is inscribed on the back of the headstock, along with the date. This Kamaka Pineapple has stayed in the family ever since.
The internal gold label is intact with all the original Kamaki features including shop address, patent number and “Strictly Hand Made” proudly imprinted for all to see.
It has a surface crack in the top approx. 3cm long just below the bridge. But it is not right through the timber, and rather has just opened up along the grain over time. It is so light that we couldn’t actually photograph it, but it’s there. The back and neck are in fine order with no splits, cracks or other issues. Overall this uke is in good condition and plays well. All else appears to be structurally sound, with a straight neck, good frets and tuning pegs still working well.
It tunes up nicely and sounds lovely – just like the soundtrack to gently lapping waves on a Honolulu beach in 1930.
Comes as it is – ie no case.