hello! found this banjo and it was being ID as from 1920-30's. looks more modern to me, like a folk mashup of a carved minstrel fretless neck and then some luthier wood-loving on the pot inlays...i really like the hardware and found it interesting. the antler heel cap is probably my favorite part. need to swap that nut out though...
question: would any of these rather personal build elements be enough to trace this to a manufacturer? I am thinking its modern. It got me interested. would love to know any more if any details stand out.
Well, Edsel is dead, but they may well have e-mail where he is!
I'd be willing to bet Western NC or someone associsted with or learned from him. He mostly made dulcimers, but there are other instruments around as well by his hand with head carvings very similar to this one. It doesn't have his home made pegs, but those are new-ish violin/viola pegs, so they have probably been replaced.