1931 National Triolian Small Bodied Walnut Finished Ukulele
This lovely National Triolian Model Resonator Ukulele from late 1931 (SN # 571) was made in Los Angeles, CA. It features a brown sunburst finish, a steel body, a maple neck with an ebonized fingerboard, and a black hardshell case.
This is a well preserved, great playing, and wonderful sounding original Triolian ukulele from National in California, made just as the depression was really kicking in. This steel-bodied rarity cost a whopping $25 in 1930, which was a considerable sum at the time and more than even most fancy wooden ukes. The "Walnut" (two-tone brown) finished steel single-cone body is the second smaller pattern. Its late 500 digit serial number places its manufacturing date in late 1931.
The square-cut peghead on the maple neck is missing its National logo decal, but a shadow can be seen where it used to sit. Adding a replica decal would be a simple project I’ll leave to its next owner. It is fitted with well-working celluloid button friction tuners. The bound, dark-stained "ebonized" fingerboard has a small dot inlay and a bone nut. There are not many things in this world with a higher "cool quotient" than an original National ukulele; this one is in remarkable condition in comparison to most examples and still plays and sounds great.
Overall length is 22 1/2 in. (57.2 cm.), 7 in. (17.8 cm.) wide at lower bout, and 2 1/4 in. (5.7 cm.) in depth at the sides. Scale length is 13 3/4 in. (349 mm.). The nut measures 1 1/4 in. (32 mm) wide.
This metal-bodied ukulele has seen some use, but it still plays well and is in lovely condition. There is scattered, light finish wear, primarily to the "strummed" area of the face, but nothing is chipping or flaking away further. The neck finish has some rubbed-away spots in its first position, but no major dings or dents, and the back of the body is relatively clean.
The instrument remains original, including the original cone and biscuit. This 90-year old National is set up to play excellently and sounds great with Aquila NylGut strings. It resides in a very nice, well fitting modern hardshell tenor ukulele case. Excellent Condition.