There is a Barnes and Mullins ZB with what the seller describes as a 'patented mute system' on Ebay UK.  I've not seen a mute lever on a banjo before.  Anyway, it may be of interest to someone looking for that elusive well-cared for ZB.  (Oh, and my little Temlett is still for sale).https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/125927179759?hash=item1d51d845ef:g:yroAA...  

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That is interesting Carrie! 

I have never seen a mute on a ZB.

Yes, I know Bacon and Day devised a 'knee-mute' but not seen the above type before.

Dear Carrie,

Hello again.

I was most interested in your picture of the patented mute on a Barnes & Mullins ZB.  I have seen four or five B&M ZB's, some of them claiming to have a patent mute, and had always assumed this to be a modification of the standard ZB wooden pot as all of them had nothing extra fitted.  Now I know different and I'm most grateful.  Very many thanks. No need to comment or reply, I know you are a busy person.

All the Best,

BJ.   

It's still for sale on Ebay - looks like a very nice ZB in good condition. 

Tell me Carrie, is that the B&M which is for sale on eBay, or the Temlett?  Can't find either.  (Well, none that seem like yours).  What are they listed under?  Thanks, by the way for putting me on to Dave Webster for banjo repairs.  Very knowledgeable, very helpful and a charming gentleman to boot.  He did an excellent job of renewing the vellum on my Windsor Pyxe Whyrle Ambassador Supremus, a very tricky task which had obviously defeated the previous owner.  It defeated me too!  I have another with exactly the same problem (vellum and tensioning-ring horribly mangled by incorrect fitting) and I'll be giving Dave a call to fix that one too!

Kindest Regards,

Jake.   

Hi Jake - I meant the BandM with the patent mute.  Unusual to find a ZB in good condition on Ebay. Here is the active link: https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/125927179759

Jake Glanville said:

Tell me Carrie, is that the B&M which is for sale on eBay, or the Temlett?  Can't find either.  (Well, none that seem like yours).  What are they listed under?  Thanks, by the way for putting me on to Dave Webster for banjo repairs.  Very knowledgeable, very helpful and a charming gentleman to boot.  He did an excellent job of renewing the vellum on my Windsor Pyxe Whyrle Ambassador Supremus, a very tricky task which had obviously defeated the previous owner.  It defeated me too!  I have another with exactly the same problem (vellum and tensioning-ring horribly mangled by incorrect fitting) and I'll be giving Dave a call to fix that one too!

Kindest Regards,

Jake.   

Thank you Carrie, for your very swift and helpful reply.  Found the banjo!  Looks a really nice one.  Unfortunately my B&M allowance for the year has been spent, otherwise I'd be sorely tempted! 

Kindest Regards,

Jake.  

Yes, sadly I can't give this nice ZB a home either.   I have now run out of space and can't afford to buy anymore.  Caveat: for now!  

Jake Glanville said:

Thank you Carrie, for your very swift and helpful reply.  Found the banjo!  Looks a really nice one.  Unfortunately my B&M allowance for the year has been spent, otherwise I'd be sorely tempted! 

Kindest Regards,

Jake.  

Thanks Carrie.  My banjo situation is exactly the same. Also I'm running out of space and I have to decide whether to restore a very old ZB (one of those 'English Dobsons' as I call them '...kind of copied in England...' -Clifton Hicks' words) which has the tunneled 5th string and frets, or do up an interesting Cammeyer, before I die of Old Age and General Decrepitude.  Which would you choose?  Decisions!  Decisions!  All the time Decisions!

Kindest Regards,

Jake.

I would go with the one you like the best - maybe one just nudges it.  I did try a Cammeyer Vibrante once but found it too heavy!  As I get older, I appreciate lighter, pick-up-and-play banjos.  

Jake Glanville said:

Thanks Carrie.  My banjo situation is exactly the same. Also I'm running out of space and I have to decide whether to restore a very old ZB (one of those 'English Dobsons' as I call them '...kind of copied in England...' -Clifton Hicks' words) which has the tunneled 5th string and frets, or do up an interesting Cammeyer, before I die of Old Age and General Decrepitude.  Which would you choose?  Decisions!  Decisions!  All the time Decisions!

Kindest Regards,

Jake.

Thanks Carrie,

Once again a swift helpful response.  I think I'll go for restoring the old one.  It's the oldest ZB I've ever seen.  I think it must date from around 1880.  It has a lovely deep sound, but that's probably because I tune the 3rd string to 'B' and the rest pro-rata.  I too find the Vibrantes a bit heavy.

Seeing how you were looking at a B&M 'Perfect' No.1 I have one I could give you, but it doesn't have the patent mute.  It would cost you only the postage, or free collection through a Third party if you prefer.  If interested I'll give you the details and see if I can dig it out.  You could always sell it!

Kind Regards,

Black Jake of Norwich.

carrie horgan said:

I would go with the one you like the best - maybe one just nudges it.  I did try a Cammeyer Vibrante once but found it too heavy!  As I get older, I appreciate lighter, pick-up-and-play banjos.  

Jake Glanville said:

Thanks Carrie.  My banjo situation is exactly the same. Also I'm running out of space and I have to decide whether to restore a very old ZB (one of those 'English Dobsons' as I call them '...kind of copied in England...' -Clifton Hicks' words) which has the tunneled 5th string and frets, or do up an interesting Cammeyer, before I die of Old Age and General Decrepitude.  Which would you choose?  Decisions!  Decisions!  All the time Decisions!

Kindest Regards,

Jake.

Hi Jake, Alfred Cammeyer did not land in England until 1888 so, no zither banjos before that time.  And only a couple were made in the US by Cammeyer before the move.

Jake Glanville said:

Thanks Carrie,

Once again a swift helpful response.  I think I'll go for restoring the old one.  It's the oldest ZB I've ever seen.  I think it must date from around 1880.  It has a lovely deep sound, but that's probably because I tune the 3rd string to 'B' and the rest pro-rata.  I too find the Vibrantes a bit heavy.

Seeing how you were looking at a B&M 'Perfect' No.1 I have one I could give you, but it doesn't have the patent mute.  It would cost you only the postage, or free collection through a Third party if you prefer.  If interested I'll give you the details and see if I can dig it out.  You could always sell it!

Kind Regards,

Black Jake of Norwich.

carrie horgan said:

I would go with the one you like the best - maybe one just nudges it.  I did try a Cammeyer Vibrante once but found it too heavy!  As I get older, I appreciate lighter, pick-up-and-play banjos.  

Jake Glanville said:

Thanks Carrie.  My banjo situation is exactly the same. Also I'm running out of space and I have to decide whether to restore a very old ZB (one of those 'English Dobsons' as I call them '...kind of copied in England...' -Clifton Hicks' words) which has the tunneled 5th string and frets, or do up an interesting Cammeyer, before I die of Old Age and General Decrepitude.  Which would you choose?  Decisions!  Decisions!  All the time Decisions!

Kindest Regards,

Jake.

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