My profile pic is not the banjo in question (that's my lovely Canadian 12" openback). I only posted a picture of the neck of this zither one. It's currently having its back reattached, but it certainly has the structure you refer to. Until it's repaired, I won't know what it sounds like but I'm intrigued.
I suspect it may have been strung as a 4-string, and the pip and 5th fret left unemployed. It shows lots of signs of having been played, which is promising. In order to use the 5th string I will need to add a side-pip (my term: surely there's a proper term for the guide that brings the 5th around the side of the neck?) or add a 5th-fret peg, as you suggest.
Jake please do not use the comment function in replying to something written in a conversation. Please add your comment to the thread. It's too confusing and people have to click in too many places to follow what is being said.
Hi Jake, I am interested in your connection to Alfred Peck Stevens. He is my 2x Great Grandfather and researching his music hall career and family is my obsession. Is the book you received for Christmas written by Ron Woollacott and Michèle Louise Burford? Kind regards Wendy
Hi I am keen to know more about your family legend. It would be great to see if Glanville is a surname of one of his parents. Even with years of research and my Father's ancestry DNA test I have been unable to find Vance's parents. My father is now 91 and a relatively keen listener of my findings. Naturally musical he has enjoyed hearing about his music hall ancestors. Best wishes Wendy
Thank you for the great information. It's definitely worth some research. Is your Aunt Marie a Glanville?
I will also have a look for any information with regard to any banjo playing by Alfred. There are some good articles in the American newspapers in interviews with his common-law-wife Eunice Mclewee aka Eunice Vance, whom I descend from.