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Dealers, Restorers & Appraisers of Fine Musical Instruments
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mermaid darker green logo
Dealers, Restorers & Appraisers of Fine Musical Instruments
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S.S. Stewart, Universal Favorite No. 2, Banjo, Five-String, c.1888, Philadelphia

S.S. Stewart, Universal Favorite No. 2, Banjo, Five-String, c.1888, Philadelphia

$1,000.00

Our ID#: 34730 Categories , Tag

Probably made at the moment Stewart was making a number of changes in fittings and approach. There is no model marked on the dowel or rim, but the specifications line up with a Universal Favorite No. 2. Later banjos typically have the model branded inside the pot. Also, the brand stamps on the dowel pre-date the 1888 use of the headstock brand design. The Champion friction tuners, patented in 1888, appear to be very original, but earlier models would have been made with simple celluloid pegs. The 11″ rim is nickel clad with a grain painted cherry finish on the inner wood. Note the very interesting brackets nuts (5 of which are replaced) which differ from more basic later Stewart bracket nuts (one wrench fits everything). The neck is of dark cherry neck with a plain heel and ebony fingerboard with 19 frets. This may be its second set of frets. Setup with a skin head (not original but well done) and a modern No-Knot repro tailpiece. The banjo works well with light gauge steel strings. The action would not likely be ideal for a classical banjoist (low at the upper frets and higher at the lower frets), but good for clawhammer. Scale is 27-1/8″. Gig bag included.

We accept payment by VISA & MASTERCARD, Check, Wire Transfer and other forms of legal tender.  You can phone the shop directly to arrange a purchase.  WEB ORDERS: If you are placing an order through our web site, Paypal will charge a 3% processing fee which is not refundable if you decide to return an instrument.

Because vintage instruments are each so unique, we want to have a conversation with you to answer questions, discuss the individual characteristics of an instrument, and your specific needs or concerns.  We are happy to take order details over the phone at the same time.  There are some instruments we feel absolutely require this kind of dialogue, and you will see that they are not enabled for click & ship purchase.  If you can’t phone us, please start a conversation by email.

Pennsylvania is an “Origin” state as regards sales tax obligations. Thus, shipments to PA destinations are subject to the Pennsylvania + Philadelphia sales tax, or 8%. Otherwise, for shipments to other states we collect sales tax as required. We recommend that customers check with their state’s Department of Revenue to learn their obligations for reporting and remitting sales tax.

Personal checks are accepted, but must clear our bank before we will ship an instrument. Cashiers Checks are also accepted–just like cash. You may also transfer funds directly to our bank (contact the shop for bank wire information).

We’ve shipped instruments all over the world for more than forty years, and that practice has taught us many things. Instruments of the violin family are not well designed for shipping. We wish everyone could visit the shop, but know that isn’t always feasible. However, we do not ship all instruments. We do not ship bows over $1,000., violins or violas over $5,000., cellos, or anything especially fragile and likely to be demolished in shipping.

For instruments we do ship, we know that packing well helps insure that an instrument will arrive at your destination in good condition. Typically, we use UPS shipping services. We like to ship straight away, but might suggest waiting a bit if poor weather, a weekend delay, or long holidays present concerns.

Pennsylvania is an “Origin” state as regards sales tax obligations. Thus, shipments to PA destinations are subject to the Pennsylvania + Philadelphia sales tax of 8%. For shipments to other states we collect sales tax for instruments as required. We recommend that customers check with their state’s Department of Revenue to learn their obligations for reporting and remitting sales tax.

International shipping can be complicated, and in certain cases not possible. This varies according to the country and the nature of the instrument. So, ask us, and we will see what is possible. International shipments may be assessed customs and clearance duties by the governing authorities in the country of destination, and these charges are the responsibility of the customer. Some materials like Brazilian rosewood, require special permits – such as a CITES permit – for international shipping. The cost of export permits is charged to the customer, and we may ask to have these paid before the shipment is sent.

There are some cases where shipping an instrument is a bad idea, or simply unfeasible. We reserve the right not to ship an instrument.

If you decide not to keep an instrument we have shipped to you, please notify us by telephone or email within 48 hours of receiving it. If there is some sort of calendar issue that makes this work poorly – please just talk to us. The instrument should then be packed up again as it was sent to you, and returned to us via the same shipping service by which it was delivered, and insured for full value. If your payment was with us directly by check or credit card, we will refund the price of the instrument as soon as we receive it, provided it arrives in the condition in which it left the shop. If your payment was via Paypal we subtract a 3% restocking fee (effectively, the non-refundable Paypal fee).  The customer is responsible for the shipping charges.

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