American, Banjo, Five-string, c.1890-1910
We just don?t know who made this banjo. The adjustment mechanism at the tail end of the dowel is reminiscent of some patent ideas, but there are no patent marks. The inlays on the ebony board seem very personal, especially the fish shaped inlay with two hearts on the back of the head and the fan at the first fret. This suggests it was a one-off instrument. However, the skill and engineering involved in making the pot don?t suggest a random project. The 11″ rim is all metal, double walled, with perforations in the inner wall. The full V-shaped neck was likely once painted black but someone has removed (or worn off) much of the original black paint. There are 18 frets on the ebony board with a 26″ scale, and fairly modern friction pegs. The bracket nuts are a mish mosh collection. Now setup with a skin head it?s a big, clear sounding banjo. We have light steel strings on it and the action is comfy at the top of the board, but high at the bottom (even with a shim). We?ve got the lowest possible bridge on it now, though Fred would prefer a higher bridge. Gig bag included.
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