Kumalae 1(A)

800.00 AUD
Your rating: None
Average: 5 (1 vote)
Always Good
1920s - 1930s
Vintage or modern - your choice!

Jonah Kumalae was probably the most prolific maker on the island of Ohahu and his ukes are becoming more highly regarded as the years roll on. The model 1 was second from the bottom in the range of six, but is the most common and we nearly always have at least one for sale, pictured are five of these superb Koa masterpieces and they all sound as good as an authentic Hawaiian made Koa ukulele can.
Eagle eyed uke enthusiasts may notice that one of those instruments pictured is actually labeled 'Alberts Music, George St,Sydney.' and is indeed labeled as so both on the headstock and the label on the inside, these were made by Jonah Kumalaes workshops specifically for Alberts, and yes its the same company that exists today. They made probably 2-3 models from their standard range, although the model 1 or A is the one that seems to turn up in these parts. We also have one made by another company 'Mossman' also labeled Alberts and it took a great deal of diligent research to ascertain this fact. This one is a bit of a star, it was formally owned by Jimi Hocking, well known Melbourne guitar and mandolin player, and also made a recent guest appearance on the recently screened Channel 7 production "Underbelly - Squizzy Taylor". And if you happened to see this episode the uke that was smashed at the end was not this gorgeous looking (and fantastic sounding) uke - but a skilfully put together mock up, co - made by Channel 7 workshops and Guitars Plus workshops, quite a bit of fun actually!
Also pictured are the Alberts Ukulele method published around 1920, the State Library has a copy, showing the rear of the book advertising the Albert brand of ukuleles, and on the left is a Kumalae 1 branded Alberts and on the right a similarly marked Mossman, also made in Honolulu at a similar time and they do look somewhat alike to the untrained eye.

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