Solid spruce top, mahogany back and sides. Arched back. Black walnut with pearl top binding and black walnut back binding. Okoume neck with black walnut fingerboard and pearloid dot inlays. Pearl inlaid soundhole rosette. Black walnut bridge. Graph Tech Canada, NuBone XB saddle and bone nut. Slotted headstock with chrome Waverly style open gear machine heads. Aquila Nylgut strings. 18 nickel frets. 430mm scale. Natural satin finish.
The ukulele is based on several small guitar-like instruments of Portuguese origin: the machete, the cavaquinho, the timple and the rajão, introduced to the Hawaiian Islands by Portuguese immigrants from Madeira and Cape Verde.
One immigrant in particular, Madeiran cabinet maker Manuel Nunes is generally credited as the inventor of the ukulele. By 1880, Manuel had begun building ukuleles commercially and such was the instrument’s popularity that it was soon embraced as the national instrument of Hawaii.
One of the most important factors in establishing the ukulele in Hawaiian music and culture was the ardent support and promotion of the instrument by King Kalākaua. A patron of the arts, he incorporated it into performances at royal gatherings.
His successor and Hawaii’s last Monarch, Queen Lili’uokalani, played the ukulele and became one of Hawaii’s most famous songwriters penning the most famous song to ever come out of Hawaii – “Aloha ‘Oe.”
Opinions of the origins of the word ‘ukulele’ are quite divided with some asserting it is the Hawaiian word for ‘jumping flea’ perhaps because of the movement of player’s fingers, whilst others prefer Queen Lili’uokalani’s explanation that the word is derived from the Hawaiian meaning ‘a gift from over there’.
The 1880 Ukulele Company brand was developed in-house at AMS in Melbourne over an intensive two year period of investigation of the best ukulele manufacturers, exhaustive testing, sample making and final product development.
The result is a quality ukulele brand proudly crafted in our specially designed manufacturing facility utilising only select tonewoods and highest quality finishes to create a unique new range.
Characterised by outstanding tone, projection and playability, 1880 Ukuleles are manufactured to the highest quality by the application of best practice, modern manufacturing techniques.
The 1880 Ukulele Company commemorates the legacy of Manuel Nunes’ instruments and honours the last Monarch of Hawaii for her part in establishing the ukulele and its music. To this end, the logo of the 1880 Ukulele Company incorporates the numerals 1880 flanked by the outline of antique wood carving tools over a stylised royal crown.