There is a very large Guitar auction tomorrow and I have sent quite a few invitations to Ukulele Corner incorporating the Pony Guitar Sanctuary. If they all come, this will seem like a very small post!
Anyway chickens hatching, birds in bushes and all that, there were 3 auctions today that also featured nice chordophones and whilst I got nowhere in a couple of them I did have some success in the last one
First, and the one that I was originally after, was a nice looking Dallas B Banjolele with the George Formby headstock and its original case. I'm no fan of the George Formby headstock, (apart from the one on the E's), but apart from that I'm sure its a nice London made instrument from the time Dallas still produced their own Banjos. after winning this there was a couple of 5 string banjos I was vaguely tempted on but they started at the low estimate, (which was to high for me), and the auctioneer past them unsold rather than drop the price to a level I would have bid on (after all I would have to go there anyway to get the Dallas - I since I am going there I may enquire about the fate of the unsold Banjos?). Then came a J.G.Abbott 5 string Zither Banjo (with the hidden channel and the 6 tuners; supposedly for symmetry) Now I know Abbott is suppose to be the best British Banjo maker of the time and that the instruments usually go for a lot of money, so when the auctioneer started at the low end of the estimate, (and they didn't know Abbott was suppose to be the best so even the high end of their estimate was very low) I thought it was worth a punt. As with the other Banjos, no one else bid, not even the person who had bid against me for the Dallas, so with the maiden bid the J.G. Abbott is coming to Ukulele Corner incorporating the Pony Guitar Sanctuary too.
While we are on the subject of no-one bidding against me, later in the day I had the same thing happen on an eBay bid. In this case its a Ron Jon Surf Shop Soprano (I believe they are small Sopranos but I will have to check when it gets here). Now I know these are suppose to be very crappy tourist trash but they are very colourful and I have always kind of liked them: after all it's not the first time I have invited tourist trash to Ukulele Corner.
Well the Guitar Auction Storm is over and it turned out to be a storm in a teacup! 280 Guitars plus amps , spare parts and other Guitar related stuff; and none of it is coming to Ukulele Corner incorporating the Pony Guitar Sanctuary. Those chickens never hatched.
Those that I did win: well the Banjos anyway. While I was out collecting the Banjos the postman came with the Ron Jon but as I wasn't in and it needed signing for he only left me a note and will come back later with the parcel.. The 2 banjos are here though because I went up and collected them. The Dallas is in reasonable shape, it does have a dodgy replacement tuner, (or possibly three replacement tuners? I don't know which is original but they are all fairly old). It also has a big rip in the vellum so it will need replacing; as will the strings it came with. The Abbott is really lovely though, it didn't come with a case but it is still in very good nick with reasonable strings on. It also has a surprisingly good tone, far better than I was expecting; the Abbott reputation is well founded it would seem. The only issues are the frets could do with dressing and someone (from the look of it years ago) stuck a hook into heel of the neck where the stamp is, to attach a strap. not much of a problem but it did go in right where they stamped the model number and I would like to have known the model number
The Ron Jon is here too and it is very colourful but as I suspected, not very high quality. Still it is better than some of the tourist affairs that live at Ukulele Corner and does function perfectly well even it the action is a bit high and it doesn't sound that great The tuners work and hold fine, the intonation is ok and the bridge is both solid and actually quite good. Speaking of quite good, the other thing that has impressed me about this Ukulele is the quality of the decoration on the soundboard! It is spot on and far better than the decoration on some more expensive models.
Coming Soon!!! >