Will Van Allen Revelation Soprano Banjo Ukulele 1925

My Revelation

william van allen early banjolele
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20's UK English open back banjo ukulele
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william van allen early british banjo ukulele
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It has cheap and colourful strings on and is tuned g~C~E~A




Will Van Allen Revelation

What's coming is a Will Van Allen branded pre war Banjolele. Now Will Van Allen, which was a London firm, use to rebrand, (London made), Abbott Banjos and Abbotts are regarded as the best British Banjos of the period. Interestingly though this one doesn't look like any Abbott I have seen before? But on the other hand it doesn't look like it's from any of the other "usual suspects" so I'm looking forward to getting it and learning more about it, (and playing it) In order to get it though I'm going to have to drive up to Wandsworth, (London for those who don't know) and collect it. I hope I can find the place, (the current address of the banjolele, not London, I know where that is)

I drove to London and collected it. And its pretty old - It's a "Revelation Banjo Ukulele" which means it was sold before 1926 when the branding was changed to "New Revelation" This is also when he started rebranding Abbotts so I don't think this was made by Abbott; I don't know who did but it isn't one of the major manufacturers of the time? (My best guess is it was made in the pre merge, pre Barnett Samuel takeover Hawkes & Son factory, but I have only seen photos to compare it to?)

For it's age the banjo is in fair shape, the drum is a little distorted and it has lost one of its tension hooks, but on the plus side it still has a full set of wooden friction pegs and the headstock decal in in great shape. Talking of the pegs though, I do hate wooden friction pegs so I will replace them, (but keeping the set as spares), and the strings too. I am also a little suspicious of the tailpiece so I need to keep an eye out for better authentic ones along with a replacement hook. Clearly with no tone ring this was a budget banjolele when it was made but it plays ok, (when it's in tune - those wooden pegs again), and is an interesting instrument so is very welcome at Ukulele Corner.