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Jose do Espirito Santo


1879 Jose do Espirito Santo Ukulele – “The First Ukulele”

Circa 1879. “The First Ukulele” ever made. Jose do Espirito Santo Ukulele. Coveted Brazilian Rosewood back and sides with a spruce top. Brazilian Rosewood fretboard and bridge. Hawaiian Koa wood neck. Rope binding on soundboard with matching rope marquetry rosette. Cloud inlay at the butt of the instrument, a characteristic often only found on the earliest ukuleles. Wooden friction tuners. Original handcrafted coffin case. This instrument was on display at the Honolulu Academy of Arts in 1941 as ‘The First Ukulele in Hawaii’. It still bears t
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1885 Jose do Espirito Santo Ukulele

Circa 1885. Jose do Espirito Santo Ukulele. Handcrafted of Hawaiian Koa wood back and sides with a spruce top, this ukulele remains to be one of the earliest examples of the ukulele in Hawaii. Hawaiian Koa wood neck, fretboard, and a beautiful rope top and back binding with matching rope rosette, fingerboard inlay, center back seam, and a bound rope bridge. Remarkable work and attention to detail. Handcrafted Hawaiian Koa wood coffin case with matching rope marquetry work inlaid on the top of the case. ID#190027 Not for Sale.
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1886 Jose do Espirito Santo 5-String Rajao

Considered one of the parent instruments of the ukulele, the ukulele is believed to have received its current tuning of G-C-E-A from the Rajao, which is tuned D-G-C-E-A. To my knowledge there are only a few examples of these early historical instruments in existence that have been made in Hawaii. This extremely rare 1891 Santo 5-String Rajao is a world class collectible over 100 years in age. The instrument originated on the island of Madeira, Portugal and was handcrafted by one of three portuguese cabinet makers (Jose do Espirito Santo, Augusto Dias, and Manuel Nun
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1890 Jose do Espirito Santo ukulele

Circa 1890. Jose do Espirito Santo Ukulele. Handcrafted of Hawaiian Koa wood face, back, and sides, this ukulele remains to be one of the earliest examples of the ukulele in Hawaii. Hawaiian Koa wood neck and a beautiful rope top binding with matching rope fingerboard inlay, and a rope inlay rosette. Banjo influenced headstock. Mustache bridge. Remarkable work and attention to detail. This one will undergo some restoration in the near future. Stay tuned for additional photos once the process has been completed. #190075 Not for Sale.
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