Retrofret Stock # 2751. Harmony Roy Smeck Vita-Uke Model Ukulele, c. 1929, made in Chicago, natural lacquer finish, mahogany body and neck, spruce top, 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 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 instrument notwithstanding its rather eccentric design, and a good-playing example.Overall length is 21 5/8 in. (54.9 cm.), 8 in. (20.3 cm.) width, and 2 1/4 in. (5.7 cm.) in depth at side, taken at the end block. Scale length is 13 7/8 in. (352 mm.). Width of nut is 1 7/16 in. (36 mm.). Nice original condition overall with no alterations but some average wear, most visibly into the top finish from strumming near the fingerboard down over the "seal" f-holes. The back shows some scuffs and scrapes as well, and the bridge has been visibly reglued. There are a couple of well-sealed back cracks, quite solid but visibly touched-up. This Vita-Uke is a bit worn in but a very good player, complete with the even rarer original heavy chipboard case. Very Good + Condition.
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