Wednesday, July 6, 2011
Stromberg Voisinet Style 1
Where to start? Number 1 seems like a good place. I've dubbed this type of Stromberg Voisinet the Style 1.
It appears to be the most commonly made, certainly the most commonly surviving, of the SV banjo ukes. I've logged more then 10 of these over the last year and more, and the features are as follows:
Wood is maple stained black (ebonized)
Type 1 purfled resonator.
8” purfled pot.
Four MOP fretboard markers
Slotted diamond MOP headstock marker
The particular example pictured above is mine, which I purchased from Elderly Instruments, 9/12/10. It has no tone ring, though some Style 1s DO have them. I've modified the dowel and pot so that the neck could be lowered to allow Formby-style playing.
Here is another Style 1, similar to mine; the only difference is the yellow birdseye maple inlaid circle on the inside of the purfling ring on resonator back.
Clearly, the birdseye maple back was a popular option, as I've cataloged several examples that have the feature:
Here's one with the original canvas case -
Another, though the picture of the back would not reproduce -
Finally - here's an odd one - This Stromberg Voisinet was up for sale on eBay 12/19/10. Badly discolored, it is notable in that it is only one of two Stromberg Voisinet ukes I've seen out of 40 or so that has six MOP fretboard inlays instead of the usual four:
As you can see, the back of the resonator has no birdseye maple inlay.
Next time - I'll have several more Style 1 ukes to share with you, as well as a photo sequence of a restoration in progress.
See you next week.