Thursday, May 18, 2023

At Auction: Aaron Keim Kingdom Era 'Ukulele

Master luthier Aaron Keim has been devoting his energies to learning early building techniques. He recently traveled to Hawai'i to study period instruments and research materials with the goal of building instruments true to the earliest designs. He's built two to date, and the second is currently on eBay at auction. He'll use the proceeds to fund a future research trip back to Hawai'i and will share a portion of the proceeds with the non-profit Saving Hawaii's Forests (link may not work: their site seems to be down).

Sez Aaron:
"This is the second instrument I’ve made as part of my Kingdom Era Ukulele project, where I have been researching the original instruments made in Hawaii in the 1890’s. I used the same hand tools, techniques and most of the same materials as the instruments I examined in the Bishop Museum and in Shawn’s collection from  The body, neck and fretboard are made from Koa from our friend’s sawmill on Oahu.  I made the rope binding from Maple, Cherry, Walnut and Mahogany.  It is soprano scale, with a flat fretboard and white side dots. In order to be more comfortable for modern players, I’ve used geared Peghed tuners, fluorocarbon strings and small fret wire. The ukulele is finished with shellac and wax. It comes with a handmade case made in the old style from Mahogany scraps with rope binding and Kapa style cloth."
Bidding ends Wednesday, May 24th, 2023. Just in time for my birthday (hint, hint).

Link to eBay Auction

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