King Mortone Double Bass, 1937, H.N. White Co., Cleveland, Ohio



This is a very early King Mortone double bass with a replacement neck featuring a custom lion’s head scroll. This bass is well known to us and is a fun player in good shape.


King Mortone Double Bass, 1937, H.N. White Co., Cleveland, Ohio

King String Bass Serial No. 998

This early King Mortone double bass has the low serial number of 998, in its fourth year of production. The H.N White company pioneered American plywood double bass manufacturing, to be followed quickly by Kay. H.N. White also built the iconic American Standard double basses starting in 1936. Roots players take note! Who has a lion’s head on their slap bass?

This particular King string bass has been customized with a nicely figured maple replacement neck bringing the string length to just 41.5″ with a very solid D neck, featuring a carved lion’s head scroll in an art nouveau style.  We affectionately call this bass the Lion King! A stable repair and very unique touch to this classic American plywood bass. They modeled this revolutionary “unbreakable” plywood bass after Stradivarius. In 1937, it would have set you back $175, plus $14 extra if you wanted the nice bag with a zipper!


Upton Bass String Instrument Co. specializes in building award-winning custom double basses and offers accessories for the double bass. Upton Bass also services all instruments and bows of the violin family with world-class restoration and repair. To view our online restoration portfolio visit

Upton Bass is ready to offer advice and answer any questions regarding this King Mortone double bass or related bass topics! Please contact UB at or call the shop at +1 (860) 535-9399. Hours of operation: Tuesday through Saturday 10 am – 6 pm.

The Upton Workshop (The Barn) and showroom are located in Mystic, Connecticut conveniently between Boston and NYC.


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