Clifford Essex Professional Dating (they were made 1922 or later).

While at the Kaufman's house, instead of the rally, I had a chance to sit with Eli and go through BMGs.  For various reasons I did not get to take them to scan (mostly because they are all bound in leather volumes that are thick and heavy).

But I did find what I was looking for.

In the January 1922 issue there was a teaser about the Professional saying to watch next month for full particulars.

February 1922 announcement with details and the statement "The Best Banjo in the World for Professional Use".   No price given.

April 1922 same ad with a cost of £15  15s. 0d.  "Specially Manufactured by Clifford Essex & Son for the use of Public Players". This issue also includes a full page write up on the model. 

I took photos of each of the above and will add to this post later.

Continuing on, issue by issue, the ads seem to vanish by 1925.  Did they only make them for 3 years?  Not even a mention of them after that except for listings of used examples.

The tailpiece was released at the same time which gives an over date for banjos with the Professional tailpiece (unless it was added later).

I know that the depression seriously impacted sales and the war shut production down all together. 

So it seems that Professionals were only built for a short time.

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What does it weigh?  :-)

I've had a CE Regal and and an Imperial model. Both excellent banjos. I've played 2 Boudoir Grands, 2 Professionals, 2 Regals besides mine, and about 4 or 5 Paragons.  I found the Paragons to be ok, but Iiked the other models more. I have never crossed paths with a wood or metal hoop CE Special. I think I'm missing out on something.

Joel Hooks said:

I also have a Concert Grand (can you tell I like CE banjos?).

Concert Grand = 7 Lbs 13 oz

That's Nine More i'n it? I wonder what accounts for the extra half pound and one ounce. A resonator? Fat frets?  Mine has no arm rest. Maybe that reduces the weight a bit. Maybe yours has Heavier Inlays!  Maybe it's the wood. Mine is maple. It's got a fairly substantial neck.  Banjo mysteries!

Gravitas.

Who knows?  My CG is pretty standard as far as they go and fairly late having a payment book with a first payment of January 24, 1930 (and final payment of July 30, 1930 signed by A. P. Sharpe).

I know that they had a few people making them but at a certain point they established their own workshop.

As far as Metal Hoop Specials, I've played 3,  a Weaver built one, mine (which is post Weaver but a pretty good knockoff), and Eli's with is of the same era as Marks.

Mine is mahogany.  Eli's is maple.  All three are fantastic banjos but very different.  Comparing mine to Eli's proved that they were only the same in name.  The necks were very different (mine has a much wider fingerboard).  The heels were different (mine is a direct copy of Weaver while Eli's is nearly the same as my Professional).

There is something in those English clad rims, perhaps the quarter-sawn oak, that is special.

I would not mind adding a Wood Hoop Special to my library at some point.  The one I played was very nice.

You know, it is pretty humid in New England, perhaps mine is holding more water?

Of course. I should have known.

Trapdoor2 said:

Gravitas.

Oh dang… Marc.  Sorry about the k.

Pfft. Somewhere, somehow, deep in the mists of time, I authorized a legal document that had "Mark". Now, every legal document sez Marc aka "Mark". I asked the lawyer about it and she said, "You don't have enough money for me to go looking for it and then correct it. Just sign the document, it has no real meaning."

One more:

I was in a grocery store and the girl behind the cash register needed to write my name down (no idea why), so I responded with my normal "Marc Smith, with a "C". She wrote down Mark Cmith...

Mine is so minor, I wonder about all the millennials with weirdly spelt names. They're gonna be correcting and explaining to people their entire lives (like the kid who was walking out of the salon when I went in for a haircut. The stylist was laughing when I sat down. "You see that kid? His name is Forrest...but his mom spelled it "Sssst" (4 "s" t). She said it is his legal name.") There's a girl in our Publix supermarket Deli named "Emphasis" (it is on her name tag). I want so badly to ask her if she is called "Em" or if she signs her name "!" I certainly would.

My old friend, the late Jon Sholle, probably the best guitarist I ever heard, got a new phone and was trying to enter the number and of course his *name* in the New York City telephone directory, the "White Pages".  He said to the clerk on the phone "My name is spelled  J-O-N, no H.  Here's how it appeared in print:  Jomoh Sholle. 

We all called him Jomoh after that.

Trapdoor2 said:

Pfft. Somewhere, somehow, deep in the mists of time, I authorized a legal document that had "Mark". Now, every legal document sez Marc aka "Mark". I asked the lawyer about it and she said, "You don't have enough money for me to go looking for it and then correct it. Just sign the document, it has no real meaning."

One more:

I was in a grocery store and the girl behind the cash register needed to write my name down (no idea why), so I responded with my normal "Marc Smith, with a "C". She wrote down Mark Cmith...

Mine is so minor, I wonder about all the millennials with weirdly spelt names. They're gonna be correcting and explaining to people their entire lives (like the kid who was walking out of the salon when I went in for a haircut. The stylist was laughing when I sat down. "You see that kid? His name is Forrest...but his mom spelled it "Sssst" (4 "s" t). She said it is his legal name.") There's a girl in our Publix supermarket Deli named "Emphasis" (it is on her name tag). I want so badly to ask her if she is called "Em" or if she signs her name "!" I certainly would.

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