Any help here with this banjo would be greatly appreciated. I believe its a early Thompson & Odell possibly or Luscomb. I would love to find photos of missing inlays to restore or more info. I think the missing 9th fret is an eagle style inlay that I have found a photo of online but the rest are not so obvious.
This is a 12" pot and 26.5" scale, which puts the bridge pretty far back...2.5" from the tension hoop and very close to the tailpiece. The photo attached has the bridge incorrectly placed for the scale length.
It is labeled "THE ISBELL ARTIST ST. LOUIS, MO." with an engraved plate on the dowel stick, as Luscombs. Research shows that Harry Isbell was a banjo maker and musician from St. Louis pre 1900. My question is then was this banjo entirely made by Thompson & Odell in Boston and custom inlaid and labeled possibly for Isbell? Or did he have some hand in the construction, particularly the rim since it is not a spun rim, as most Boston makers of that era.
Definitely a Luscomb peghead and neck. The rim doesn't look like any Luscomb rim I've seen before- they mostly had cast metal rims with a wood tone ring- but I haven't looked at a lot of Luscomb banjos. I believe that they did make some wood-rim banjos in addition to the patented metal rim instruments.
Edited by - Andy FitzGibbon on 02/15/2014 15:27:02
Aha! I knew the owner would come forward and to this website. I was the one bidding against you. I set my max and you beat it towards the end. Def a luscomb. I found almost no information past that. What a beautiful pot! It caught my attention immediately. I was surprised more didn't get on the bidding train and really raise the price. I actually just won the bidding on another luscomb hours ago. Keep us posted for any more info on this banjo. Congrats!