In the 1920’s and early 30’s, the Hawaiian craze was in full bloom, and ukulele production was crucial to Martin’s success in this period. This is a wonderful, extremely well-preserved example of one of the most ornate of the Martin ukuleles, still in its original Geib case. Although Martin ukes built after 1916 carried no serial number, it’s possible to generally date them by stylistic elements. This Martin Style 3 is from the best era, the golden era, from about 1925 to 1930.
Martin style 3 was first made in 1918. Martin Style 3, soprano (standard) specs:
- Mahogany body
- 7 layer top binding
- 3 layer back binding
- Ebony fretboard
- 5 layer soundhole ring
- Celluloid ornament on top, behind bridge (known as the “parend”, or “shield”)
- Bar frets
- Small pearl paired-diamond inlays at fret 5, 7, and 9
- Three lines inlaid down center of fingerboard
- Nickel plated pegs (introduced in 1923)
- CF Martin & Co, stamped on back of peghead, and inside-back (Martin logo was not put on front of peghead until 1932)
This Martin Style 3 ukulele is in unbelievable original condition. It is 100% original. Aside from one naturally occurring dryness crack on the back (repaired), and some very light pick marks by the sound hole that you can only see in the right angle of light, this ukulele shows almost no signs of use.
It even has its original ivory saddle, at full height like it left the factory. The tone is all that you would expect from one of the best, high-end Martin instruments of the golden era.