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||Date: 11/23/2019 7:22:35 PM
|Wow. Sometimes things unfold in mysterious ways..got home from an ukulele song circle last night and looked on Craigslist to see if I could spot an ukulele that had been stolen from a local player...no luck there , dang it........but something did catch my eye. A posting for “antique miniature guitar/ukulele”. It was in CleElum which is a fair piece from here (just under a hundred miles) but just before I dismissed the possibility I looked a little closer at the listing.. said the ukulele was built by E.P.(Nick) Carter. Brother of A.P. Carter and husband of Mother Maybelle Carter. Ok. You’ve got my attention now..The Carter family are country music icons and E.J. Carter was manager for much of their performing career up to 1956. And maybe a fine luthier back in 1927 which was a huge year for the Carters. Big recording session (country music’s first) .....will the circle be unbroken...keep on the sunny side. Wildwood Flower. Etc. |
Anyhow I contacted the seller and he offered to meet me at the top of Snoqualmie pass at one o’clock. The pictures in the ad looked good and Keith seemed sincere and happy that a player was interested in this unique instrument. I was more than a little excited that this might just be practically the holy grail of antique ukuleles. Got there nearly 45 minutes early and was pleased that he showed up 15 minutes early. I got a big rush when he pulled it out of its ancient case and there was a beautiful instrument in very good shape. No cracks or scratches. Cleaned up and restrung. Tuned up it sounds wonderful and has good action. We chatted for a good while in the drizzle and he told me he’d gotten it about 10 years ago at a garage sale in Fall city He had tried to offer it to the Carter family museum but they weren’t interested . Lucky for me. There is a hand written label inside the soundhole that states....”made by hand for Mr & Mrs Edward L Faufal by E.P. ‘nick” Carter 1927 Using Linshep amplification construction “
I intend to research the hell out of this instrument and see where it leads..Mother Maybelle’s husband was E.J. Carter but who knows maybe a cousin or ?
It may have been built by “the” E.J. Carter or perhaps another E.P. Carter.....Carter is not that unusual a name and “the” E.J. Had a rather busy year in 1927...Either way I’ve got a beautiful instrument that I will treasure. I do want to do due diligence and explore the possibilities. I turning to you for advise and expertise . Have you any idea if this could have been built by Mother Maybelle’s husband or his kin? The bridge and saddle are unlike anything I’ve ever seen and the x bracing on the top is also unique. Very wide with a gap between the two stringers. Kinda like a dugout canoe. Maybe this is the Linshep amplifying construction mentioned on the label. I’ve attached a few photos and can supply more if needed.
My research continues and I recently gained access to ancestry.com and will follow of trail of Edward L. Faupel to see where that leads. The nut has been replaced The bridge is really unique. Close examination of the photo shows that there is a deliberate gap on the soundhole side of the bridge. Instead of a saddle there are 4 black pins that go to the top but don’t penetrate the top. Also one picture shows as best I can a section of the odd x bracing with the gap between braces...they reconnect with each other at the middle of the x and where they connect with the kerfing I’m thinking the “Linshep Amplifying Construction “ might be the bridge / x bracing combo. I’ll keep you updated as to what I find. Any recommendations as to where to seek information?I’ll be contacting Gryphon, Elderly and Lardy ukulele database. Any others you can think of? I’m not going to focus too much on Carter family connection but would like to find out about origins of the instrument and history of the luthier.. Thank you in advance for your consideration.
||Date: 11/28/2019 9:26:15 PM
|Fantastic find! I look forward to your search results!