In February, 1916, the Ditson Stores, one of Martin’s largest customers, ordered the first Dreadnaught shaped guitars. In November of 1915, Ditson began to order ukuleles in all the various models Martin offered, with a Dreadnaught shape as well. The Model 3 is one of Martin’s most beautiful model ukes, with inlays and multiple stripes on the fretboard, and a design in Ivoroid on the lower face. The earliest ukuleles had simple ebony tuning pegs and an Ivoroid design on the headstock. This is a very rare vintage c.1920 Oliver Ditson Ukulele. These Ditsons were made by Martin for the Oliver Ditson stores in Boston & New York. It is estimated there were only around 35 style 3m Ditson ukuleles made, and even fewer surviving today. This particular example is in extremely good shape for its age. The neck finish has hazed over a good bit. Not sure why this only happened on the neck but it is the original finish on both the body and neck. It plays really well and tuners still function like it’s right out of the factory. Frets and neck are in good shape/straight and it’s sounds articulate, woody, and powerful – probably owing to the beautiful dreadnought body shape that makes these Oliver Ditsons so desirable. Another rare feature of this ukulele is that it has the Martin stamp on the back of the headstock and Oliver Ditson stamped inside the body. This ukulele is for the collector or player that’s been searching for one of these because it’s quite likely you could never see another for sale. This is a lovely if not perfect example and a wonderful players instrument by any standard. She has a few very minor fine repaired cracks to its top & back from aging & its bridge has been re-glued & touched up at some point. It plays and sounds excellent with the typical superb Martin tone, rich and incisive at the same time. This is a super attractive uke & a superb player’s instrument. She’s very good overall & resides in its ultra rare original black tolex/green lined hard case.
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