Hey all, I’m having some trouble identifying this no name and I’m hoping you can help. I picked up this little gem at a local pawn shop for $5 after I saw the broken head peeking out from behind an amp. I grabbed it figuring it would be fixable and fine for my kid to lean to play on, or not and it would look good on the wall in my music room. The more I looked at it the more it felt like a decent little player, but I’m having a hard time placing the maker. Really, I don’t plan on selling it so much as figuring out if I let my 4 year old touch it or not.
What I know is that it looks like t frets, the inlay appear to be similar to some old Gretsch makes, it resembles some S. S. Stewarts, the bottom truss reads “pony” in machine press letters on the wood, and the top of the truss appears to say “F NY STROM”.
My educated guess is that someone has done some work on this banjo. The inlays look like Gretsch but the peghead does not. The peghead looks like Slingerland but the number of frets and the scale look wrong. The dowel stick brace is one I have seen but I can't recall who used it. The clad rim and the ball style bracket shoes are not features that are usually found on Gretsch or Slingerland. Long story short is that the parts that this banjo is made of don't look like they were originally on the same banjo. But, for five bucks you can't possibly go wrong. You got quite a bargain.