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 ARCHIVED TOPIC: vega regent banjo 1920s


Please note this is an archived topic, so it is locked and unable to be replied to. You may, however, start a new topic and refer to this topic with a link: http://www.banjohangout.org/archive/360367

joeyg1324 - Posted - 01/15/2020:  12:05:23


Hello

I'm a re-seller that buys and sells unique items, the other day i picked up this vega regent banjo, I believe it is from the 1920's from my research but would like to get more info on value and age, It is in overall good condition but does have a crack behind one of the tuners. Im thinking that the back plate is not original or correct to this type of banjo, any help would be appreciated thanks





 

maneckep - Posted - 01/15/2020:  12:30:58


You should take a close-up pic of the crack and the backplate before someone could give a good estimate.

mainejohn - Posted - 01/15/2020:  12:53:09


I've owned a Regent since 1962, and it has survived numerous flight "check through" experiences back when I didn't know any better, hitchhiking trips in the 60's, frat parties, etc. It's a very durable banjo, and if yours doesn't need a neck reset, new frets, binding, etc., it should bring $800-$900. I say that because I had mine for sale in the BHO classifieds for several months (3-4 years ago) at $900 and never got an offer, and mine is probably in better condition that what I'm seeing in your post, especially if you have a crack issue. Yours has guitar tuners, and a new owner will most likely want to replace them with planetary tuners which will run around $100. Actually I'm glad mine didn't sell, as my grandson now has it.


DH#52 - Posted - 01/15/2020:  13:27:07


I’ve owned a couple of Regents, and they’re fine instruments. Can’t tell from your photos, but the neck should be maple. Actually, neither of mine had that plate, but that could be an add-on. Also—and I can’t entirely tell from the photos—but I wonder if that’s the original neck. Maybe the placement of the star (which is wrong, I think) on the peg head is throwing me, though. See John’s photo for what I mean.  I think it's pretty hard to find an original '20s Regent (neck and pot) these days.



Steve


Edited by - DH#52 on 01/15/2020 13:29:20

mainejohn - Posted - 01/15/2020:  14:06:14


quote:

Originally posted by DH#52

I’ve owned a couple of Regents, and they’re fine instruments. Can’t tell from your photos, but the neck should be maple. Actually, neither of mine had that plate, but that could be an add-on. Also—and I can’t entirely tell from the photos—but I wonder if that’s the original neck. Maybe the placement of the star (which is wrong, I think) on the peg head is throwing me, though. See John’s photo for what I mean.  I think it's pretty hard to find an original '20s Regent (neck and pot) these days.



Steve






Yes, the neck is maple. If the  "plate" to which the OP is referring is the resonator, then no, it's an add-on. I've seen Regents with a star on the peghead which most likely pre-dated mine. If the serial numbers on the rim and dowel stick match, then it's most likely an original neck. In addition to replacing the guitar tuners, a new owner will most likely want to replace the 5th tuner with a geared tuner, not an expensive upgrade. I'd be inclined to also replace the tailpiece. With that rolled brass tone ring, the Regent makes a wonderful old-time banjo.

DH#52 - Posted - 01/15/2020:  14:47:40


I thought of the star as being more in the middle of the peg head, not at the very top, like in the original poster’s photo.  But I agree with you, John, about them being great old time banjos, as are their mahogany counterparts, the Senator. 



Steve


Edited by - DH#52 on 01/15/2020 14:49:26

Andy FitzGibbon - Posted - 01/16/2020:  03:27:15


The neck looks original, but the star on the peghead is not.

Andy

mainejohn - Posted - 01/16/2020:  05:53:26


quote:

Originally posted by Andy FitzGibbon

The neck looks original, but the star on the peghead is not.



Andy






 I assume you're referring to just this example. I've seen peghead stars on a few other Regents and assumed they were installed at Vega, but you've seen many times more vintage Vegas than I have.

Andy FitzGibbon - Posted - 01/16/2020:  05:57:38


quote:

Originally posted by mainejohn

quote:

Originally posted by Andy FitzGibbon

The neck looks original, but the star on the peghead is not.



Andy






 I assume you're referring to just this example. I've seen peghead stars on a few other Regents and assumed they were installed at Vega, but you've seen many times more vintage Vegas than I have.






Yes, just this one. Earlier Regents did have stars on the peghead. The star on this one is in the wrong position, and doesnt appear to be pearl. It may not even be inlaid. Better photos would provide more information.

DH#52 - Posted - 01/16/2020:  07:17:00


Yes, the star’s position is what I was referring to. I notice there is a 1920s Regent for sale at a place called Ruby Lane (I think), and the star is also located higher on the peghead.



Steve


Edited by - DH#52 on 01/16/2020 07:18:02

mikehalloran - Posted - 01/21/2020:  23:02:25


When Intermountain restored my Regent before reselling it, they added a star to the replaced headstock overlay. Here's the before with pppppaint on the headstock (yuck):







Besides the resonator, the tuners, tailpiece and brackets are wrong for this banjo. No big deal, really, depending on what you want to do with it.



Let's see some more pictures.



The brackets and tailpiece make me wonder if this went back to Vega for repair. The headstock crack and star might tell us, actually. Vega, like Gibson, often put later decals on banjos that went in for repair. My 1924 Imperial Electric had a 1960s decal covering a well-repaired but quite visible headstock repair at one of the tuners where it had been broken off at the ear and reattached. The brackets had been replaced at the same time.



Here's a before pic of the pot on my '20s Regent showing the original nuts and oxidized tortoisoid binding.



 



A '20s Regent is a strong, throaty banjo — not as sparkly on the high end as a Tubaphone but properly set up, it's a great banjo. Take a look at the prices of a Vega by Deering Senator — that's the modern version of what you have.



Deering Vega Senator


Edited by - mikehalloran on 01/21/2020 23:08:01

spoonfed - Posted - 01/22/2020:  07:54:46


just wish I could own it, sometimes it is a pain being on the "wrong" side of the pond !

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