The Martin Style 2 is relatively modest in appointment having a two-ply top purfling, three ply soundhole rosette, and yellowed ivoroid top and back binding. The body is all mahogany, so is the back of the neck; the fingerboard and bridge are rosewood.
This handsome Style 2 was made sometime, most likely, in the late 1930s or the 1940s. It is in very good plus condition with a new gig bag. Per Mike Longworth, author of Martin Guitars: A History, C F Martin ukuleles were introduced in 1916 but they did not find their way into the printed price list until 1918 and then into the catalog in 1919. The first model in the catalog was the Style 1. And, well, also the Style 2, Style 3 and Taro-patch. Mike points out that “the word ukulele means ‘bouncing flea’ in Hawaiian, and this is the type of tone that is expected. It has to be ‘bouncy’ under the strumming of the right hand. Martin caught the idea and in 1916 put a ukulele on the market that was acclaimed [he says] as very good. The first Martin ukes of this period were serially numbered. . . . Ukuleles without numbers began July 18, 1916.” The Style O didn’t get into the catalog until 1922. Imagine that. The Style 1 is characterized as having a mahogany body and in its first incarnation the front was bound in rosewood; it had small position dot markers in the fretboard. In 1923 the model acquired a dark finish and at that time it still had wooden friction pegs. In 1925 the specification said “hardwood fingerboard and pegs.” In 1927 (are you following me?) it got a rosewood fingerboard and Patent pegs, which means that the tuners were metal and plastic. This model was last cataloged in 1965. The Style 2 however debuted in 1918 and was at first celluloid bound on top and back. In 1923 it acquired Patent pegs, and in 1927 the top was inlaid with black/white celluloid which, in 1936 was replaced with ivoroid. Coincidentally, it was last made in 1965.
This Style 2 shows WAY less than normal signs of use and wear but there are a few teeny chips around the headstock, with some pinpoint dings here and there. The instrument has received, at the hands of our professional luthiery lurkers, a proper “set-up” (adjustment, cleaning and restring). We will also be repairing 4 cracks on the back. This small but capable uke has power, projection and punch, even when played softly, and takes its rightful position as being one of the most desirable vintage ukuleles in our stable.