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Vintage 1927 Martin Taropatch (8 String Uke) Bridge Repair. (For Sale too!)



Have you heard of a Taropatch? I certainly hadn't... said to have evolved from the Portugese instrument Rajão. First produced in Hawaii in the late 1800s, CF Martin & Co started producing them in 1916, roughly around the same time they started producing Soprano Ukuleles. Tuned to the same standard tuning as a Ukulele (G, C, E, A), with the double strings tuned in unison, although some people have played around with different tunings and setting the strings in octaves.

This specific Taropatch came into my workshop

with a bit of damage, the owner unfortunately

passed away and his widow was wanting me to

have a look at his instruments. (More to come my way). As you can see in the photo to the right it's bridge had popped off. Leaving a small broken piece of the bridge still glued to the top.


I managed to free this piece off and reglue it to the original bridge and then splice little pieces of wood back on the bridge to fill any gaps.

The fixed bridge and the top with the area for the bridge cleaned up and ready to glue the bridge back on.




After gluing the bridge back on, it really didn't require much work as the rest of the instrument is in great condition. I gave it a clean, the fingerboard an oil and restrung it. So what is next for this beautiful quirky vintage instrument? Well the widow of the owner wants to sell it, she then wants to donate the funds from the sale to the hospice that her husband was in. That is my next task, I need to find a buyer... could it be you? Details about this little guy, it is a 1927 Martin Taropatch, so this instrument is approaching 100 years old. It is incredibly good condition considering its age. Obviously I have mended the bridge and with the right care this little guy can keep going for a long time yet! The tuners have been replaced at some point, these were originally violin style friction pegs. But now it has modern geared tuners. The body is made from Koa wood, neck is Mahogany, Rosewood fingerboard (possibly Brazilian, likely due to when it was made). The body & neck are in great condition showing no cracks or any damage. There is of course the odd ding/playing mark. But in general it is in remarkably good condition. These vintage instruments are pretty rare/sought after and don't come up for sale very often, Martin didn't make a lot and stopped producing them in 1930, could be special ordered up to 1935 and then not at all after that. The all Koa body construction was also a little rarer as they produced more with full Mahogany bodies. Prices online vary based on condition and when they were sold. Are you a collector or quirky vintage instruments? A ukulele enthusiast? Just a lover of instruments in general? Want to help donate some funds to a hospice? Then you could be the one to give this beautiful instrument a home, I am looking for £1800 which is a really fair price for these instruments. Especially considering the condition this one is in! Get in touch if you are interested. Here is a collection of photos:




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