Banjo Hangout Logo
Banjo Hangout Logo

Premier Sponsors

Banjo Lovers Online

 All Forums
 Other Banjo-Related Topics
 Collector's Corner
 ARCHIVED TOPIC: Help identify an old banjo

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:

mstan302 - Posted - 03/26/2021:  15:15:39

New here and just wanted to know if anyone can help identify my Grandmother's old banjo that we found in my Aunts stuff.


beegee - Posted - 03/26/2021:  16:16:13

Banjo-ukulele from the pre-WWII era. It has an unusual "open-book" style peghead. Most banjo-ukes have a pointy, squared-off or an asymmetrical peghead. I assume that design is a decal not inlaid marquetry?

mstan302 - Posted - 03/26/2021:  23:16:18

Yes it is a decal
Not inlaid

mstan302 - Posted - 03/27/2021:  11:53:06


Originally posted by mstan302


Thanks for your reply

Yes it is a decal

Not inlaid

Any idea if its worth getting it repaired?


mstan302 - Posted - 03/29/2021:  08:57:31


Originally posted by beegee

Banjo-ukulele from the pre-WWII era. It has an unusual "open-book" style peghead. Most banjo-ukes have a pointy, squared-off or an asymmetrical peghead. I assume that design is a decal not inlaid marquetry?


As you can see I am very new to this forum.  I am posting again in hopes to get some more feedback. 

I am thankful for your reply, and was wondering if you had any ideas if this was monetarily worth getting fully repaired?  

Thanks again 


Knows Picker - Posted - 03/29/2021:  09:54:00

Its somewhat unusual as far as banjo ukes go, but probably not spectacularly valuable.

Have some fun with it!!

Get your self a cheap banjo bridge and a set of nice uke strings. If you do decide to sell it, that would help the value a bit.

No one wants to buy a car that isn't running.

Edited by - Knows Picker on 03/29/2021 09:54:30

beezaboy - Posted - 03/29/2021:  10:23:31

Scant replies probably because the instrument is difficult to identify.
IMO your banjo ukulele is from the 1920's because of the design for tensioning the head. Banjo ukes from the mid to later 1920's had brackets outside the rim.
The resonator decal was also popular in the 1920's and called decalomania in the trade or some word like that. Your banjo uke was most likely sold by a retailer/cataloger like Montgomery Ward or Sears or by a musical instrument jobber that distributed to music stores, department stores, etc. Attached is an example from Montgomery Ward catalog 103 for Fall Winter 1925-'26 with attention to item C 790 which has a similar rim assembly to yours but we're not claiming its your instrument just attached for example. I don't see a lot that needs to be done to your instrument to make it whole. It's a nice instrument and seems well made and worth the effort to fix it up. You are missing one banjo uke friction tuning peg it seems. Put ad in our BHO marketplace for one or replace all 4. Banjo uke friction pegs are not break the bank. Also in your ad ask for a banjo uke bridge and a set of nylon strings for banjo uke. That looks like all you need. From my point of view is the head tensioning apparatus that is off-putting. The resonator must come off and you may see how it is done. I once tried to put on a head on a 1916 Bolander banjo uke with the tensioning scheme inside the rim. It defeated me.

beezaboy - Posted - 03/29/2021:  10:42:53

As often happens a head tensioning example on ebay today:

See the three bolts and plates in center of picture attached.  I think there should be more but anyway the plates and bolts are fitted to the grove inside the rim and tightened upwards vs. the head.  As luthier, Andy FitzGibbon, recently observed about another banjo head replacement it is a three handed job.

I don't know how your banjo uke is configured for tensioning the head but this all is food for thought.

You could always take off your resonator, take a look, and show us with photos.

Edited by - beezaboy on 03/29/2021 10:45:25

mstan302 - Posted - 03/29/2021:  10:55:13

Wow.. a lot of good information.
Really appreciate the feedback. This gives me a good idea of the history.
The ad helps a bunch too. I think I will search for some parts and rebuild it the best I can.
Thank you all!!

Hangout Network Help

View All Topics  |  View Categories