boat paddle ukuleles

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Gibson UB-4 Sold
The Gibson Ub-4 which is the last design in the Gibson line of banjo ukueles.  This is the nickel plated version and several years after Gibson produced this model they began to refer to the gold plated version as the UB-5.  These are a bit longer scale than the ub-3 and were equipped with a Walnut burl diamond flanged resonator.  Other differences from the other Gibsons are the fancier fret marker inlays (mother of pearl), fret board side binding (white black white) and matching binding on the edge of the resonator.  Headstock has inlayed "The Gibson" and a floral inlay below it. (also mother of pearl).   Tuners are the Ivoroid version of the Grover Spring loaded style.  Original hardware throughout and includes the rare "Presto Ideal" that flips open for changing the strings.  The reso has the original chalk serial number which is also stamped into the rim  8818-2.
Finish is excellent inside and out, there are no splits or deep scratches.  Shows very very minor wear in terms of slightly dull finish here and there, and very minor surface scratches.

I am the second owner of this UB-4 and bought it from an elderly gentleman that said he recieved it as a gift in 1930.  He was 5! at the time.  His son told me that it was kept in a closet all these years in a very large house and when I purchased it the original gut strings were in place.  I replaced them with Aquila Gut strings and it sounds great.  Gut breaks on it's own and is more susceptible to fraying but it has a unique sound that is apparent in the strumming because the strings are nowhere nearly as smooth as nylon.  There are more pictures on this blog of this exact Gibson under:
  I have seen no more than 3 for sale in the U.S. and a few in the U.K. over a 3 year period. They are rare and excellent by any standard with a deep banjoey tone that works melodically or as a strummer. To give a comparison the F model Gibson mandolins which are for sale constantly on Ebay for $4000-12,000 were also made in Kalamazoo with the same woods, finish and care.
I'm not the least bit embarrassed to ask $5000 for this one.  It is completely original and has suffered no abuse by the original and current owner.  My conservative guess is that these will command as much as the Gibson mandolins within 5 years.

Please write me if you are interested in this one.  

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