I recently picked up an interesting vintage banjo. Wondering if anyone would care to offer guidance on identifying it. The only marking clues I have are the very faded "Made in Wester Germany" sticker on the resonator, and the same marking on the original bag. It's got a maple tone ring, simple geared tuners that look like Waverlys, but probably aren't. It's a gorgeous instrument, but the tuners don't function properly.
It is one of the entry level (cheapy) ones made under a number of names from Germany. I thought they were made in the GDR (eastern Germany). Marma, Perl Gold are two that come to mind and I have seen them here in NZ. I was not aware of the brand "Weltton" but who knows.
He replied! Heres what he said of my banjo. I appreciate the recommendation.
"…these banjos were produced after WW2 in Markneukirchen, East of Germany and offered by different names, like ;MARMA ,MARDO ,SILVERINA an d others. They made zyther type models as well as the resonator models in different qualities, the one you show is one oft he best quality.
Their main job was building fine beat guitars still searched today. One of their top models was the DIPLOMAT"