Can anyone tell me when this banjo might have been made and if it looks to be by a particular maker? I can't see anything written on it anywhere and there are no signs of a label having ever been attached. Although it appears to have been well made, I'm puzzled by the fact that the back side of the perch pole has been left rough cut and not planed smooth. Was this a common practice on this unseen section? As can be seen, the head has burst and I've taped it enough to be just about playable until I replace it.

It was given to me by a friend who had owned it in London since the 1950s and as far as I know, it has been in the South East of England for a lot longer than that.

The measurements are:

hoop diameter = 11 1/4"  30 hooks

hoop depth = 2"

neck length = 17 1/2"   17 silver frets

neck width at nut = 1 1/4"

total length = 34 1/4"

scale length = 26 1/2"

Views: 183

Reply to This

Replies to This Discussion

A week has past with 153 views of my banjo. Does anyone have even a rough idea, based on the design characteristics as to how old it is?

I know that I could and really should, replace the head but my current situation allows very little time to do it. So, can anyone recommend where I could send in England to be done? Thanks.

Kind regards, Ian.

Your banjo appears to be from the early 20th century. Friction pegs are a 19th century banjo feature but these look in the photo to be plastic which would suggest later manufacture. But maybe they are wood or bone. And maybe they are not the original pegs. So maybe late 19th century? 

No need to send the banjo anywhere for vellum replacement. Anyone with access to water, a bowl, a table, a towel, and a knife can do the job. EVEN ME! I've done it many times. And if you don't want to to do the job yourself there will be someone nearby who can do it. Instructions are easily available.  The person doing the job does need to be an expert luthier. They should have a steady hand for trimming the vellum near the end of the process.  

IAN SALTER said:

A week has past with 153 views of my banjo. Does anyone have even a rough idea, based on the design characteristics as to how old it is?

I know that I could and really should, replace the head but my current situation allows very little time to do it. So, can anyone recommend where I could send in England to be done? Thanks.

Kind regards, Ian.

Hi Jody,

Thanks very much for your input. The pegs are celluloid and my feeling is that they are probably the original set. I've been looking at images of banjos dating from the 1880s that have the same features as mine. As it appears to be well made, my feeling is that it was 'of it's time' and not a lower grade instrument that was constructed beyond the period in which 17 frets, 30 hooks and friction pegs were superseded. However, unlike fiddles, my knowledge of banjos is very limited and I could be completely wrong! Any more opinions will be appreciated.

On reflection, I will have a go at replacing the vellum, but it won't be for a while. Fortunately, the temporary repair allows it to be played well enough to bang out some jigs and breakdowns as an occasional change from the very slow studies on my fabulous Wilmshurst zither banjo.

Kind regards, Ian.

Whoops I found a typo in my message. I meant to say that to change a vellum one does *not* need to be an expert luthier.  It seems that the word "not" got lost.

IAN SALTER said:

Hi Jody,

Thanks very much for your input. The pegs are celluloid and my feeling is that they are probably the original set. I've been looking at images of banjos dating from the 1880s that have the same features as mine. As it appears to be well made, my feeling is that it was 'of it's time' and not a lower grade instrument that was constructed beyond the period in which 17 frets, 30 hooks and friction pegs were superseded. However, unlike fiddles, my knowledge of banjos is very limited and I could be completely wrong! Any more opinions will be appreciated.

On reflection, I will have a go at replacing the vellum, but it won't be for a while. Fortunately, the temporary repair allows it to be played well enough to bang out some jigs and breakdowns as an occasional change from the very slow studies on my fabulous Wilmshurst zither banjo.

Kind regards, Ian.

Reply to Discussion

RSS

© 2020   Created by thereallyniceman.   Powered by

Badges  |  Report an Issue  |  Terms of Service