Favilla Ukulele

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Favilla, like Martin, were a mainland US guitar company who were quick to pick up on the trend for ukuleles in the 1920s. They carried on making ukuleles up until 1968 (and baritones up to 1985) but most Favilla ukuleles are from the 1920s and 30s.

Favilla’s most famous ukulele design is the tear-shaped uke – which looks a great deal like a mandolin (inspired no doubt by the Favilla family’s Italian heritage).

Although their ukuleles don’t fetch quite the prices of Martin ukuleles, they are quickly rising in price (particularly the older ukuleles).

There’s a history of the Favilla company as a whole here.

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  1. Jim Alsip October 2nd, 2012 10:37 pm

    I have a Favilla B2 Baratone uke I bought in highschool back around 1961 or 62 new for $40. Lot of money in those days. I still have it. It has traveled the world with me and though I claim no expertise in its playing, the thousands of hours of pleasure and serenity it has given me over the past 50+ years are priceless. It has a few scratches, not too bad, the alegator case is pretty much shot, but the uke still plays and sounds great. I wouldnt take anything for it.

  2. Jim Alsip October 2nd, 2012 10:39 pm


  3. Dave July 30th, 2013 9:24 pm

    The greatest unsung star of American instrument building. Now after nearly 1/2 century since their hayday they are recieving much deserved notice and recognition for their contribution to music.

  4. Margaret Smith April 4th, 2014 10:39 pm

    I ,like the above. was given a baritone uke when I was in highschool and my father taught me how to play it- learning WWI and WWII songs as well as cowboy tunes. That was in 1951. I have taken it to college, parties overseas and to this day play it with great pleasure for my friends. I am 81 and still going strong.

  5. Dan Morrill April 20th, 2014 3:55 am

    My wife bought a c.1960s B2 Favilla baritone for $10 at a garage sale. I bought new pegs and strings. I really love the instrument. So much pleasure!!! I am 76 and love my Favilla.

    Dan Morrill

  6. Carol Pierce Harris July 27th, 2014 8:02 pm

    For my 15th birthday in 1952 my stepdad gave me a Favilla uke which he bought at a Chattanooga TN pawnshop. I know nothing about it except that it is a teardrop shape. I have always loved this instrument. It is my most prized possession of the past, and I still enjoy playing it.

  7. Loren iversen August 22nd, 2014 11:00 pm

    i just got a favilla u2 soprano with the colored decal. am told it is from the early 20’s .Is there anyway of pinning it down to a specific year

  8. Loren iversen August 22nd, 2014 11:04 pm

    i would compare the quality to my martin

  9. Richard October 28th, 2015 3:26 pm

    Favilla soprano ukuleles rival Martin sopranos in tone and sustain for about half the price. The construction is not quite as good, but close. They often require some set-up work to optimize their play-ability. They are normally made of very nice tonewoods. They ceased making ukuleles in 1968, so any Favilla Brothers ukulele is now considered vintage.

  10. Kevin Reilly July 23rd, 2016 5:32 am

    I picked up one in Bakersfield, CA today in an antique store. Tuners need to be tweaked to hold the strings, but I could tell that I liked the tone. I have the tear-drop shape. Is there any markings like change in the Paville crest impressed on the head between the tuners? There was a “BX” or “BT” handwritten in pencil inside the sound hole at the foot of the neck. Don’t know if one can glean any other information from that. Thanks for the recommendation as I think we’ll really enjoy it.

  11. Nicholas Pierotti June 21st, 2018 3:29 am

    I have an ancient Favilla that plays like windchimes. I love it more than my Kamaka

  12. Deborah J Kendrick April 25th, 2019 12:00 am

    I have one that my father used when he was a soldier during WWII.

  13. Bill Russell October 19th, 2019 1:34 am

    I have 10 guitars and another Harmony Baritone, but nothing compares to my Favilla Baritone. I installed reconditioned Gibson vintage style machine tuners that made it for me.Now It’s perfect tunes and stays tuned. I play several hours a day on my Favilla Baritone. I might say that ukulele tuners won’t fit on a Favilla Baritone. You’ll need to use guitar tuners. This means drilling bigger holes. It’s well worth it.

  14. Ira July 9th, 2020 1:51 am

    Just bought a nice soprano Favilla Uke from the late 50s!! Really plays well and surprising stays in tune decently.

    I have been playing guitar and bass for over 40 years but by far this little angel is the funnest I have ever had!!

    Well made in NY. It even came with the original canvas gig bag! Both the Uke and gig bag are in near mint condition!!


  15. DAVID January 18th, 2021 4:19 am

    I have baritone ukulele my dad got when he was a kid in the 1930’s or 40’s. Great condition, but I refinished it when I was working as a luthier apprentice in the 1980’s. It’s a beautiful instrument – I wish I could play it more, but busy with other instruments.

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