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Harmony Roy Smeck Vita-Uke Model Soprano Ukulele, c. 1929, made in Chicago, natural lacquer finish, mahogany back and sides, spruce top; mahogany neck with rosewood fingerboard, original black chipboard case.
The 1928 Roy Smeck-endorsed "Vita" line was one of Harmony's most whimsical creations, but were also fairly high-grade instruments and a the endorsement was a major promotional coup for the company. The series encompassed a guitar, tenor guitar, plectrum guitar, mandolin and ukulele all of similar eccentric design with a distinctive body outline and seal-shaped F holes, for reasons lost to history! They all feature fancy flamed mahogany bodies with spruce tops, and the guitars had the patented Harmony Aero-Bridge, shaped vaguely like an airplane. The Vita-Uke was by far the most popular, sold well into the 1930's after the rest of the line had passed into history. The headstock decal reads "Roy Smeck" "Vita-Uke" over a small Harmony "H" in a diamond. This is still a fairly rare instrument; while the Vita-Uke proved popular not that many have survived in good playable condition. This is a very good sounding and playing instrument notwithstanding its rather eccentric design, and a very nice example.
Overall length is 21 1/2 in. (54.6 cm.), 8 in. (20.3 cm.) across at the widest point, and 2 1/4 in. (5.7 cm.) in depth at side, taken at the end block. Scale length is 14 in. (356 mm.). Width of nut is 1 7/16 in. (36 mm.). Very nice original condition with some light wear; mostly from strumming near the fingerboard. The only repair is a couple of well-sealed back cracks, with no overfinish added. This is a very good player, complete with the even rarer original heavy chipboard case. Excellent - Condition.
Item # 6555
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