George Formby’s ukulele achieves 10.1% pa growth

George Formby’s Gibson banjo ukulele made £28,750 ($37,278) at Hanson’s Auctioneers over the weekend.

The instrument was last sold for £310 ($402) in 1972. That's growth of 10.1% per annum.

George Formby banjo

George Formby was a legendary British entertainer 

Formby (1904-1961) was a legendary British entertainer who began his career on the music hall circuit.

He’s known for performing comic songs on a ukulele.

His most famous is a cheerily innuendo-studded song about a window cleaner.

While he never really broke the US, save for some minor success in the 1930s, he was huge in Britain.

When he died, a crowd of 150,000 turned out for his funeral. 

He’s remembered fondly for his warm stage and screen presence – and for his tireless work raising the spirits of troops and factory workers during the second world war.

John Croft, former president of the George Formby Society, told the BBC: "In his heyday in the late 1930s, George Formby earned more than three top Hollywood stars put together - Errol Flynn, Douglas Fairbanks and Clark Gable.

"And we should never forget Formby's contribution to boosting morale among the troops during World War Two.

"He and his wife Beryl flew out to dangerous war zones, including El Alamein. This country owes a great deal to them both.”

Despite his comic style, Formby was a serious musician and greatly influenced some of the biggest names in pop.

George Harrison is known to have owned a couple of his ukuleles. In 2008, Brian May of Queen bought one from Harrison’s collection for £72,000 ($93,362).

Click here to take a look at all our music memorabilia for sale.

Please sign up to our free newsletter to receive exciting news about music memorabilia auctions.

Featured products

Elvis Presley Authentic Strand of Hair
Elvis Presley Authentic Strand of Hair
Sale price£399
In stock
Fidel Castro signed certificateFidel Castro Signed Certificate
Fidel Castro signed certificate
Sale price£2,995
In stock
King Henry VIII Autographed DocumentKing Henry VIII Autographed Document
King Henry VIII Autographed Document
Sale price£55,000
In stock