20th Century Objets de Luxe
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Novelty ukulele cocktail shaker

A large finely-made novelty cocktail shaker in the form of a Piccolo ukulele, the polished copper and silvered body with gilded ‘fingerboard’ with fret detailing, the well observed headstock-cap with tuning keys in contrasting metals, pulls off for filling and pouring, via a half-strainer set inside the neck. Originating in Hawaii in the late 19th century, the ukulele is a variation of the machete, a small guitar like instrument introduced by Portuguese immigrants.

In the early 20th century the 'Uke' gained great popularity, and became part of what would eventually become known as the sound of Tiki culture in the United States, originating on the heels of prohibition in 1933 with the opening of Don's Beachcomber, a Polynesian-themed bar and restaurant in Hollywood, California.

Many of the world’s finest musicians are (or were) keen exponents of the ukulele – all of The Beatles, Elvis, Frank Sinatra, Brian Wilson and famously Bing Crosby amongst others. Although unmarked, this shaker is most likely American, or possibly Hawaiian and dates to around the late 1930s.

Height: 15½ inches (40 cm)

Price Code: £££

Reference: 6680

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