C.F. Martin Style 2 Taropatch and Soprano
“What’s up with the Mahogany on an all Koa website?” I just couldn’t resist posting these two very early Martin ‘ukes. On the left is a Style 2 Taropatch and on the right a Style 2 Soprano. Both with one piece wood bridge and saddle, super dark stain, small position markers, wood pegs, all the signs of the pre 1920 construction. Beautiful piece, not made in the Haole Koa style.
C.F. Martin 5K Soprano
There’s nothing more to say about this ‘uke that hasn’t been said a bajillion times. Truly one of the “holiest of grails”. So how the hell does a “working class collector” end up with a near mint 5K? A totally unexpected windfall from a deceased relative. Mahalo nui loa Aunt Nancy.
C.F. Martin 2K Soprano
A visually more appealing grade of Koa was often used in construction of the 2K then the 1K. Ivoroid binding accented the beauty of this pre 1933 Martin Ukulele.
Early 3K Soprano
Circa 1920, the Style 3K as its Style 3 sister is sometimes refered to as a “Bowtie”, because of the hour glass or bowtie Pearl inlay on the 7th fret. It was not documented when the “”Bowtie” was dropped from the line, but a pre 1933 3K from the collection does not include this ornamentation. A Celluloid kite shaped inlay adorns the front of the headstock with the stamp “Southern California Music Company, Los Angeles” on the back. A black and white sandwiched nut adds to the trimmings.
C.F. Martin 1K Soprano
The “K” specifications matched those of the Mahogany models, except of course for the use of Hawaiian Koa. The Style 1K on the left has no binding on the bottom panel and with the differences of the bottoms of the two fret boards and bridge shapes lend to the possibility that this 1K may be a very early model . Mahalo Nui Loa to Andy Roth for the construction insight.
Pre 1933 3K Soprano
With production ending in 1938, when Hawaiian Koa to the U.S. continent could no longer be obtained due to WWII. This 3K Soprano was made prior to 1933, when the Martin Company still stamped their logo on the back of the headstock. The post 1933 Styles have the more familiar decal placed on the front. Notice the missing Celluloid ornament at the headstock and “bowtie” at the fretboard like that of the earlier 1920’s Style 3 and 3K models.