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Leonardo Nunes

Leonardo Nunes "Mini" Sopranino
Type 2 Mini
leonardo nunes california ukulele o hawaii 1920s
Type 1 No decal
Leonardo Nunes Radiotenor
Radio Tenor
Leonardo Nunes was one of Manuel Nunes's Sons but he left the M. Nunes & Sons Company and started up his own in 1914. Soon after, (before 1920), he moved from Honolulu to Los Angeles and set production up there. Here he produced Ukuleles for a lot of the major Californian music shops and branded them Ukulele O Hawaii, (He had some sort of distribution deal with Gretsch also used it on their Kaholas range?) Leonardo Nunes, as a company at least, continued producing Ukuleles into the 1930's. He made mainly Sopranos to start with with different levels of binding and decoration  but he also made Minis, (Concert scale) Taropatches, (Tenor scale), Tiple Ukuleles and a, (Soprano scale), 6 string variant long before Sam Kamaka jnr. "invented" the Lili'u. Though, like the Lili'u, it still only had 4 courses with 2 of them being doubled, in this case it was the middle two with the outer courses being single strings; possibly meant as some kind of cut down Tiple Ukulele? I have never seen a Leonardo Nunes Pineapple.

I have seen it suggested, though I've not seen documentary evidence, that he followed a similar decoration scale to the Kumalae one, except there was no style 5 and the style 0 had no rosette at all

In 1926 the Radio Tenor trademark was registered by Leonardo Nunes for use on a new range of Concert scale Ukuleles, (apparently production of them actually started in 1925) though it was considered a Tenor at the time. He also appears to have switched to a pin bridge for all of his Ukuleles around this time and used less rope and more ring decoration.

For some reason, (possibly before 1926 because I have not seen it on a Radio Tenor), there was a period when the use of a headstock decal was stopped and there was just the soundhole label? The ones I have seen like this also all have fret markers on the 5th and 7th frets only.

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